The Fitz in Huntsville, Alabama, knows who its target audience is: badasses with good asses.
That’s just one of the many catchphrases you’ll find on The Fitz’s website, but it’s not just a slogan for studio Chandra Medellin—it’s who she wants to come to her classes. Chandra Medellin is serious about having fun, and she created a Pilates studio to embody that vibe.
Chandra began teaching Pilates after the birth of her second child, and while teaching at the studio where she trained, she realized that she wanted something more out of teaching class: a community of women like her.
So Chandra began teaching classes in her basement, five women at a time. “We ran classes all day long, and really just built our foundation,” Chandra said. “We just did whatever we wanted to do. The atmosphere was chill, and that’s exactly what I wanted.”
Over time, Chandra built enough of a customer base to support her growing to a full-time studio location, and The Fitz was born. While she was moving out of the basement, Chandra wanted to make sure that the laid-back vibe of her first classes carried over to the studio: “Life is serious enough.”
She calls the Fitz a “girl gang clubhouse,” and one of her proudest accomplishments is when women from a previous class are still sitting in the lobby, laughing.
Chandra is protective of her brand and isn’t afraid to fire clients who don’t align with her values and principles or hire customers to become instructors at the studio. “It almost makes me emotional talking about how incredible the group of people that I have that the studio is,” Chandra said. “We’ve just curated a really cool group of people.”
And you can tell what you’re in for if you go to The Fitz’s website. For example, if you want to navigate to their boutique store from their homepage, you have to click a button that says “Yes, Leggings are Pants.” The website is designed to be welcoming and positive, encouraging people who may not feel comfortable in other fitness environments to take a class.
The Fitz even updated the buttons on their branded web schedule widget to say “Get in Class” rather than sign up. That way, booking feels less intimidating and more on brand with the in-class experience. (Pro Tip: This is included with any MINDBODY Pilates software subscription.)
And that cool group of people that Chandra created? They are more than happy to help a class newbie get their bearings. “It’s gotten to where my clients have become such ambassadors. It’s a daily occurrence at the studio, and it just blows my mind.”
And The Fitz continues the cool studio vibe after the class with their own custom branded app. The app puts Chandra’s brand front and center on her customers’ phones, making it easier than ever for her girl gang to book their classes and buy class packs. “Everyone says ‘Y’all have a custom app? That’s so cool!,” Chandra said. “I love the app.”