Owners, Pure Pilates Austin
Ally Slapnicka and Cameron Drummond, warned me that their workout would be difficult. The two recent transplants from California opened a fitness studio in the West Campus area of Austin nine months ago, and business has been so successful that they plan to open two additional locations before the end of the year, one in The Domain and the other in South Austin. Pure Pilates offers high-intensity, low-impact classes centered on exercises done with a souped-up Pilates machine called the Megaformer. To my core's great distress (and benefit), it was called upon to stay engaged throughout the entire 45-minute class.
"It's the perfect complement to all other forms of exercise," says Ally. She engages in the workout five to six times a week, in addition to spinning, hiking, and boot camps. Both she and Cameron love to swim and are exploring the various swimming holes in their newly adopted city. "I've never met so many people who do triathlons and run marathons," Ally says. "In a city like Austin, a business like this is sure to succeed."
Ally and Cameron are partners in both work and life and exude the radiant energy of the dedicatedly fit. They live in Clarksville, not far from the original Pure Pilates location, in a charming enclave of historic West Austin, walking distance from a wealth of shopping and great restaurants. Ally and Cameron met in business school at UCLA and started dating after they finished their degrees. After Los Angeles, they moved up the coast to San Francisco, "where we learned a lot about the business" they would eventually open in Austin, explains Cameron.
Armed with business savvy, the two negotiated with the inventor of the Megaformer and settled on Austin as a potential market for their studio(s), and they soon set up shop. Cameron speaks of successful studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco that are packed from early in the morning through late in day. "We came to Austin knowing that we wanted to open more than one studio," he says, adding that they have no plans for further expansion after the launch of the two studios later this year. "We don't need to be world conquerors," Cameron declares with a smile.
Their charming home in Clarksville provides a calm respite from their active lives. Their taste runs toward modern furniture with clean lines, accentuated by bold geometric textiles. Their decor reflects a peripatetic lifestyle-a photograph of the Bay Bridge, a throw pillow with a map of California, and a large textual interpretation of New York City-with Texas represented by a luminescent wall hanging.
Ally and Cameron are excited about settling in here and building a following for their business. They train their instructors themselves, and in that way have an even more intimate hand in the development of their studios. They are big believers in what they do and come to it from a place of passion. Ally, who left behind a financial sector career in strategy consulting, describes her new profession as "not stressful like my other job," adding rhetorically, "Why continue to do what you don't enjoy?"
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