Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Natalie Wolfe. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Natalie, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
Our mission at StudioHop is to provide an easy and convenient way to work out that helps you feel strong and healthy and able to tackle the world. We wholeheartedly believe that when you vary up your workout and go to classes that you actually enjoy, you’ll notice results. When you feel GOOD about yourself, you look at exercise as a privilege, not punishment for your body. I started StudioHop as a way to add variety into my own workout routine because I was feeling bored and burned out. I wasn’t noticing any changes in my body and didn’t feel like I was progressing–just kind of going through the motions. Once I was able to hop to different workouts (cycling, yoga, barre, Pilates, etc.) I felt so strong and I couldn’t wait to book my next workout and bring a friend with me. I’ve heard time and time again from our clients over the past 7 years that their lives were changed because they now enjoy exercise and movement and as a result, feel much healthier, stronger and more confident. Is there anything better than that?
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I’m Natalie Wolfe and I am the founder of StudioHop. I launced StudioHop officially in 2015 with an awesome team (including my husband Ryan who later would become a full-timer) and our goal was to offer a way to book classes at all sorts of fitness studios across the city, and then later multiple cities. I’ve always loved exercise and movement and trying new things, so this business idea was a no-brainer for me as I realized it was so difficult to create multiple profiles across different platforms and booking into one-off drop-in classes became expensive. I noticed my yoga instructors were teaching spin on the weekends, so if we had instructors teaching multiple modalities, why was it so hard for us to take different classes? This was what lit my fire and spun me into action. I had to provide this option because I knew there were others out there who craved variety too. StudioHop is an app that provides all-in-one memberships to a hundreds of boutique fitness studios across Texas and Oklahoma. We have all sorts of membership options depending on how often someone prefers to visit studios for workouts. I would have to say I’m most proud of how we’ve pivoted and improved over the past 7 years, been up against a behemoth of a competitor and…we’re still here thriving after 7 years. I’m very proud of how scrappy our team has been and the solid software we’ve built and continue to improve.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
A lot of in-person grassroot efforts helped build StudioHop’s reputation. You have to start really small and be a face to the brand. If a brand/company has a good story and a good “why” behind it, people are much more inclined to support you and purchase your products. My goal was to be at all sorts of events, meeting lots of people and building relationships in the community. This not only helped build our reputation and business, but it also helped grow other brands as well. Partnering up with other great companies is always a good idea.
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
Managing a team is probably one of the hardest parts of running a business. It can be messy and it can get emotional especially when the team is small. I think the key is having regular face time, communicating effectively, praising one another for the wins (even the small ones), setting boundaries (this is harder than it sounds) and treating your team from time to time to celebrate when things are going well. Maintaining high morale is also hard for a boss when something difficult has happened–you have to put the smile back on your face, put your big girl pants on and keep going in order to not bring the whole team down with you. It’s a delicate balance between being human and being a good leader.