We chat with Sarah, the Founder of boutique Pilates Studio Recover Wellbeing here on the Gold Coast and also their recently launched premium Online Community which includes tutorials, recipes and a private forum to keep you connected and inspired.
She is an experienced and knowledgable Pilates Instructor having worked in the industry for 6 years and specialises in lymphoedema treatments.
Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to get into the Pilates industry and begin your career?
I’m 27 years old and live in Currumbin on the Gold Coast. I love my family, friends, animals, food, having fun and just enjoying life as much as possible.
As a young girl I wanted to be an actress! I was pretty confident and outgoing. As I grew older and my brother was involved in a terrible car accident I became inspired to get into healthcare.
At 14 I got diagnosed with scoliosis and my numerous injuries and pain with playing sports started to make sense. At 16 I started going to Pilates to correct my scoliosis. I had the most incredible instructor. He became my friend and mentor and encouraged me to get into Pilates as a career. I had seen the benefits of Pilates change my own body and life so I wanted to share that with others.
So at 22 I finished both a degree in Occupational Therapy and my diploma of Professional Studio Pilates. I worked both jobs for a few years both in a hospital and studio environment. I learned a lot and I’m so grateful for that time but it really showed me what I wanted from my life and career. I’m not someone who can thrive in a 9-5 or hospital environment and my mental health wasn’t in great shape. I was specialising in lymphoedema and seeing women post breast cancer and I knew that my biggest contribution and ability to achieve outcomes for them was in the studio environment. So for me, that meant opening my own studio and leaving the hospital. Recover Wellbeing was born in 2016 and I’ve never looked back. I have my dream job, work my dream hours and it’s not always easy but I can honestly say that I absolutely love my work and my life and my mental health has never been better.
Tell us about your recently launched online community:
To be honest I was never the biggest fan of online videos. The biggest benefits come from having someone guide and adjust you in person but what I came to realise is that benefits also require consistency and not everyone either has the time or money to get to a studio consistently. So that’s when I decided to create an online platform. It’s our community of knowledge, Pilates classes, tutorials, support and healthy recipes taken online so that anyone, anywhere has the access they need to support their wellbeing goals.
Tell us the best part about your job:
Our client family! I’m a ‘people person’ and I just love working with people and helping them achieve their goals. It gives me such a kick to know that I can help benefit somebody and the clients I work with are so kind and lovely, I feel like I get just as much out of our encounters as they do.
At Femme we are all about moving our bodies with purpose and being conscious of our movement. Tell us some of your rituals and how you #movewithpurpose on a daily basis:
I like to stretch first thing every morning. Nothing too structured or fancy but it just brings energy into my body and helps me connect with my mind and breath for the day.
I’m always pretty mindful of my movements and posture throughout the day (thank you Pilates!) but I’ve recently become more aware of just how much my posture, body language and breath affects my energetic body and what I attract in that moment. So, conscious breathing and posture is vital, it shapes my mental wellbeing and if I’m stooped, rushing around or sitting with bad posture it compromises that.
What are your future goals for Recover Wellbeing?
I’m not about building an empire or world domination – I value my work/life balance too much for that now! For me, I want to keep supporting and growing the community we have. I want to reach more people of course but I’m so grateful for what we have already created, I would like to see the integrity in that continue into the future.
What’s the most challenging thing you have found in your career so far?
Learning how to create boundaries has probably been my biggest challenge in my career and life so far. I tend to take things to heart, have trouble saying no and in the past have taken on a lot of burdens that weren’t mine to carry. I think this is pretty common in women especially, and for our survival and ability to give to people long term, it’s super important to create boundaries for self preservation.
What’s the best advice you have been given on your business journey?
I’ve got a couple of pretty great mentors in my life and I think one of my greatest strengths learned from them is how to learn and grow from setbacks rather than allowing them to be roadblocks. Every one has set backs in life and business, and sometimes sh*t happens, but for me it’s about finding the lesson and blessing in these times that creates strength and a strategy to keep moving forwards. Someone also once told me that ‘it’s fine to quit, but never quit on a bad day’. I’ll always remember that.
What are your favourite items from the Femme Collection?
Number 1 is the bamboo crop, I absolutely love it! The support is perfect, so flattering and I love the simple elegance. Number 2 would have to be the grey bamboo tank which I normally wear over the top. It’s so comfortable, soft and the best part, no ironing!
What’s your number 1 Pilates hack we should know about?
I don’t know that there is a hack to Pilates! It’s about mind/body connection and being conscious of your movements so there is no easy way out of Pilates haha… but I will say this, Pilates should inform you and shape the way you move your body throughout your WHOLE day, not just while your in the studio. The quickest and best long term outcomes I see for people are those that take the Pilates principles of movement and apply it to their everyday lifestyle.
What message would you like to share with other women?
It sounds cliche but I would say follow your dreams/passions and don’t give up. Use your setbacks as lessons not roadblocks. Create a lifestyle that you’re happy to live every day, not just weekends. It is possible to do what you absolutely love and make a living from it. I think as women it’s important that we work together, collaborate and lift each other up, there’s so much power in that and there is room at the top for everyone. Life is way too short to conform to the daily grind.
In your spare time, what would we find you doing?
I’m usually a pretty busy person so in my spare time I like to relax and enjoy the small moments. I like spending time by the water and socialising with friends. I love good food and cooking. My partner is a great musician and I love to listen to him play guitar. It’s all about the little things for me.