Carly Goidosik never thought of herself as an athlete. In fact, watching her brothers and cousins play a slew of games only made her more certain sports weren’t her thing. Dance, cheerleading and gymnastics helped her feel more connected to her body. But it wasn’t until the now-owner of Birmingham, MI, barre studio The Dailey Method took Pilates that movement truly felt fantastic. It sparked her love of movement, and more importantly, her fascination with how the body works.
In college at Michigan State, she majored in kinesiology, rebelling against her small-business-owner parents who aimed for her to study business. But, after college, her then boyfriend (now husband) moved with her to Chicago, where the Michigan native worked in corporate sales—even though she didn’t enjoy it. Three months and 15 pounds later, she knew it wasn’t for her.
With his encouragement, Goidosik tried to identify her true passion. In the meantime, a nannying job ended up being the key: When her boss suggested she try a boutique Pilates studio for a month, she jumped at the chance. Little did she know, it was barre studio: The Dailey Method in La Grange, IL. She instantly loved the movement built through a solid foundation of kinesiology.
Soon, Goidosik moved from the front desk at the studio to the teacher-training program and then on to becoming a teacher. Eventually, she became lead teacher, even stepping up to teach other instructors. The 26-year-old’s mentor, the studio owner, believed in her to such an extent that she said Goidosik would one day own a studio. Even though there were excuses like age, finances and a saturated Chicago market, deep down, Goidosik wanted it to be true.
In 2012, Goidosik first said she’d open a studio. And after moving to Birmingham, Michigan, in January 2013, she did just that. While she still teaches four to five classes a week, six years after starting, she’s spending most of her time managing and leading her team, guiding clients and driving her overall vision forward. Below, the thoughtful entrepreneur chats with SBS about creating that internal and external alignment, as well as how to slow down and focus for better results—in the studio, in business and beyond.
SBS: What drew you to The Dailey Method out of all barre brands?
Carly Goidosik: It’s the mindful component, hands down. The drive toward a strong mind-body connection made me fall in love with it, and it continues to make me love the product. We are focused on alignment, connecting to your muscles before you move, and that’s different than a lot of other exercise that just push you to move immediately. That’s increasingly important in our culture today, and it’s unique in the group workout world, especially in barre.
SBS: What does your studio offer, and how is it unique as a barre studio?
CG: Our signature barre class is a fusion of Pilates, yoga and orthopedic exercises combined with more athletic moves. It’s rhythmic, fun and upbeat, but in reference to other studios in the barre world, it’s slower and more mindful. We encourage alignment first, engagement of muscles second and then movement. We set everyone up on the beat, but then we encourage everyone to make the hour their own. So if they begin to lose the alignment or engagement of the muscles, we encourage them to slow down or hold. Some people will move to the beat and others learn to listen to the body. They can learn to slow down and pause: There’s a lot of power in stillness, and that’s encouraged.
We also offer more rhythmic, faster, interval-fusion classes. They still align with the brand, focusing on alignment and mindful movement, but it also gives people that cardio component. Then, we offer a basic class that’s great for beginners, a gentle class, and recently, we brought in Dailey Meditation and Dailey Release. Dailey Release is 20 minutes of myofascial release, 20 minutes of deep stretching and five minutes of meditation. These last two are great compliments to barre.
SBS: How are some ways this mindfulness play into the larger environment?
CG: The number one thing people say they love about our studio, and I believe company-wide, is that when you walk in the door, you’re greeted with a smile, as well as a warm and welcoming environment. No matter what’s going on in your life, no matter what body type you have, you are welcome!
Then, we have childcare to cater to our mom demographic, and we try to make our moms’ lives as easy as possible. Mom-ing can be really hard: I know because I have two toddler boys! Our childcare is not only available, but more importantly, we are mindful in how we structure it, just like everything in the studio. It’s not just throwing a bunch of kids in there: The toys they play with are more engaging toys, and we have a loose toddler curriculum, which includes limited screen time. That’s important to moms. They get time to themselves but don’t have to feel guilty about how their children spend their time.
We are also mindful of the brands we carry in retail boutique, from non-toxic beauty products, as well as items from women-owned companies. We support other women’s businesses.
SBS: What are the challenges and benefits to this mindful approach to fitness?
CG: People want to move, and that’s the momentum they spin on all day long. It takes time to get them to buy into slowing down and the idea of bringing your mind into your body. As an instructor and studio owner, the more positive you can be in that experience, the better. I try things like saying, ‘Feel the power of stillness,’ ‘Often times, when you slow down you feel more,’ or ‘There’s power in stillness, in a hold.’ Then, we’ll talk about how to feel the elongation of your spine, and how you can feel your abdominals wrap in deeper. You should see better results, and you should feel more. If you keep your muscles engaged, you require less reps.
In all those ways, you keep it positive to earn the buy-in to the idea. It’s not for everyone all the time, and it’s important to recognize that, as well as your niche in the market. If you really enjoy moving and not thinking, we might not be the right fit for you, and that’s really powerful as an owner. You decide, this is what we believe in and this is what we’re doing, but it’s ok if it’s not for you! We have a lot of great relationships with other boutique studio owners in our fitness community, and we can refer people.
SBS: What was it like to transition from teacher to owner? What parts of being a teacher were helpful, and what did you have to shift?
CG: As a studio owner, it’s my job to really understand the product, believe in it, sell it and push it forward. So, I’m glad I have that organic transition from teacher to owner, where I already know that.
But, as a teacher, I’m a technician. I do the thing. As a business owner, it’s a completely different role, and it requires a different mindset and set of skills. When I was the technician, I was really just focused on teaching a great class and connecting with students. Now as studio owner, I have to manage and lead people, develop skills and build relationships, all while managing different personalities. I have to figure out: What makes each person on my team motivated? What makes them tick? I need to really be able to connect to needs on that level as a manager.
And as an owner, nobody will worry about keeping the lights on—or turning them off—except for you. I had to expand my perspective from teaching a great class to thinking about expenses and making sure I’m being responsible. I have to make sure I have my prices at the right place so I can get enough memberships to cover expenses and pay payroll. And, I have to continue to invest in training and development so classes move forward and people feel they are getting the support they need to be their best. All that costs money. I was never focused on the money before. I still love connecting with students, but my world has opened up to worrying about finances, budgets and my team as a whole.
SBS: How has your wellness routine changed since opening the studio?
CG: I started the business and then had two children—all within three or four years. It was a lot! So, with that, I would say I now take my responsibility in my wellness journey much more seriously. If I’m sick or depleted energetically, it’s a domino effect. I need to show up as my best self because if I’m depleted, it affects everyone around me.
More than two years ago, I had panic attacks, and both of my boys were in the car when it happened. I broke out in an autoimmune rash for 18 months as a result of over-working myself and not caring for myself inside out. I went through a rude awakening, and I was forced by the universe to start practicing what I preached: to fill my cups first. I’m still healing. I always cared for my physical health and set aside time for workouts and nourishing food. But I was neglecting my mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.
SBS: What practices did you put in place to take care of these aspects?
CG: I had to develop inside-out wellness rituals. Now, I wake up an hour or hour-and-a-half before everyone else to meditate (between 15 and 45 minutes). Then, I write in my gratitude journal: I identify one area of my life I’m grateful for, and five reasons why I’m grateful. I also read a lot of spiritual books and go to church regularly. But the meditation and gratitude journal are the strong foundation.
Carly’s Michigan Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Loya Organic
Splurge Restaurant: The Apparatus Room in Detroit
Fitness Studios: Core Revolution
Yoga: Citizen Yoga
Nightlife Spot: The Fillmore in Detroit for concerts, or Mary Donnelly’s Public House (they have karaoke!)
Fun Activity: Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit
Calming Activity: Paddle-boarding on Sylvan Lake
Online Resource: anatomy4fitness.com
Book: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Carly's SBS Mantra: Be authentic. If we could just all focus on what we do well and what makes us uniquely us, the world would shine so much brighter.
The best, zaniest part of being Carly: I love with my whole heart, and I’m super passionate about leaving the world a better place than when I came in.