Even though Chattanooga, TN, is a mid-sized city, it still has a small-town feel despite its 175,000 or so residents. Neighbors know each other by name and local businesses thrive. Kyle House Fitness is one of these businesses.
Laying down roots
At Kyle House Fitness, they work to create an inclusive community that celebrates the individuals that walk into their studio. The staff prioritizes getting to know their customers and creating a welcome environment. So much so, that it is not a part of any business model, it’s a part of their mission.
Kyle House Fitness was born out of a desire for something more personal. “When I first moved back to Chattanooga, I was working at a wellness studio,” said owner Kyle House, “I wanted to create my own thing, so I went out on my own and got a 400-square-foot training space where I tested my workout formula.”
Kyle’s unique version of high-intensity interval training, known as HIIPfit, blends yoga, weightlifting, and cardio all into a 60-minute (or less) session. “You want to look good and feel good, too,” he said. “The looking good comes from the aesthetics of weightlifting and the feeling good of yoga. The cardio is always a good thing to help burn extra fat.”
But Kyle House Fitness’s vision was too big for their original space and they needed an upgrade. “We didn’t have room for treadmills or anything in that space,” Kyle recalls, “I just had people running up and down the stairwell in the studio we were in.”
They eventually landed in a space on the southside of Chattanooga and continued to build their community. For House and his co-owner Kyle Miller, this meant getting to know their clients personally and giving everyone something to celebrate.
“For Kyle House, building his business was about creating a way to connect with people and make more than just a revenue stream,” said Miller. “It was about building a real community, a real connection with folks.”
In true Chattanooga fashion, House and Miller focused on really getting to know the people that came through their door. With their tough HIIPfit workout, Kyle House Fitness not only celebrates people as individuals, but also works to recognize their individual progress and success. They track the attendance of their members through Mindbody and have special celebratory milestones for the clients that hit certain attendance goals.
When they reach these numbers, they get free swag, studio recognition, and receive a milestone rank like Beastmode or Warrior. “We’ve only been in business for a little over 2 years and we never imagined that people would get over 500 classes,” said Miller, “and now they are going over that, so we’ll have to figure out what the next ranks are in that process.”
Giving clients something to hang their hat on
The ranking system is perfect for their community because it also gives people something to be proud of—no matter their skill level. At Kyle House Fitness, it’s about making personal achievement the main motivator for clients—not competition.
“We use this phrase a lot, ‘something to hang their hat on,’ said Miller, “We have people that run marathons, ultra-marathons, that reach 100 classes, and we also have people who walk on the treadmill that reach 100. So, we tried to design a system that wasn’t competitive in nature, but competitive with the self.”
It’s this dedication to inclusivity that helps keep Kyle House Fitness’ community strong. While it can be easy to get wrapped up in the business side of running a studio, House and Miller’s biggest focus is making sure their workouts are accessible for everyone that walks through their door. “When people want to go to a gym, they are looking for help.” said Miller, “But do they feel like they can come to you for help? Making sure people are comfortable, no matter who they are, is our number one goal.”