Tell us the story of how and why you started your company.
The Fitness Club market has grown steadily over the past 10 years, and the fastest growing segment in this market is the Boutique Group Fitness Market, which has grown exponentially while traditional full-service fitness clubs have struggled. Alchemy’s founders honed their skills in the competitive group fitness space by launching the first CrossFit gyms in the Twin Cities in 2009, building the largest CrossFit business in the Upper Midwest, Union Fitness.
Seeing great growth and great physical and mental change with their clients, the founders identified a gap in the marketplace they wanted to fill. That gap was somewhere in between the raw and intense CrossFit segment of the market, and the softer and zen-like yoga market. Current offerings in the boutique group fitness space consist of extremely focused products, like yoga, pilates, CrossFit, spinning, etc. The problem with these offerings, however, is that as customers seek a well rounded and effective program, they end up going to multiple places for their fitness needs and miss an opportunity for a holistic fitness approach.
To keep customers coming back, our competitors have begun offering non-core classes – for example, many CrossFit gyms now offer yoga classes in an attempt to balance their programs. Because these offerings have moved away from our competitors’ core products, they inevitably lack the focus and excellence that have given them success. A complete fitness program involves 1) strength training, 2) conditioning, and 3) recovery and mobility training. Alchemy offers these elements within its core classes, providing a superior and complete fitness program that cannot be matched by its competitors.
What’s your most recent success or milestone hit?
We opened our first location in the North Loop on March 1,2015. In March of 2016 we hit our goal revenue numbers for an optimized Alchemy location that we laid out before we launched. Hitting these numbers in our first year were a huge milestone for us, telling us we have a model that we can replicate with additional locations. We just opened our second location in December 2015, in Northeast Minneapolis as well.
Where do you see your startup in 1 year?
In a year we see Alchemy, having two optimized studios, one additional studio that we will open up this fall/winter, and an additional Minneapolis studio plus our first studio opening in a new market in 2017.