Monday, February 13, 2012

The Instructors at The Pilates Studio Part V: Laurie Johnson

How could I have a profile of all of the wonderful instructors at The Pilates Studio without writing about my amazing business partner Laurie Johnson!  Laurie and I are entering into our first full year of owning The Pilates Studio, but we have worked at this studio on route nine in Hadley for the past 11 years.  Our friendship and working relationship has developed over time, and if I spent the rest of the day typing as fast as I could, I could not list all of the fabulous things that make Laurie Johnson the excellent business woman that she is, but I thought I would give a few highlights! 

First, Laurie’s daring wit!  Laurie can make anybody smile, and she can make anyone laugh.  When someone walks into the door at The Pilates Studio, Laurie is ready for them and the greeting always invokes a genuine smile.  Whether she makes a joke, asks how someone is doing, or sometimes even the way she says the client’s name, the person who comes in the door knows that he or she is special to us.  

Now this wit is not just restricted to greetings at the front desk.  If you have ever had the opportunity to take Laurie’s, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday mat class, then you have been part of a community event.  A community facilitated by an excellent teacher that makes every person feel welcome.  Laurie can get a shy person talking, and she can quiet a gregarious person down for the perfect balance between the social aspect of a pilates class along with the goal of improving strength and flexibility along with movement efficiency.

The strategies that Laurie has to create this magic every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are varied, often spontaneous and creative.  I have once walked up the stairs at the tail end of one of her classes and the entire class was doing beautifully well-executed planks while singing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm.’  Laurie in all of her humor looked at me and shrugged as if thinking, “I thought we’d just go in this direction today.”  On another day when I’m listening to the banter of this class and all of a sudden, an entire Pilates Sitcom/reality show was conceived and practically pitched.  I remember feeling sad that there were no television executives in the class.  Laurie would have been famous!

Laurie’s business acuity is also something that makes The Pilates Studio what it is.  Have you enjoyed the Ask Allison column?  Has Laurie convinced you to try the wet socks trick?  Do you enjoy the monthly newsletters?  How about the Naturopathic Tea that is available?   Have you seen the fabulous layout of our ebooks? These are a mere sample of all of the ideas Laurie has implemented to make the environment at the studio more lively and welcoming.  She spends her days finding ways to make it better and better, and I couldn’t be happier to share this business with her.  Have you seen how gorgeous the bathroom is?  Laurie has an eye for design. Whether it is the layout of the studio, or the design of systems within the studio's bookkeeping Laurie creatively works to make everything better!  Over the holidays a Poinsettia was delivered to us.  It was a beautiful plant and some clients and I were discussing where to display it...Then I stopped the conversation with, "All of these ideas are great, but when Laurie gets here she is going to think of the perfect place and it will be a place that none of us have thought of."  

The Pilates Studio is strengthening the community one core at a time and a large part of a that community strength is due to Laurie meeting people where they are and making them feel welcome in the space.  How lucky I am to have a business partner that makes the studio such a wonderful place to work!


  1. Not to mention, she is an excellent pre- and post- natal pilates instructor and an excellent doula. I felt so welcomed by Laurie and the other mothers-to-be when I went for pre-natal pilates class, I almost hated that I had to leave Amherst.

  2. Pilates is a mind-body exercise system designed to strengthen the weak and challenge the strong. Great post.

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