BOSS BABE KENDRA
Posted on 04 September 2017
We are super excited to introduce Kendra and share her story from competitive D1 gymnast, mom of two and the creator of BarreALLEY she is definitely an inspiration!
What inspired you to start your business?
I am a retired D1 gymnast, and I fractured my back twice during that time. I was advised by my doctor to find a low impact workout that would strengthen my core stabilizers to help elevate pressure on my spine. I wasn’t thrilled because I was used to associating “a good workout” with high impact. Nonetheless, I started searching and fell in love with yoga. I was still on the hunt for “my workout” because yoga didn’t give me the cardio I needed … enter: barre. My first barre class was the class I took right before my barre certification (a friend of mine forced me to certify because she knew I would love it.) Within the first five minutes of class, I couldn’t even make it through the warmup and I was in l o v e. A little more than a year later, I raved to my friends about how amazing the format had been for my joints and physique. I hosted a live Facebook class for fun, and the response was amazing. I didn’t anticipate starting a company, but people really loved the idea of being able to get to a barre class without leaving their house- and they were pleasantly surprised at how intense the workout was. Barre can often be intimidating, expensive, and if you have children, not all studios offer child care. My goal in building a virtual program was to make Barre accessible.
How did you come up with the name?
My first name is actually Kendra. My last name is Alley. Two first names. It’s confusing, I know. But coming up with the name was easy … because someone else did it for me! I hosted live Facebook classes for a handful of my girlfriends (who were located all around the country and wanted to try my local classes but obviously couldn’t.) I hosted 1 class every day for a week, and it was a blast. They built their own supportive friendships online while having the flexibility of being able to “get to class” whenever it worked best for their personal schedules … and they are the ones who came up with #barreALLEY and it stuck.
What is your inspiration day in and day out?
I really should say my little boys, but I’m not going to. (They are my inspiration to be a strong role model in life), but my inspiration for my business is, hands down, my barreBABES. I get a spark from these girls (and guys- we’ve got a couple!) They work so hard, they make their workouts a priority in their busy lives every day- and that is what inspires me to continue to build this business. Seeing what this little virtual workout has given these women is overwhelmingly inspiring. I love being able to support, encourage and challenge these babes on a daily basis. They deserve to feel good in their skin, and I am proud to be on this journey with them.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“Action is character” F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have always been “a doer”. My entire life functions better when I am busy, so I create work for myself (I should have know I would be a business owner one day). I push myself to the limit, because I can do hard things. And those hard things make me who I am.
Favorite Book Recommendation
I don’t read for recreation, I read for education. And I like to multitask so I am an audiobook kinda girl and listen while I meal prep and other chores around the house. The Happiness Project is probably my all time favorite. I am into Podcasts too and love The GaryVee, Optimal Health Daily, and Dr. + Mrs. Guinea Pig (guilty pleasure, I LOVE The Dubrow’s and surprisingly learn a lot from their podcast).
As an entrepreneur there are many ups and downs throughout your journey. Explain your most exciting moment/accomplishment and how you got there as well as one of your struggles you had to conquer and overcome?
Because we are still new, I feel like I have a “most exciting moment” every month! One of the biggest rushes I’ve ever had was hosting a live Facebook class on my public page … it had thousands of views (before I deleted it of course. Part of my way of holding my barreBABES accountable is by DELETING the workouts. So they have to get their bum to class, or they’ll lose it!) I was nervous to put myself out there, but I did it anyway, and that is really when I knew that barreALLEY could be something special. I was also asked to be interviewed for a radio segment last month which was such a rush. We also launched our first focus group- and being able to track the progress of a handful of women throughout my program has been super exciting! Struggles: This business was born very organically. I didn’t set out to build a company. I just wanted to share my format with other people since I had so much success with it. We are growing fast, and the hardest part is keeping up with the tech side of things. I am NOT technically savvy, but I am a one man show- so I have had to teach myself how to build a website, how to set up studio lighting, audio/ visual effects while filming and edit my workout videos. I want to deliver a quality experience to my barreBABES but the reality is- I am a Barre expert, not a web designer. Luckily my girls are so supportive during the growth of the business- as long as I give them a sweaty challenge, they’re happy. The learning curve has been challenging, and I still have a ways to go. There have been countless late nights and early mornings working out kinks- but I am up for the challenge, and I tackle it head on every single day.
What is your most valuable learning experience thus far?
There are approximately one million plates that are spinning at any given time when running a business. It is insanity. I have learned that I am only one person, and being organized is a way of life. My weeks are intensely structured- and I don’t stray from the plan. Because I offer new classes every single week, I have to be ahead of the game, every single week. I have daily tasks that must get done in order to stay on schedule- and I don’t go to sleep until every box is checked.
Where of you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? What are your goals?
There is so much potential for barreALLEY and I am currently exploring partnerships and collaborations that would really pack a punch. I see an increase in our barreBABE community, I see employees (hooray), I see wellness retreats, I see new workout formats, I see collaborations, I see endless potential. It’s extremely exciting (and overwhelming) and I welcome it all with open arms.
As women, we believe it is so important to empower one another and to lift each other up what does that mean to you?
#truth. As a gymnast, we are a team- but everyone has to pull their own weight in order for everyone to be successful. That’s a life lesson I’ve carried with me since the age of 7. I became a Barre instructor because of a friend who believed in me. I got into the whole social media fitness thing because of a friend who encouraged me. I am building partnerships with friends who believe in me and see the potential of barreALLEY. I am successful because I’ve had supportive women empower me, and I pay that support forward every day.
What Advice can you give any of the readers wanting to start their own venture or take their career to the next level?
It’s scary. Like wanna throw-up-in-your-mouth kinda scary. But what are you scared of? People judging you? Failing? Blah Blah Blah- you are you, and you know what you have to offer people. So sling back that shot and just go for it, and fight like hell to make it work.
You can checkout and subscribe to BarreALLEY at www.barrealley.com
Follow her on IG @barrealley
P.S. Stay tuned for some exciting mini at home workouts featuring Kendra with BarreALLEY in our upcoming posts! Make sure to subscribe to be part of our Tribe and receive our online bi-monthly inspiration blog post updates.