There were a handful of things which Monica Harris knew for certain three years ago. As an athlete and fitness enthusiast, Harris knew she loved working with clients, she loved Pilates and she loved helping people reach their goals.
Upon her initial soft opening of Oakdale Pilates Studio in August of 2014, Harris kept her expectations low. Embodying the spirit of a realist she prepared herself for what she refers to as a ‘sabbatical’ as she looked ahead to the time it would take to build the clientele of this new business.
Her studio was the first of its kind in the 95361 and she knew many of her clients would remain in Modesto.
“I really thought I was going to have a lot of free time,” she said of first opening her doors. “Within a couple of months I was back to a full schedule of teaching classes. So it really didn’t take long.”
The benefits and services offered by Harris’s studio have continued to grow. Growth, which prompted her to move the business to its 143 N. First Ave., Oakdale location earlier this year. She currently has a seven member team and offers a variety of classes throughout the day, six days a week.
Harris stated that the new location is more than double the size of the original North Second location. The increased square footage allowed expansion not only in class offerings but reformers as well.
“I couldn’t really offer a reformer class because there were just two of them,” she said of the popular exercise equipment. The studio now houses five, which allows for multiple classes of varying levels.
“The reformer classes are the most popular. Those classes are almost always full,” she stated. “It’s more expensive, that’s the drawback to it. People love it. It’s a very safe, effective way to get exercise.”
Other classes offered at the new location include: mat Pilates, barre, Zumba and most recently cycling. Harris also launched Tribe Social Athletics earlier this year, which offers both a running and hiking club.
All classes (other than reformer) accommodate 10 students. RSVP is required for the reformer classes and pre sign-ups are encouraged for the others. All sign-ups are handled exclusively by Harris.
“Clients need to make an appointment to inquire on classes and membership,” Harris said. “They can drop in, but we’ll likely be getting ready to start or finish a class. I like to have a quality conversation with someone.”
As for the clientele, Harris shared it varies as does fitness level, which she takes into account when recommending classes.
“My clients trust me,” she stated. “They never get hurt and that’s really my number one concern is my clients.”
As for Tribe Social Club, that is a result of what Harris prides herself and her business on, listening.
According to Harris, clients began expressing an interest in activity like walking and running beyond the studio and finding others to do it with.
“That’s what it was simply about,” she said of the two clubs, “creating friendships and a community.
“As an athlete I’m really trying to create a community where we can look each other in the eye and communicate with each other when we’re out there,” Harris added.
As for community, that is what she’s found to be the most unique about her Oakdale-based business.
“Each class feels like a family,” Harris said. “It’s like you’re getting together with the girls for coffee when they come to a reformer class. That sense of community and family is very much a reflection of Oakdale.”
For additional pricing, class and club information visit oakdalepilatesstudio.com or call (209) 204-1700.