We are the #nolapilatesfamily!
We believe that Nola Pilates is more than a business, more than a studio, more than a place to work out. Read on to find out why…
Kim Munoz, owner, started her career as an intensive care nurse who eventually left the hospital to work in a corporate setting. As a medical professional & fitness enthusiast, Kim began taking Pilates classes and was enamored with how good it made her body feel. She decided to go through a comprehensive certification simply to learn more about the method, with no thought of teaching. Kim spent several years working in the fast-paced corporate world overseeing large sales teams and traveling at least 3 days a week. Throughout those years, Kim found herself really missing the time with her kids and husband. Like many others in New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina hit, everything changed.
After the storm, Kim and her family were relocated to Boca Raton, Florida. The first thing she noticed was that there was a Pilates studio on every corner! She also realized that it was only $25 to take a group equipment class, which was completely unheard of in New Orleans, where the only group classes available were mat classes. When Kim and her family were able to come back home at the end of 2006, she found herself sitting at a dinner with friends one night, casually chatting about opening a Pilates studio. In the meantime, through the certification process, Kim had met several other instructors whom she had joked with about opening a studio (Spoiler Alert: some of those ladies are still teaching for us today!).
At this early stage, Kim expected that by opening a studio, she would be downsizing her life. Going from the intense corporate world to a more relaxing, enjoyable work day. Her plan was to open a small studio, with only 4 Reformers. Her husband thought she was insane because they had gone through all of their savings due to the storm, and when they returned to New Orleans they didn’t have a single piece of furniture left. There couldn’t have been a worse time to decide to open a studio.
Against all odds, Kim started to move forward. She envisioned an old style New Orleans cottage home for the studio, and when a friend mentioned that her husband had a building in Lakeview, she decided to go see it. It was exactly what she had imagined.
After opening the studio, Kim went back to work as a nurse because it enabled her to work three 12-hour shifts per week, and run the studio at the same time. At that point, Lakeview was only about 40% back, which was why Kim felt so strongly about opening the studio in this neighborhood. She felt that after the storm Lakeview would come back younger, and more accessible, more family oriented. One year after opening, Kim realized that the business had already grown more than she had ever anticipated. The women she had met through certification all wanted to work for her, so she decided to funnel all the classes and clients to them. Kim ended up working more full time at the hospital while still running the studio behind the scenes.
Two years later, her full-time instructor moved away, so Kim took over her schedule, and was able to leave her job at the hospital to focus on Pilates full-time. The studio continued to grow, adding Xtend Barre classes because Kim had become friends with the Xtend Barre founder Andrea Rogers in Boca Raton. As business snowballed, Kim had to step away from teaching and focus on the higher level business and marketing responsibilities that she loved. As the studio community grew, it was evident that the connections and friendships between clients and instructors had become meaningful to everyone.
“Women would come into the studio to exercise and leave in tears because for the first time in months they got to clear their minds. In class they were able to leave behind thoughts of their gutted homes and lost belongings, because they had to focus on how to move their bodies. We knew then that we had something bigger.” – Kim Munoz
Throughout 2017, Nola Pilates & Xtend Barre will be celebrating our tenth year in business. We are honored to continue to provide a special place for our clients to find peace, balance, and strength in the midst of their busy lives. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating all year long!