Discussion #4142

Balanced Body Resources

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On May 26, 2020, we talked to Ken Endelman, the Founder of Balanced Body, to learn about what is happening with the company and the trends he is seeing within the PIlates community. He talks about the Pilates Around the World Event that is raising money for Unicef's COVID-19 relief efforts in addition to the steps they are taking to support the industry.

Links and Resources

- Pilates Around the World Registration

- Vinyl Loop Covers

- Garmin Article

What You'll Need: No props needed

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May 28, 2020
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Welcome everybody. Today, my guest on the show is Ken Endelman. Ken Endelman is the founder of Balanced Body. And I think there's not much really we can talk about Balanced Body and Ken. Ken has been a key part of the Pilates industry, really since it pretty much began nearly 40 years ago.

So, I'm not talking about Joseph here, but I'm talking about another more modern times. So super excited having you on the show. So Ken, what has happened with you and Balanced Body since, I don't know when we consider the beginning of this, March the 13th or something. What's been happening? It's been.. It went from being great.

Business was nice. We were happy, satisfied with stuff too. There was like two weeks in a row where we thought we were gonna have to shut down. We were like planning on like, what was gonna happen when we got the car? We wouldn't have to shut down and start calling customers and say, we can't ship your stuff.

And so I started this long process of just calling everybody, including some federal agencies to find out what it would take to stay open. And they all sent us back to basically the County of Sacramento. And when I got back to the County, the County said, "well, we don't want you to shut down "and we want you to stay open, "but we want you to follow the rules", And I said, what's the rules? And they said, "keep the public out, keep safe distancing, "and send as many people home as you possibly can". And so that's what we did.

So you walk around the offices here and there's nobody here. There's like six people when there was like 60 people here. And then we spread everybody out into the lounge, into the shop and put some people on night shift, and spread everybody out. And we're all wearing masks now. We weren't wearing masks before because we were telling us not to.

And we kept the doors open. It was pretty scary. So now our businesses shifted a little bit and we're getting more home users buying equipment and less studios, although we're starting to see the studio business pick up a little bit now. Just we don't know if it's a glitch or if it's really gonna happen. It's starting to grow, and all things considered I think we're doing pretty good.

Not as good as I'd like, but a lot better than I expect. That's fantastic. Has anybody in your community had the Corona virus? It's really funny, I know customers that had Corona in New York, and we haven't had down spiral. We haven't had a single case of Corona virus here.

We've had people going out for testing, we've had people kind of on temporary quarantine and stuff because they're just afraid. But all the tests come back negative. So we've been just unbelievably lucky. We know that that time is going to come, yeah, but so far we're lucky. And the funny thing about this whole deal is that we have all these people that we sent home.

And they think they're the ones that are safe. And that they're going to come back and we're gonna jam them up. But we're all worried about the people coming back. They're gonna jam us up. (laughing) It just kind of feeds into the uncertainty of how insane things are right now.

It's just all psychological. For Pilates Anytime we've been out since March the 11th and people are working from home, and we're filming in people's homes. So yeah, we've been doing the social distancing. And when we film in somebody's home, the teacher sets up the camera and does all those things. We have nobody behind the scenes doing anything.

I think people are gonna catch it somewhere within their community rather than hopefully within our work environment. We're doing our best to keep everybody really safe. It's really interesting to me though, to see how people are just doing whatever it takes, whatever they need to do, in order to keep doing as many things as they possibly can. And just how creative they are in terms of making things happen. It's just kind of amazing.

And the things that I wouldn't have even thought about, like going on virtual double dates and things like that. People are doing stuff like that. And it sounds kind of crazy at first, but when it's all you got, you make it work and it turns out to be a great thing. I've had some dinner parties with my partner and I, and we have the laptop on the dining room table, and we just have dinner with people, it's fabulous. It's nuts, but it's good.

It's a good thing. And in some ways I ended up connecting with people that I haven't really knew, cause they're not local. They're not here in Los Angeles. They're all over the world. And it's been good for some relationships.

I still say I'm very lonely. I'd much rather be with people in the normal sense, but-- I miss the hugs. I really miss the hugs. The tough part. You can't just like, I love you John, you can't do that.

No, I know. I'm just kinda thinking about, have you spotted some trends that are going on within the Pilates industry? Kind of through the orders that you're getting? Is people doing different things? Are you seeing a move towards home workouts?

Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of people are doing.. I mean our business has shifted from the studios to home users, and they're buying lots of small props, lots of balls and rings, and things that have weights in them. We're selling a lot of our reformers to people that are using them in their homes. A lot of people are doing online classes on their reformers. We're seeing that.

We're seeing a lot of instructors that are teaching online, cause that's all they could do right now. We're seeing people that are already in the studios, that are doing a combination of online and try and open up their studios. And so we'll see how that works. But one thing that I was thinking about the other day as I was reading an article that was put up by Garmin, and they track how much exercise people are doing on their apps. And in the article they were talking about how people are doing about 12% less exercise on their apps, but they're actually doing about 20% work exercise in general.

So they're finding ways to exercise. So people, I mean to me, the important thing here is that people are understanding how important it is to exercise. And now people are just finding out ways that they can do it. So if we can find out more people that will do Pilates, then I think ultimately we'll get more people into Pilates studios. This is a such a shakeup for a lot of people.

The things that I'm enjoying about this is not commuting. I get that time back everyday by not going to the office. It did really.. I enjoy being in the studio. I enjoy the movement of being in a Pilates class with other people, and using reformers and those sorts of things. Is there a particular reformer that people are buying for home use?

It's difficult to say because we were assigned to the DIQs, which is a small collapsible reformer. People like it cause it'll slide under the bed, it will slide into a closet sideways. But then we sold all of them almost immediately, within like two weeks of COVID. So you can't buy it right now, and we're just getting it back into stock. We're just kind of building our supply chain.

It's been kind of nuts for us because we were able to stay open, but our suppliers, not all of them could stay open. And so we were having glitches in our supplies and then plus our product mix shifted. So people started ordering stuff that we didn't normally have. Like IQs, we would normally sell a certain number of IQs a month and now we're selling like five X IQ. So that means all the way down the line, and anyone who was making these parts for us, has to do five times what they were doing.

In a normal time, that's not a tough thing. But if all of a sudden now you've got like 20% absenteeism, because of COVID, or you're shut down because of COVID, now all of a sudden, what are you going to do? You want the business but you can't supply. And so we have to just kind of deal with these shortages and stuff. So we're selling just a ton of studio reformers to keep people to work in their houses.

And now we also available too. So it's kind of what people want, and they're buying pretty much what they use in a studio. A lot of our customers can afford to buy a reformer for their own house, and a lot of them have the space. So they do it. Here in Los Angeles, my apartment does not have the space.

But maybe as we all begin to work more virtually, perhaps I can move out of the big city, and have a little bit more space. Who knows what's gonna happen. Who knows? I mean coop people up in their houses and you give them time to think, and you give them a new set of factors to think about, and what comes out of it, We don't know. We're all gonna find this out.

It's not going back to the same. That's, I will guarantee you things are going to be a little bit different. I think so, I think you're right. It's like, I know it's not gonna be the same, cause things are never the same. But I also think that, people..

There's a huge communal aspect of doing Pilates and there's that interaction, and there's that. And I think people are gonna really look for reasons to get out of the house pretty soon, right? So going to a studio might be a great alternative for them. Or you might be, you may be tired of standing in lines at Whole Foods, or the market. And you might wanna just go someplace where you can just be with your friends.

So I think that there's a possibility, that people may be just longing for the experience of going to a studio. I had a dinner last night with friends. We went to their backyard, and we had a picnic in the backyard of their house. And we brought our food and they had theirs. And we tried to stay six feet apart.

Totally ready for some in person company. In the backyard together or over the fence? No, they live a couple of miles away. So they have quite a nice backyard. So we're in their backyard.

We're cool. But you're separated by about six feet. But it was just fun, it was nice to meet. So pretty soon we'll just.. People will start getting back together, but they'll take the computers with them to the other person's house where they're going to go visit.

And even though you'll be like six feet apart, you'll be on your computer and the other person will be on their computer six feet ahead on the other side of the table. And you can still talk to your computer so you can solve that experience, but then you'll have more of a face to face time experience. I can totally imagine that. (laughing) So for everybody's benefit here, talk about what is Pilates around the world? Where did the idea come from?

How can they take part in it? Cool, so the idea actually came from Al Harrison, and he saw this movie called "Scrooged" and it was a comedy, I guess where they probably take off, but it was basically a Christmas around the world thing. And then from talking to Nora, John, I heard that Al was talking to you about this idea. And then things started to evolve or ideate out of control somehow. So, I think part of this actually came from you, how this whole whole thing worked.

But it kind of turned out to be like, okay, well let's do Pilates around the world. And we were kind of trying to figure out a way to have, cause we can't do Pilates on tours right now cause all the ones in the immediate future have been canceled. We're trying to figure out a way where we can work with our community. But the thing was about Pilates Around the World is that we realized that this whole COVID thing is a global problem. And so it's a global experience.

And so it's not just that we're experienced it in Sacramento or you guys in LA, or in New York and stuff, but it's almost probably every single country in the world. Everyone's dealing with this. And all of our customers all around the world are dealing with this. So we're trying to have kind of a realm of world global recognition and global experience for our community. And also the other thing is that, I really wanted to do something where we could treat it as kind of an opportunity to give back.

And sort of have to contribute the money to charity. Cause I thought that.. I mean I clearly enjoy working and I enjoy getting compensated, and I don't mind making money for the work that we do. But it just seemed to be, this would be a great opportunity to really help people get better at what they're doing. And at the same time helping charities.

So 100% of the proceeds are going to go to UNICEF for Pilates Around the World. That's every single penny is gonna go. And Balanced Body and Pilates Anytime, we're gonna cover cover the expenses. So it really kind of a really good thing to participate in this, and to sign up and we're really looking forward to it. Cool.

So there's a couple of people on the call, that are gonna be part of the 24 hours. And so I'm really hoping this is not rehearsed. I didn't know we were going to do this. Hoping that these two ladies have their pants on. So I'm gonna ask Amy to join and I see Elizabeth Larkam here.

And if you'd like to join us, be great. And perhaps I can share a little bit about what they'll be their particular classes, that they're doing. So I've just invited Amy Havens, Elizabeth Larkam to join us. Elizabeth. I'm putting on my pants.

I forgot, maybe I should too. (laughing) Elizabeth, what are you teaching on Friday? Okay, Friday I'm going to do lots of planks. We're doing front plank, side planks, back planks, and it's all about using the.. organizing the thorax, getting the rib cage ready to support up slight plank flow. Hi Amy.

Good to see you. Hey guys. Do you have your pants on Amy? Do I have my pants on? I have my Pilates nerd pink Cadillac shirt on.

So Amy I believe you're leading the four Palates Anytime all stars. What are you ladies gonna be up to? I am leading. I feel grateful and honored to be the leader on the start of the morning workout. So my intention to start..

So it's myself, it's Maria Lioni, It's Courtney Miller and Tracy mallet. The four of us each get a 15 minute spot. And each of us have our own little formula that we're doing. My intention is to ground everyone, bring everyone in, get that energy that's kind of floating and circulating, and kinetic all out there into here now, that moment that morning, and get the breath going, get it going. And just get into some basic spinal articulation, some flow, just blood flow.

Nothing crazy intense. I'm leaving it to those three ladies. But my intention is the grounding part and getting people centered. And I'm really excited to take that on. So, and then pass it to Maria, she's the next one.

And then, yeah, we're all very excited. So this is, I guess on the call here is almost the California crew for the 24 hours. Where else in the world are you having teachers from Ken? So we got teachers from 14 different countries, five different continents. And we're going all the way from Korea to to South America, to Brazil, Spain, UK, US, just just kind of all over.

And we're gonna have one person do a class every 24 hours, sorry not every 24 hours It's gonna really be a long event. It's gonna be hour. And then in between the hours it's gonna be Nora and Al, and me, and Joy are gonna introduce the last person and talk about the next person coming up. And then do some kind of a shtick, cause you know, we have to figure out how to have fun. And then it's going to be kind of an endurance, cause we all four going gonna stay awake for the whole whole time.

How are you gonna do that? Are you're gonna sleep in your office? (laughing) That won't be the first time. (laughing) Could be here. We'll figure out a way to do this here, but I am gonna bring my clothes, I hear John, there's gonna be a dance party.

Yeah, so Pilates Anytime, as many people who have been to the PMA conferences know, Amy and I kind of host a dance party. So we're having a dance party from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Pacific daylight time, and that's included in the whole package. The pricing is $24 for the whole of 24 hours with the Pilates. And as Ken said it's all going to charity. So please join us.

For the dance party, we're doing 60's, 70's, 80's, dance music. If you wanna get your fancy clothes, get those costumes. We'll be having a great time and really encourage people to join us. So Jia, can I ask you to put in the link one more time, into the chat, just where you sign up. It's on the Balanced Body website.

Really, really hoping that folks would join us. Before Elizabeth and Amy leave us here. Elizabeth, do you have a piece of advice or a final comment before you leave? Well, yes I do. I've been hearing rumors for weeks, that there's a special set of Balanced Body pajamas, so balanced body..

(laughing) And I wanna know where I can get some. Same here. I'm waiting to see.. Elizabeth, it's funny you bring this pajama thing up, but I don't know if I want to go there right now. But yeah, there are some pajamas, but I haven't seen them yet.

So I think the first time anybody in the entire universe have seen these pajamas, is gonna be at this 24 hour exhibit and show, and we're all gonna be wearing our pajamas. So, you can't not wear pajamas, it's 24 hours. And so that means there's going to have to be appropriate outfits for these different times zones and countries. So we have to kind of go with the flow, and we're gonna go around the world. Thank you Elizabeth.

Amy before you go. I am just about this this Friday. I mean, what an amazing event. Just for the whole global community for support. I think how quickly it came together too, I wanna commend Balanced Body as usual for just just getting on it and getting things done.

And also as Pilates Anytime, same thing. We're really just rallying for support for our community of Pilates and movement. So the more, the better. So I hope everyone who's watching this is gonna join us on Friday and beyond. One of the things I wanted to say that, one of the cool things about doing this event is that we can bring people together that we can never bring together before.

And you can't just bring somebody like for instance, like Elise Becker up from Brazil. It takes 24 hours just to get here. And that doesn't take into consideration the rest of you are getting used to it. So it gives me a chance, because that's the chance to highlight some of our favorite presenters. I just normally don't get a chance to get in front of people.

Exactly, that's exciting, that sort of thing. Cool, well thank you Elizabeth and Amy for joining us. I'm gonna do this one of these days and somebody is going to have no pants on. So I'm always relieved when people are dressed when I do this. Elizabeth I hope we see you again soon at Pilates Anytime.

Thank you Elizabeth. Thank you Amy for joining us. Bye everybody. Thank you, bye bye. I think this a technology of where we can add people and we can connect with people, I just think it's amazing.

So going back to chat about Balance Body a little bit. I've seen some of the products that you're introducing recently, to kind of help with this, thinking about the loops, particularly, can you just talk about what you've been able to offer so far? We're working on a whole bunch of stuff right now. So trying to figure out how to make the people that are running the studios, become more sanitary, hygienic, and just more compliant with our COVID world right now. And so the first thing we did is we came up with these..

this is kinda going back to (mumbles). We were talking about that earlier John, and she called me and she had just bought all these loops for her studio. And she has a studio, I think it's Louisiana, and they can't have cotton because cotton is dirty and you have to wash it in between uses, and nobody wants to use wet cotton loops. So she said, "why don't you make some kind of a cover, "bottle cover for the loops?" And so the funny thing is we were actually doing that like 30 years ago. We saw these synthetic straps, they were uncomfortable.

So we made the vinyl covers for those synthetic straps. And the ones at that time were really kind of crusty and hard on your hands. So we already had the plan in place to make those. So we just started making notes and then we decided, well, we can just sew right onto the cotton straps. Then you can just wipe the whole thing down with disinfectant.

And then you can wipe it dry, that only takes a minute and you can do that in between classes. So we came up with those and we have a double loop, we have a single loop. And we're also coming up with a footstep cover. So basically anything that somebody touches, can be wiped out and disinfected really fast. And then we're also working with some other products too, that we think that are showing a lot of promise right now.

But we're experimenting right now, and within probably a week or two weeks we should probably know whether these things are gonna work out or not. But just kind of too early to talk about it. In the registration emails, I saw that there was one question. It was talking about what are the best antiviral cleaners for equipment and the wooden frames. Do you have any thoughts about that?

I do and I can give you the long story or the short story, or kind of in between story on that. How about an in between story In between. Okay. So this is not a new question. People have been asking this question for a million years, about what's the best thing to use on my vinyl that will disinfect it and clean it. It's become really, really important these last couple of weeks or months, about what you can really do.

I just wanna start by saying this is really going to be a big bummer. But the two worst things for your vinyl are sweat and sunlight. And now what's happening is you get sweat, sunlight and you've got all these things that people are putting on their bodies, these moisturizers, and things for sun blockers and stuff. And then the fabric softeners on the clothing, and all these things mixed together and how they react on your vinyl you just never know until a year goes by, and all of a sudden you see a crack or something like that. So the answer the question about, what's the best thing to use on your vinyl?

The best thing still is just soap and water, a couple of drops of dish washing soap into a gallon of water and spray that on, and wipe it in there. Cause you want to wipe it in there, cause you want to get the moisture inside any kind of unevenness or any kind of cracks in the vinyl and then wipe it dry. And if you really wanna be nice, go over with some fresh water and use it as a rinse. That's really effective, and it kills just about everything anyway, and the CDC will tell you that. If you wanna start using things that are disinfectants, then really the sky's the limit as to how clean you wanna be.

And it really becomes a question of what you're willing to deal with, and what your clients are willing to deal with. Because it was a big problem for us in the past. It's been that people don't want to have this stuff on their skin that they put on the vinyl. And that's one reason why you want to wipe it clean. So I would say that if you wanna use stronger stuff, and if you wanna use like heavy duty disinfectants, look on the label and see if it says it is safe for vinyl.

And then it doesn't hurt once in a while, to wipe your step down with moisture and get it off the (mumbles). Cause you don't want any of these things just to sit on there all the time. And really even the strongest disinfectants, they tell you that to leave it on there at least for 40 seconds, so it actually can kill the germs. So not a clean answer to the question. A lot of it depends on you, your customers and really government agencies.

But when it really gets down to it, soap and water is pretty effective stuff. We held a webinar for people that wanna go deeper than this with Kaylene Canavari, which Ken and Katie co-starred in their own TV program. Yeah. "The Pilates Mechanic". And I had the assistance the Pilates mechanic. That show yes.

But we went much, much deeper into this and she talked a little bit about the science of how good old fashioned soap, can actually break down the virus, which just destroys the shells around it. So it's a really complicated area. But I also think I totally agree with what Ken has talked about. It's what are your clients expecting? Because you might be doing a great thing, but you may not be doing what your clients expect.

And you need those people to feel comfortable in that environment. At the end of the day, if the vinyl gets destroyed, can Ken supply you with some new vinyl? So not that I'm recommending just destroying your vinyl, but that can happen. And you're not gonna destroy it John, you might get in.. No vinyl is gonna last forever.

So eventually it's gonna crack, you just kind of want to delay that process as long as you can. And at the end of the day, you could replace the vinyl on the reformer, for less money than what you would earn from having one good customer. It's a no brainer from a financial point of view. But you don't need to go there. You just need to, John, you're a hundred percent right.

You just gotta find it. We all work for our customers, right? And we all have to make our customers feel happy and feel comfortable about what's going on. And that's really the number one goal. What makes them feel good and happy and safe.

How do you think.. what's gonna happen with the Pilates industry? Like a lot of changes. There's gonna be people who do well from it, and there's people that suffer from this. That's every change has ever happened, doesn't impact everybody equally.

Do you have a sense of what's gonna happen to the Pilates world of independent teachers and studios, and games? I kind of get back to them. So let me back up. I think the world is changing and people are now getting Pilates and doing Pilates in different ways. For a lot of people, ways that they've never done it before.

And a lot of people are finding that to work really well for them. So, it's kind of an interesting thing to think about how things are gonna work, when we're no longer worried about COVID. Once we're all vaccinated or most of us are vaccinated, and we're going out in the world, and we're not so much worried. I really think that the online part of Pilates is definitely here to stay. It's not new.

It's been around for a while. I think more people are getting experienced to it, and more people are going to like it. So I think that's gonna need to become a part of what a lot of people offer, in terms of Pilates. But, I was thinking about this again today, and the whole social aspect of Pilates is powerful. And the whole idea of having somebody, being able to observe you in three dimensions is really powerful.

And the whole idea of having, being in with the group and just that energy, that you get with the group, is powerful. And I think that a lot of people are going to find out that, that one, they're enjoying working out at home. But they're enjoying working out at home because they don't have any other choices. Once you have choices, I think they're gonna find out what they're missing, or at least some will, some won't. But the exciting thing is that more people are doing Pilates now, than they've ever done any time in our history.

And that can only be a good thing for the industry. As I was saying earlier, I'm enjoying not commuting. So that's driving me to feel much more local about my own town. I kind think for the teachers that have migrated their customers, into the at home practice, and they've been able to charge the same amount, in some ways if they're as busy as they were before, they're probably making more money. They are the teaching, they're not having to pay rent in the studio if they were as a contractor.

I think for some of the teachers, they're gonna benefit from this change. Obviously that has a really negative impact on that studio owner. And so I think it's too early to really know what's happening, but I wonder whether some of the independent contractor teachers that may have been working in three or four studios, renting space, they may find that this is a better life for them. I could definitely see that. I think we don't wanna lose sight of the fact that, none of these studios offered the whole place to go part of this deal, but they also have the full equipment and the know how.

So most people, even if they can get, have online training, they're probably not gonna have, they may have reformer, but they're probably not gonna have anything else. And so I think there's going to be, you mentioned the price, I think that the price, and this is pretty much the way it is in the real world anyway, people that charge less for price for a mat class than they do for an equipment class. And people seem to be happy to pay that difference. So I think that's gonna be another benefit for studios. But I do think, again, every time you learn to do something online, I mean you don't have to drive someplace.

That's a huge benefit. It's huge. I have a question here from Rebecca. I'm just gonna read out your question here Rebecca. "Is there financial assistance for anyone "that has had to close their studio?". She's talking about a particular individual who's young and she's had the studio for four years, and it's been profitable.

But now without any clients, she's struggling to pay her rent. Are there any programs that you're aware of, that provide assistance to people like this? Well the payroll protection program would definitely help. And I would look into that. I mean, they've given out literally billions of dollars to help businesses stay afloat.

And there's local programs too. So the first thing I would say is contact your the local authorities. And you know, even like, just like your city Councilman or your mayor's office. And they may be able to tell you about local programs. The federal programs like The Payroll Protection Act is basically alone at 1%, which will help you pay your bills until you can reopen your studio.

And I would also say, landlords are going to hate it when I say this, but you can negotiate with your landlord because it's not like they can find somebody else to take your spot. And it doesn't have to be just tag it onto the end. It could be like ask for forgiveness. There's a lot of landlords that are in that position where they can do that, and they really don't have any choices. So you just need to know that.

And I think that that's gonna really be the challenge. The challenges is to decide whether you wanna stay open and then how are you going to survive between now and when people start coming back. And when they do start coming back, we don't know whether they're going to come back, in herds or one at a time. We just don't know. When I think about your customers, Rebecca, I think about what are the demographics of this particular customer group?

Because the older they are, I think the more cautious they are to go back into a public environment. The mortality rates on this virus as you get towards 80, get higher and higher. Some of the data I've seen is about, if you're over 80 or so, 15% chance of mortality if you catch the virus. That's a sort of, what is that? One in six kind of Russian roulette there.

That's not the kind of odds that I think any of us wanna play. No, it's not good odds. They are our most loyal customers, which is really good thing. But it's a bad thing if you lose one, for sure. But I've heard some great stories about people negotiating with their landlords.

They've had a lot of success not just defer all but reducing it and understanding it, because as Ken said, it's not easy for them to find another client. It's not like there's plenty of empty real estate out there. It's a tough one, Rebecca. And my heart goes out to these people. It's still very early to know what's gonna happen.

And I've talked to some instructors that are actually doing online training. And they're subsidizing and keeping the studio open. Now that's not a good longterm business proposition, but it's a survival tactic. I've heard a lot of studios now are having some kind of online component, with their existing clients. For some people it's helping a lot financially.

Cause obviously if you've got a big studio, we were talking to Jared Kaplan a few weeks ago and he has 4,000 square feet in downtown New York, of all places. So I don't even know how expensive that space is. But it's a lot. It's just terrible. So this is Rebecca Riser, with some shifts zoom and remote teaching, well Balanced Body offer an affiliate program, if they recommend that their customers buy their props from Balanced Body. Balanced Body has an affiliate program and you just need to call 1-800-PILATES or send us an email.

So Rebecca, hopefully that's.. And that applies to everybody please. Yeah, absolutely. We have an affiliate program and then a referral partner program too. cause we, pardon.

What is the difference between-- The affiliate program is basically a badge on the website that they can click on, and then the customer clicks into our website. We can actually track them, to know that the business came through. Like Chris Rebecca's website, or if Rebecca's talking to a customer, she can go to website, click on the button, and we'll know where the order comes from. Then we can recognize that purchase, when it's actually made. And so that's the affiliate program.

And the referral program is basically the customer calls us up and says, Rebecca sent me, and then we can actually, depending on the situation, we could probably get them a spot discount and recognize your back and forth. So they just need to call and get the details on this, and we can walk them through it. For us it's really important to be able to track it so that everyone that makes the referral gets recognized. And I just want to say one more thing is that, our whole business is based on referrals. So it's the referrals that have made us, kept me alive for 40 years for sure.

And so for all of you guys that have sent us business, we really appreciate it. Thank you, Ken. This is from Rebecca Doyle. "Our studio is opening June 1st for one-on-one privates. "Is it safe for the teachers to be required to wear a mask, "but not the clients?

"Do you have an opinion on mask wearing?" I've gotten questions about masks already, and so the first thing I did is I actually went and put the mask on, and I have a 7:15 Pilates appointment here at BB on every Tuesday and Friday. And so I was wearing my mask to see what it's like. And this is a little bit off the question, but I actually think that your clients are gonna wanna wear a mask, because they wanna feel safe too. And if you're wearing a mask and your client's wearing a mask, then it's kinda like a double protection. So I don't think it's an imposition.

I think if your client is the only one in the studio, and they don't wanna wear a mask, then it should be up to you. But it's your space too and you need to protect it. And if there's other people coming in, you need to think about those guys. So at the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable, your client has to feel comfortable and the authorities have to be comfortable. And that's a continuum as to what makes each person feel comfortable or not.

So, for me I would say don't worry about asking someone to wear a mask. I would say, understand the differences between masks. Because the homemade mask, a lot of the ones that people have made, are actually hard to breathe through. And it's okay if you're just walking in and out of the store or something like that. But some of them, if you take deep breaths as you do a Pilates, it's better to have more of a medical mask or surgical mask, because those actually it's easy for air to go in and out of those, they don't sweat up so easily.

And then they usually have a nice nose (mumbles) too, that's hugs your nose. And I wanna say one more thing about wearing a mask. Before you ask your client to wear a mask, you should put one on yourself, and you should do a session as if you were the client. So that you can understand everything that the client goes through. Because it does change your peripheral vision going down.

You can't see your feet as well as you used to. It kind of messes with your balance a little bit. And you just need to know that when you're doing the instruction, because this is what your client's dealing with and the glasses they fuck up. So practice first and before you actually insist on it, you gotta know what you're doing. And I think, different parts of the country are given different advice on masks.

We talked with Sherry Bats last week, and the webinar is recorded if people want to watch that. So Sherry Bats is in the world of PT hospital Pilates, she's in that kind of confluence between there. So she wears a mask for everyone and she talks about her entire process. So the client comes outside, sits in their car, waits for Sherry to text them to say they can come in while she cleans the studio that's in her home. If they're not willing to wear a mask, they're not her client.

And she just says, you can't come in. And she doesn't wanna be in a position where she passes that on to her clients. She couldn't live with herself. If somebody came in and left the virus in her studio, could be in the air so it's harder to clean. And then one of her older clients caught the virus because of being in Sherry Bats's studio.

So I think that this becomes sort of a moral question for a lot of folks. What do I do to mitigate the virus transmission? Cause we're not gonna ever create an operating studio sterileness. It's just not, we're not hospitals, we're not gonna do that. So it's all about risk mitigation and what you feel.

And I think if I was a Palates teacher and my parents were still alive, I wish they were, I would be very careful about what I took home with me. Cause I don't want to pass that on to my parents, and give them the virus with a very high chance of mortality. So it's a complicated issue, Rebecca. You also asked a new question about liability waivers. There is one on the Pilates Method Alliance website we'll put that in the chat.

And hopefully that will help when it comes to wording for your waivers there. This is from Jill. She'd like to offer personal handles and straps for her clients exclusive use. Will you be offering a lower price point to make that accommodation possible? Yes.

Our ultimate goal is to.. I mean for us having a really low price drops means making them.. The challenge is to make them safe and strong, and inexpensive. So we think we've got some solutions that we're looking at right now. But we're also looking at a solution where, this job is just completely cleanable, completely, and it's wipeable, wipe it dry and it's ready to be used the second time.

If Jill has any ideas on how to make one that's less expensive to tell her please have her call us. We'll call it the Jill strap. Jill there's your opportunity for fame there. Call Ken and work with them. One of the things that Sherry Bats was talking about is therabands, which are very hard to keep really clean cause they're somewhat porous.

For them she writes on each one, this is this client's, she keeps it in a plastic Ziploc bag. And that client only gets to use that. Because something are just a really hard to clean. I hope that helps Jill. It's a challenge.

You want something that's a good product, but none of us want to spend a lot of money. You're spending money for class already. You may not want to spend money for your own straps. But a lot of people do have their own straps. Valentine required all her clients to have your own straps.

And then she would launder them herself. So that's one more level you can go to. These things are gone in this giant continuum. It's like you can't eliminate the possibility of transferring into disease. All you can do is as much as as you can, and there's no, there's nothing that's absolute, and there's a lot of things that do just a really good job of preventing transmission.

And so even even in N95 masks with at 95 strands is 95%. So it's only 95% perfect. So we're all just trying to do the best we can, but getting to that, the closer we get to perfection, the harder it is to accomplish. All we can do is do a really good job and then understand that the germs, even though they're very infectious, they transfer easily. You still got to ingest the droplet to get them.

Still got to touch them. I'm looking back in the comments here cause I want to try and pronounce this lady's name correctly. Christine L'Rock. I hope I got that right Christine. I'm doing my best for you here.

She's talking about her studio, people use eight inch Pilates balls and flex spans, and chrome rollers, and she asked her clients to bring their own equipment. So maybe that is the solution for some people, that make them feel even more confident if they have their own props that they bring into the studio. It can really help. And if you wanna promote that, as Ken said earlier, you have the opportunity to use the affiliate program from Balanced Body and make a little bit of money on that. You could have the first class of each morning for your seniors and for your high risk patients too, when the studio is the cleanest.

And you can have a special set of rules just for those guys where you're like the ultimate cleanliness. It's just an idea. Do you have any thoughts about.. We touched on this a little, this is from Elizabeth Larkam. "In classes movement and touch often come together.

"Any comments regarding the online experience "versus the in-person teacher?" I think you touched on this. Do you have any other thoughts on that? I always like it's a tough one because I've always thought that any good Pilates teacher, you should be able to do almost everything just by listening to the words. And you should go to close your eyes and the (mumbles) should be good enough to where you can do the exercises, pretty good. But then, in a Pilates class, when you get touched at the right place at the right time and it just activates the right muscle, and all of a sudden you're getting that part into the right position, and you really feel it.

It's really hard not to have that touch. I think there's a.. And also I think that when you get that touch and you feel that touch, and you react to it, I'm trying to imagine how you can explained that online and I'm not so sure that you can. My own thoughts is, when I'm taking private classes at home, through the internet and she can only see one angle. She can only see my body in that one way.

And I'm sure that when I'm in person, and I got a hands on correction and she can walk around me, and see everything, it is a better experience. I think that's the one thing that we should be doing right now, is we should be.. We're in a time when we can kinda explain the value of Pilates, that have kind of value chain. And I think there is a value chain. I think that you could get, you could buy a video and learn how to do Pilates mat exercises, but that's not gonna be the same as going to a class.

And then going to a class taught by someone that's really good, is better than just going to just any other class, at some C-level gym or something like that. And then you pay more, but you get more. And I think that the studio experience is the premium product. I mean, that's where you get the best experience. And I think it's the place that you're gonna improve the fastest, and get the best results.

Because that person has that three dimensional look at you. Because they have that interaction with you. There's a communication at the levels that you can't have online. There's stuff that I can't see you John. I can see you, but I can't see your costing.

Don't make any jokes about my blindness. But once you can, it's okay. But I mean, I think that's the deal. You kind of, in a lot of ways in Pilates world, you kind of get what you pay for and people need to understand that there's a difference. And I think you also, you can talk about the difference without degrading the brand.

The Pilates brand is a fantastic thing and it's powerful. And you can talk about how good you are without saying how bad everybody else is, or how unsafe they are. You can just talk about differences in scale, differences in training and what you bring to the table versus what the other situation does. So going back to the affiliate program, Tina has a question. "Is there affiliate program available in Australia?" It is not.

But let me back up. I believe that's not, I think it's really hard to administer something like that in Australia. But I would say to confirm that you might wanna call HF industries down there, Who's our distributor. Hopefully that helps Tina. And if you've joined us from Australia then fantastic.

That's very cool. Welcome, thank you. We have a global community here and it's great when we have people from all over the world. Australians are doing really good right now with COVID. They've done a really good job.

Yeah, really impressed. And New Zealand, new Zealand's fabulous. So Tina is from Australia. Hello, Tina, welcome. This one is from Lisa.

"Will triangle handles covers be made? "I've already bought the double loop covers". Good question. We had customers asking for it. It's good to get the request from Tina.

In my perfect world, I would rather make the webbing out of something that can be cleaned, really fast. And by the way a lot of people would say, what about a handle with no neoprene on it? I'm just telling customers, just cut the neoprene off, cause then underneath the neoprene you've got smooth plastic. It's actually easier for you guys to cut it off than for us to make it without neoprene right now, because the way that we make everything in long big orders. But you can do that as an option for the plastic part.

And for nylon part, give us some time. The reason why we haven't done vinyl covers is because it looks so frumpy and there's still lots of lots of nooks and crannies, a place for the bugs to get into. And so it does seem like the cover is the best solution for the handles. I hope that helped Lisa. Rebecca just commented that she purchased some vinyl herself and made covers that snap on.

I think we're going to see lots of innovation like that. Yeah, for sure. So go Rebecca. The goal is just to have as few nooks and crannies as possible, and as much smooth cleanable surface as you possibly can have, and then it's a good design. Rebecca Doyle asked here, "could we have a 3D camera?" Maybe have multiple angles around the client, so that you can kind of see everything that's going on.

Rebecca, I really hope so. I've talked to a lot of teachers that have spent the first 30 minutes of their session, with the client, just explaining how to switch the camera on their laptop. So something as complicated as a 3D camera, or multiple camera angles, and the kind of clients that we quite often have. Oh, I think that's a hard one for us, that older, less tech savvy clients actually know what they're doing. I wish that was easier.

This one is from Carrie Hunter. I don't know if you can answer this. "In the UK, the register of exercise professionals "doesn't recognize Pilate Balance Body. "so it's very difficult to get CPD points. "So that's like continuing education points.

"Just by attending two Pilates on tour, "is there any chance that that will change?" CEC, continuing education credits. I just writing a Carries name down here is Carrie Hunter. I'm checking on that because we're trying to get, obviously people really want credits for the training that they're getting, and sometimes these things are really easy, sometimes they're not and sometimes they change. So all I can do is, Carrie if you're in our database, I'll send you an email after this. And I'll just check to see if we've made any progress on that, or where our attentions are, but I don't know the answer to your question, Carrie, If I will pass that on to Ken.

We have it through the registration for the webinar. Make sure he has your email. Hopefully the answer's yes. We'd love to, we both love to help people here. So we're getting towards the end of our time here, Ken.

Do you have a final piece of wisdom or final thoughts that you'd like to share with everybody? Yeah, I do. We touched upon this earlier, it's kinda like what's the future Pilates gonna be like? And there's a couple of things I want to keep. I just want people to keep thinking of.

This has not been the first big tragedy in the Pilates world. And this is a tragedy that everybody's going through together. So it's not like we're on our own. And I think the important thing that I realized is that Pilates has been around for over a hundred years, and things that have taken a hundred years, to become what they are today, they don't go away overnight. And Pilates has really become just a part of people's lives now.

And people know what it is now and people want to do it. And it has a tremendous amount, of really good quality cachet around it. So I think people are still gonna be doing Pilates. And when you think about it, there isn't anything that works better than, or more effective, or more that's more efficient than Pilates. So I think it's really, really powerful.

And then I was thinking this morning about the plight of studio owners, and I was thinking what kept the Pilates studio alive, in the 1960s after Joe died was the clients. The clients society weren't going to let this thing go, and the clients saved it. And I think the clients are gonna save, our customers are going to save Pilates into the future. So I'm really optimistic about the future. I'm not exactly optimistic about exactly how it's going to pan out.

But I think that as more people start to exercise, as more people get sick of being at home, I think things, they're gonna change. And then people are gonna wanna come out and they're going to wanna start exercise. And most importantly, they're going to feel how important it is, to exercise. That's kind of the lesson from the Garmin article that I was talking about earlier. Is people are going to know that in order to stay healthy, they've got to exercise.

After exercising, then they're going to find Pilates, and if they find Pilates, then we're all gonna benefit. Fabulous. Thank you, Ken. Thanks a lot. For everybody, We are back with the Pilates report on Thursday, and I'm with Connie Holland, and we're gonna talk about marketing. How do you market in this sort of COVID world and best practices?

So if you need more clients, you need a additional risk check, Connie and I talking on Thursday. Tomorrow Amy Havens is talking with Sherry Bats. I talked to her last week, but it was so good and we didn't cover most of the subjects. So Sherry and Amy are going to have a webinar where they're going to talk about teaching seniors. So very much the movement of teachers and all the things that are going on there.

If you can't make those webinars, you can always sign up, and we promise to send you a recording of that event as soon as we finished editing it. So thank you everybody for joining us today. And Ken, it's always great to see you. And I am so looking forward to a hug. Once I've got that vaccine in my arm I'm gonna..

(laughing) It's fabulous to see you. Thank you so much for your time and stay healthy. Same, stay healthy to you too. Stay healthy to everybody else, everybody in the Pilates. And it was really fun being on the show.

Thank you so much, Ken. Speak to you soon. Bye John, See you guys. Thanks everybody.

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