Nashville Voyager: Community Highlights: Meet Ashlye Fleming of BODYROK

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashlye Fleming.

Hi Ashlye, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I found BODYROK when I lived in San Francisco back in 2012. I was having coffee with a friend, and was noticing how toned her arms were, so I asked what she was up to. She took me to my first class and within 2 minutes, I decided it was NOT for me! I was a fitness junkie, loved group classes, and was an athlete growing up, but this was CRAZY. I finished the class and thought I would never return.

That night, I felt sore in all the right places. I felt stronger somehow, after just one class. By the following day, I couldn’t WAIT to go back again. It was an addiction. Within 2 months, I felt stronger and more toned than I ever had in my life. I am injury prone, and tend to always have aches and pains, and this workout literally took those things away. It challenged me in a really fun, exciting way. I loved the results, the energy, and the way I could get the workout done so quickly and go straight to work without even needing a shower.

A few years later, my husband and I had a newborn baby girl and I was living and working in a small town in Sonoma County, CA called Petaluma. I could not get my pre-baby body back, and I couldn’t find a workout I enjoyed as much as BODYROK, but I didn’t want to commute the 40 minutes to San Francisco. I emailed Jake, the founder of BODYROK, and begged him to put one in the North Bay. He said, “Why don’t you do it?”.

The seed was planted, and having had a strong business background and MBA, I got to work making a business plan- completely just for fun, with no intention of leaving my very stable job as a marketing manager for Athleta. My husband and I did not come from money and we were both very risk-averse, and sort of struggling to make a life for ourselves. I applied for a small business loan and to my surprise, I got it, but again, no intention of pursuing this crazy idea.

The day AFTER I got the small business loan, Gap Inc. announced they were moving Athleta HQ from Petaluma to San Francisco. This would be a 45-minute commute for me, and the way the bus schedule was operating, I would only see my baby girl on the weekends. This was in 2016, before working from home was a thing. I told my manager on the spot that this wasn’t going to work.

I went home and asked my husband “Would you rather me open a BODYROK, or be a stay-at-home mom.” He said, “I think we will make more money if you stay home.” I said, “Cool. I’m gonna open it”.

BODYROK Petaluma was my first studio and an instant success. I created it because I selfishly wanted the workout, but what I found is that I had created a magical community and space where people could take a break from their day, do something for themselves, and create lasting friendships and memories. I was blown away by what it became.

In 2021, we decided to sell the studio and move our family (now of 5) cross country to Nashville. Our hearts felt a huge pull to Nashville for lots of reasons, and we thought it would be a great place to open another studio…

And here we are! We opened in March 2022 and the magic is back in a big way. We feel so lucky to be living in such an awesome town and to have met so many wonderful people already. We are planning to open our next studio in Brentwood TN this summer.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I doubt anyone has ever said opening up a business has been a smooth road, but ours was maybe smoother than most.

Besides the fear of losing every dollar we had, we were welcomed when we opened in both locations. In our first studio, in Petaluma, CA., it was harder to get clients at first, so I would host free private group class parties. I couldn’t afford much staff so I was teaching 30+ classes a week, doing these parties at night all summer long. I ended up giving myself pneumonia because I was working so hard.

This was all in addition to running the business, sales, marketing, scheduling, client relationship management, keeping the studio clean, and bookkeeping. I remember I would do a deep clean on the studio every morning at 5 am, and while I was mopping I would just be smiling, knowing that I found my true passion.

In Nashville, the struggle was finding the perfect space.

We looked for nine months before we figured that out. Real estate here was scarce and SO expensive (we were surprised!). We didn’t have to do a new build the first time around so that was another hard thing. Hiring an architect, waiting for permits, missing shipping deadlines, contractor deadlines, etc.

Being in a pandemic was just another challenge to mitigate. I remember last December as we were (we thought) VERY close to opening, there was that huge COVID peak, and thinking “Uhhhh, I thought we were past this, shoot, no one will want to work out together!”

We had lots of hiccups with the build-out, waited seven months for our sign, and it will probably be about a year before we get the light system that we are supposed to have in place! All well worth it though!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about BODYROK Nashville?
BODYROK is a boutique fitness studio specializing in Pilates-style reformer workouts.

Our classes are 40 minutes and are taught on the custom BODYROK reformer (which is like an amped-up classical reformer). We theme our classes throughout the week based on the body parts we are hitting the hardest, although all classes are full-body workouts.

BODYROK offers high-intensity, low-impact classes that are results-oriented. Our studio is beautiful and modern, and our music is loud, but most importantly, when you walk in, you’ll step into a caring community full of a team that cannot wait to meet you and help you reach your fitness goals. We are known for our addictive group classes. The most common thing we hear from clients is “I didn’t even know I HAD these muscles.”

BODYROK is special because of the smaller class sizes than other boutique studios. With 12-14 clients at a time, our team can really get to know you as a person.

We offer hands-on adjustments and can safely guide a class through a pretty intense workout because we have eyes on you at all times. The other really cool thing is due to the small class sizes, and shorter class times, we are able to offer a LOT more classes during the day. We are already offering 60 classes a week and growing, so we can cater to a lot of different schedules!

I am most proud to be involved in a company where I truly believe in what we are doing. The mental and physical benefits of this workout are unparalleled, and it’s so fun to be a part of that. I would love readers to know that our classes are ALL LEVELS! I know we have a reputation for being “hard”, and that’s the point.

It’s hard for beginners, it’s hard for those who have done it for years. It’s what keeps us strong. But we all start somewhere, and we can customize the workout for each person’s fitness level. We have modifications and springs to make the same workout more supportive or more challenging so that even in a group of 12, people are each hitting their own edge.

We also offer lots of different membership options based on your lifestyle, schedule, and body. We of course sell individual classes and packs (and have some great introductory specials), but for a better value, we offer memberships of 4x/8x/12x/and unlimited classes per month!

What’s next?
We are opening up our second Nashville location in Brentwood this summer! It’s at 782 Old Harding Place St. 205, right next to the Target. And plans for a 3rd location are also underway.

Article originally published by Nashville Voyager. Full article here.

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