Who runs the world? Girls. And no fitness brand exemplifies that notion more than Oxygen Yoga & Fitness. Founded in 2011 by Jennifer Hamilton in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, this female-run organization prides itself in empowering other women to become a part of their movement. With over 90 locations sold throughout Canada and flagships set to open in the US and internationally, the brand is making big waves in the fitness community.
Developing a brand with stamina
Hamilton is no stranger to the fitness industry—she previously owned and operated Canadian fitness franchise Cardio Core Bootcamp. After some time, though, she realized having the term “bootcamp” in her business name limited the growth of the franchise. “I was worried how long a bootcamp-style business would be of interest to potential franchisees and consumers because what happens in the fitness industry is people get bored of the same thing.”
Eventually, Hamilton sold her bootcamp business and started teaching fitness classes out of her garage. She was soon presented with the opportunity to teach a bootcamp-style class at a yoga studio in an effort to help freshen up the studio’s existing schedule. When the partnership between the original yoga studio owners dissolved, Hamilton decided to take over and create a brand-new fitness concept that fused bootcamp with yoga.
As a single mom of three, Hamilton never thought she would develop a franchise again. “I had 59 locations of my previous business and really just wanted this business to be my baby. But one day after class, one of my members was laying on the floor in Savasana and told me: ‘I want one.’”
Hamilton quickly realized her community’s appetite for franchising opportunities and sharing this new way of working out. “I could sense some folks felt really passionate about owning a location. I had people driving an hour and a half just to come to the studio.” Once the decision was made to franchise, Hamilton sold nine locations in just six months—and the rest is history. Today, Oxygen Yoga & Fitness has grown to over 90 locations in Canada, with the goal of taking the brand international soon.
A foundation of inclusivity
It was important for Hamilton to create a fitness brand that focused on inclusivity and provided a safe space for everybody to conquer their wellness goals. “I want everybody to feel welcome, you know, wherever you are, whoever you are—your color, creed, religion, special needs, whatever—everybody is human.”
With this mentality, she made it her mission to put inclusivity first and offer a wide range of classes that cater to everybody and every body. “The beautiful thing about our concept is that we offer so many different styles of classes to give everyone the ability to try something new and engage with their mood that day.” To make sure she’s continually hitting the mark, Hamilton frequently connects with her customers to get a sense of what's working and what isn’t. The goal: to make sure every customer feels supported.
Technology that enables connection
Oxygen Yoga was an early adopter of Mindbody’s branded mobile app, which has proven integral to the brand’s growth and development. These days, a majority of bookings come from their branded app. “We drive a lot of people to the app before they even set foot in the doors of any of our studios. Our members use [the app] a lot to manage their bookings and their memberships,” says Oxygen Yoga & Fitness Marketing Coordinator Andrea Walker. In fact, the branded mobile app was responsible for 62% of their bookings in 2019 with over 1.9 million bookings coming from it alone. On top of that, the branded mobile app also helped close 21,555 sales which amounts to 28% of their ticket sales for 2019.
"The app is key to our business; we don't remember a time when we didn't have it! It's been that impactful," says Hamilton. “The app is a part of shifting consumer trends, and we are grateful that we were able to be ahead of that curve. Consumers want the ease of use, and mobile use—and the best experience of that comes with a branded app."
Franchise locations embrace the branded app, as well. “Right from when they're onboarded, our franchisees understand the importance of the app and it becomes a priority for them, too,” says Walker.
A partnership in growth
With a growing number of tools that connect more customers to the business and simplify daily operations, Mindbody helps Oxygen Yoga & Fitness and its franchisees through every stage of their business growth. And as the brand continues to expand, the partnership only gets stronger. “The support that Mindbody has provided through thick and thin is something we’ve never come across before. You have been integral to these times of growth and the experience has been amazing. We're truly thankful,” says Hamilton.