We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Abramovitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I am a biochemist by training and started my education in pharmacy, so I have always been interested in and worked adjacent to the health care industry. I was much more interested in the business-side of science and health, though, and left academia to work at a startup. One startup led to another until I found myself in Houston in 2016. While I soon realized soon after moving that the job was not the right fit, I found Houston was the perfect fit, and I knew I landed there for a reason. I turned back to my roots of health care and my passion of health and wellness with a goal of making health and wellness available to all and promote strong, healthy communities. It was at that point I began to explore opening my own business. I discovered The Bar Method in California after business school and loved how it was an accessible, achievable, and fun form of fitness. It became the catalyst for my forming a healthy lifestyle and eliminating my medical issues, not to mention the extra weight I put on during school. In addition to the workout, the community was the element that impressed me the most. I’ve met, and continue to meet, the best people through The Bar Method. So when you ask me what my process was in starting my own business, I would have to say, my experience having worked with startups gave me the confidence to know that I could build something of my own. I chose the Bar Method because that is where my passion and successful healthy lifestyle began and I wanted to be able to share that with others. My mission in opening the Bar Method is to provide a safe place for everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and create confidence and poise as they build strength and flexibility. It is to build a community of both physically and mentally strong people who develop a healthy lifestyle themselves then pass that experience and knowledge forward to their families, friends and in turn it will spread through our community. The studio has been open for just over two years, and while Covid has been a bit of a financial setback with fewer people coming into the studio, the community that is here, is thriving because in a time when motivation and inspiration are hard to find we provide that for them. For our community, we are a sanctuary, a safe space, that place to not think about work, family, or anything else except taking care of yourself in that moment. We are also that place to try something new, to push a little bit further, and work a little bit harder while respecting your body and those around you.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own a boutique barre fitness studio – The Bar Method Houston – Memorial. The exercises are low impact but high intensity and they work with every body – I have clients ranging in age from early teens to 70+, expecting mothers, recovering athletes, women and men. What makes The Bar Method unique is our dedication to safety, correct form, and making sure each person is doing the exercises properly for their body so that it is both safe and effective. The classes are designed to be similar to working out with a personal trainer, someone dedicated to helping you achieve your best each class, but in a fun and motivating group setting where the collective energy pushes you beyond what you think is achievable. The other thing that makes The Bar Method so special is our community, the friendships that are created, and how we support, inspire, and motivate each other. Our studio has built in space to help foster that sense of community – most recently we’ve held a blood drive and did mini-holiday markets where different members of our community could showcase their businesses and talents, while maintaining safe social distances. This business, even under the best circumstances, is challenging and there is no way I could have done it if I didn’t feel so passionate about supporting strong and healthy people in my local community. That passion drives me to push myself outside of my comfort zone to have the conversations that scare me and do things I’ve never done before. I’ve definitely identified skills that I’m lacking or have not yet perfected and learned to let go of things outside of my control. I’ve also learned to acknowledge my good qualities and use them to their best service and have surrounded myself with an amazing support system to help me when I can’t get it all together. It’s a work in progress and just like I say in class, every day is different. What I’m most proud about is the community we’ve created and seeing how people are reaching their goals (from weight loss, to increased flexibility to play with grandkids, to no longer needing medication, to feeling more confident and having better posture) and transforming their lives. Nothing makes me happier than sharing the joys with my clients as they notice how their lives have changed because of the work we’ve done together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I know that Houston is the fourth largest city and has a big urban area, but what I love is all the parks where Houstonians go out to play. I love going for a walk in Memorial Park or along the bayou and then out for a burger and a beer or a craft cocktail at any one of the great bars in Montrose or The Heights. The arts scene in Houston is great too and I enjoy visiting with the artists at Sawyer Yards or when the Bayou City Arts Festival is up and running.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Running a business is hard and there is no way I could do this alone, so I have many shoutouts! My clients and community are the best. I love the way they show up and that encourages me to work harder and be better – I seriously get up every morning for them and it is my greatest joy. My team is also amazing. I am usually doing too many things at once so am appreciative that they help keep me grounded and focused so that I can stay on track and continue to carry out our mission. I need to give a shoutout to The Bar Method organization, its founder Burr Leonard, all of the instructors who have encouraged me to work harder, both in the exercises and to become a better instructor, all of the other studio owners who are my work sisters, and Debra, my amazing business coach. Finally, I want to give a shoutout to my family, for loving and encouraging me, even though they think I’m crazy for doing the things I do, and for the sacrifices they have made so that I can build this business and keep it going.