TYPE OF BUSINESS: Fitness studio and athletic apparel store.
HOURS OF OPERATION: Classes are offered throughout the day, seven days a week. Retail store hours are also during the day.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: Seven.
ARE YOU HIRING? We are fully staffed at this point.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO OPEN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? “My sister, who lives in Atlanta, started teaching Barre classes in 2012, and I was so impressed with the effectiveness of this style of workout,” Kristen Ullrich said in an email. “I had been in the corporate world for years working for Forrester Research as an account director, but my passion has been always been health and fitness. And while at Forrester, I went through two yoga trainings and attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Although I’m a yoga instructor, our area already has an abundance of great yoga studios. With Barre, I saw an opportunity to bring something new and different to our community. And the decision to include athletic apparel was a natural extension of the studio. It also filled a void, since there is no place around us offering high-end fitness clothing.”
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS AREA? “My mom, Margaret Keil (formerly Margaret Misisco), is from Westerly. Although my childhood was spent in Connecticut, we grew up coming here almost every weekend. My parents moved back to Westerly in the mid ’90s, and my husband and I moved here from Boston five years ago — we wanted our children, Ava, 6, and Keil, 5, to grow up close to family. Merchants Square was a perfect location for us. We have a large street-facing unit to accommodate both the studio and the retail/reception area, there is plenty of parking and we are centrally located and easily accessible to surrounding towns. We also have a huge influx of summer visitors, many of whom are familiar with Barre since it is so popular in cities. And on a special note, my grandparents Joe and Rose Misisco, are both buried in St. Sebastian’s, right next door. I knew from the moment I stepped foot in the space that here was where we should be. They are watching over me ... ”
BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: “Our goal at BarreCode is to create a fun and welcoming environment where all levels are welcome. We are a family-oriented business. At any time you may see Matt, the kids or my mom, “Margie,” or dad, “Juergie,” helping out. And of course, Bear, our golden retriever, is almost always with me behind the counter, jumping up to greet every person who comes through the door!”
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS? Barre is accessible for all levels, ages and genders! The exercises are challenging yet variations can be incorporated so that if you have an injury or you are just starting out, the class is manageable. Our teachers, Hilllari Gervasini, Leanne Tria and Susan Connelly, are all experienced instructors and have done an incredible job in these first few weeks of helping students feel comfortable and get acclimated to this form of exercise. Matt and I are so excited to be a part of the community and we invite you all to stop by and visit and say hello! Your first class is always free.
— If you have recently opened a new business or have a grand opening scheduled, let us know at 860-495-8270 or email Business@thewesterlysun.com.