Heidi was an instructor at a different fitness studio. She met Marissa after teaching a class, and, looking for a challenge, asked Marissa to train her. A dedicated client thrilled with results from Marissa’s training methodology, Heidi asked if she could help train clients. She was hired as Master Trainer and as a business development consultant who helped grow West Kept Secret into the local phenomenon it is today.
Dynamic Workout, Dynamic Studio
West Kept Secret is a dynamic workout in a Charlotte gym space with high-intensity interval training as its foundation. This methodology incorporates pilates, cardio, and strength movements into each class to maximize performance and work the whole body. Reformers, barres, TRX straps, boxing bags, and treadmills are fused together for different styles of training and difficulty levels. When asked to elaborate on West Kept Secret’s special format, Marissa and Heidi said the varying stations and machines “incentivize clients to work harder because they know they only have a short period of time on each machine.” In the studio, peak performance is a priority.
Their studio, however, is something they’ve had to modify during a particularly hard year. After receiving loads of interest from potential clients, the duo started to search for a bigger, more public space. The brick-and-mortar studio at Berkshire in Dilworth is their first location. It features modern interior design from Sarah Catherine Garvin of SC Collective and custom murals from Elisabeth Rose. The lease was signed in January 2020 and new trainers were hired the following month. When the pandemic worsened in March 2020, West Kept Secret pivoted its business plan. To stay viable and accessible, West Kept Secret filmed and uploaded up to five workouts to their streaming site.
In addition to pre-recorded workouts, the trainers also hosted Zoom classes seven days a week to replicate the in-person experience. It looks a little different than they anticipated, but Marissa and Heidi’s favorite part of operating a business together has been opening and then re-opening the doors of their new studio.
Despite gym closings and limited class sizes, West Kept Secret has gained popularity, resulting in a growing waitlist for personal training, and competitive sign-ups for weekly classes. To accommodate new clients and waitlists, Marissa and Heidi hired eight new trainers, including their first male instructor, to help. They’re seeing more interest from male and female clients of all ages and fitness levels. “We strive to make our studio a welcoming atmosphere for all,” they explain. “We want to make sure our clients have the premier experience.”
They attribute this influx of clientele and continued success to current customers who encourage friends to sign up after seeing their own visible results. Furthermore, pop-up classes at local retailers, fitness festivals around the city, and donated training sessions at charity auctions have also helped them reach different audiences and maintain growth. West Kept Secret loves the organic growth from word-of-mouth recommendations. They hope to meet new customers at the start of the new season.