Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Wolfe.
Natalie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working on StudioHop back in August of 2014 at my kitchen table. We officially launched in January 2015 in Dallas, Texas. I have always been the type that loves new concepts, loves to try new restaurants and explore. Dallas has always gotten cool new fitness concepts (Piloxing? Oh yeah) and boutique fitness studios ever since I began studying at Southern Methodist University, and I was always at the new spots during opening week. SMU had an awesome gym, but I always paid for boutique classes whether I was paying for a yoga studio membership, then Pilates the next year, then barre the next. I always got burned out at each studio and my body stopped being challenged after doing the same thing at every single workout, and I wasn’t willing to pay more than one membership per month. After I got out of yoga class, I’d hear my instructor talking about the spin classes she taught on the weekend. I thought, “If they’re teaching multiple formats, then why can’t we mix things up and take all sorts of classes too?” My light bulb moment led to the desire to create a platform that would make it easy to book classes at boutique studios across the city, all different types of classes, all under one membership. Drop-in classes are too expensive ($10-$30 per class), so there had to be a more affordable and easy-to-use solution. I wasn’t about to hit a big box gym. I wanted the community, the specialty instructor-led classes, and I wanted the front desk to know me by name. That’s what StudioHop is all about.
Has it been a smooth road?
We had around 100 people show up to Lululemon Athletica on Knox Street for our launch party back in January of 2015. People were excited about the new concept, and we had crazy growth during our first few years. Now we are in 7 cities (Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and New Orleans) and we’re still growing and constantly tweaking our website and mobile app to make it the best experience for our members. Owning and operating a tech startup is certainly not for the faint of heart. We’ve struggled with everything from competitors to adding features fast enough–but we’ve pushed through and we’re excited to release a host of new features in the coming months that we’ve learned and optimized through our competitors’ mistakes. Running a startup is a major gamble and it’s hard as hell. I didn’t set off to make a boat load of money. I started StudioHop because I wanted to create a solution for the problem I personally had: there was no way to work out at all different studios and vary up my work out without emptying my entire wallet and having to juggle accounts at 8 different spots. The WHY is what has driven me, and we’ve had an incredible small but mighty team (including my husband) that has taken this thing to the next level. Our team, our brand ambassadors and our community of studios and health and wellness people have built and shaped StudioHop into what we are now. The most important thing lies in our team’s attitude: when the struggles come, let those roll off your back and know that better times are just around the corner. Don’t get too excited at the wins, but celebrate for a moment and take time to reflect on how far you’ve come.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the StudioHop story. Tell us more about the business.
StudioHop is a monthly membership to a variety of boutique fitness studios in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. We are an easy and convenient way to book classes across your city, but we’re more than just a booking platform. We’re a community of people with the same goal: to be the best versions of ourselves. I’m most proud of some of the emails and comments I get from some of our members–those success stories. I’ve gotten countless stories from StudioHop members who have finally discovered their love for fitness and don’t see their workouts as a chore or punishment for their body. They’ve come to love exercise because they get to mix up their routine and they’ve lost weight, gotten stronger or completely transformed their mind, body and spirit. We’ve built an incredible program and mobile app, but I’m most proud of the people our team has affected.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
5-10 years is a long long time in the startup world. Hopefully in 5 years from now, we’ll be in every corner of the US and we’ll be quick and smart enough to pivot when it’s time. Ultimately, we want to help people feel good about themselves and maintain a happy, healthy and fit life in the long term.
- Trial Memberships: $10
- 4 Visit Bundles: $50/month
- 8 Visit Bundles: $110/month
- Daily StudioHop plan: $135/month
- Website: www.studiohopfitness.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @studiohopfit
- Facebook: /studiohopfit