Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alumnae Reshape Their Bodies, Careers and Communities

When alumnae Katelyn Lippert '08 and Brook Nash '03 discovered that they could combine their love of dancing with physical fitness, they knew they had to bring Pure Barre franchises to their cities.

Pure Barre is a total body workout using the ballet bar. Students use isometric movements to quickly and safely reshape the body, creating, long lean muscles. The workout is known to lift your seat, tone your thighs, and burn fat impressively fast, all to great music.

Brook, who worked in public health, discovered the workout after the birth of her children. “I needed to shed the baby weight. I was no longer able to jog [due to a knee injury] and needed something low impact,” she said. From her first workout, she fell in love with Pure Barre, “nothing has transformed my body as much as Pure Barre,” she said.

Katelyn Lippert '08 with her sister, Alex,
at their Pure Barre in Wilmington, NC
Katelyn, a recruiter with a human resources background, was introduced to Pure Barre by her sister and business partner, Alexandra O'Rourke. “We both danced for most of our lives, and the workout was addicting,” said Katelyn. “We quickly fell in love and thought Wilmington would be the perfect location for a Pure Barre.”

Both Brook and Katelyn took leaps into becoming small business owners and opened their own Pure Barre locations in Savannah, GA and Wilmington, NC, respectively. “I saw a gap in the Savannah fitness community and thought the women here would really appreciate the workout,” said Brook.

“Opening your own business is a huge venture, it will consume your life but if you have a strong plan and good support you will be successful,” said Katelyn.

Brook Nash '03 in front of her Pure Barre
in Savannah, GA
“First, make sure you love it,” said Brook. “As an owner, even with the help of many, it is totally consuming, but the passion you have for your business or product will get you through the 14 hour days.”

Brook and Katelyn also carried many lessons and experiences from UNCW through their journey to become entrepreneurs. Katelyn ’08 used the Cameron School of Business’s annual Business Week to practice her networking skills and give back to the university. “I enjoy coming back to Cameron and speaking with the students about life after the classroom," she said. "I actually received my first job as a result of Business Week.”

Brook had a mentor, UNCW professor Dr. Michael Perko, whose lessons translated well into her efforts as new business woman. “What I learned from him is more of a life lesson on overcoming perfectionism. No one’s perfect and as long as you try your hardest that is all anyone can ask for,” she said.

UNCW Alumni Relations/Shannon Rodenheiser '11

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