As I walked in a little timid, unsure of what to expect, I was instantly greeted with a warm presence and tight hug from Jen, the owner of Barre3 Eagle. Jen invited me to take one of her classes as a chance for me to experience what Barre3 is all about… and let me tell ya it kicked my booty! I can’t express how much fun I had while being in a challenging workout class. It might even be addicting because I already want to go back!
It wasn’t just me who could feel warm energy radiating off Jen. As she approached each person in the class, catching up on what she missed in their lives, they all responded with a big smile and cheerful attitude. Jen introduced me to a couple of the class attendees next to me, both of which told me “Barre3 in Eagle is special”, “we keep coming back because it’s different, the people here, they are family”.
They were right, the class was different then the ones I’ve taken before. Jen taught with great strength but her priority was to ensure everyone focused on their own body's needs. She always brought her focus back to each person in class connecting spiritually with our bodies to ensure we weren’t over-stressing them, instead she made it a conscious point to truly listen to what our bodies need.
I was lucky enough to take some of Jens' time, post-class, for this exclusive interview.
Want to start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Hmm, where to start? I’m originally from Washington where I lived with my family and owned a business with my husband. The first time I came to Boise I was visiting a friend, I literally thought it was going to be in Iowa or something, but fell in love instantly with the environment. The people are sincere, kind, and crazy friendly and the big beautiful sky. It was wonderful. The only thing missing was a Nordstrom (which is why soon enough Jen created a mini storefront in the studio for people to buy nicer workout clothes). I went home, things started to fall into place, and within four months my family and I were moved out here.
What sparked your interest in Barre?
Growing up I had issues with body dysmorphia. Traditional fitness had very negative impacts on my life, attitude, and overall health. I found that in a typical gym environment I was pressured to weigh myself frequently, was often comparing myself to those surrounding me, and overall felt like judgment was circulating the gyms. One day, I decided to try out a barre class after searching for a form of fitness that would bring positive impacts to my life. Little did I know, Barre would become my source for healing. My first class was at a Barre3 studio in Washington. From the moment I walked in, I felt at home, no judgment, and comfortable as a first-timer. After my first class I was hooked, that’s when I decided combining my passion for fitness and business would lead me to open Idaho’s first Barre3.
We recently saw your post about your instructor audition, can you tell us a bit about it?
After practicing weeks for the audition, it was a complete embarrassment. Everyone else was technically trained through dance and such, and I was self-taught. The board of directors literally told me I didn’t fit the position due to my lack of the “it-factor” necessary to command the room and raise the spirits of class attendees. Leaving the auditions, many tears later, I decided I wasn’t going to give up on my dream. Rather, I worked hard to overcome this low and rise up!
I invited friends and family over to my house, where we would practice in the kitchen and I could work on my teaching skills. Rooms would be filled throughout the house with sometimes up to 15 people who all came to support and practice with me. Three weeks later, after many hours of practice and constructive criticism, I emailed a video of me teaching to my supervisor. That’s when it clicked, I finally was an instructor, my voice shifted, my tone changed, and my confidence grew. I quickly got an email back saying I was now a certified instructor, the next step on my list was to open a studio.
I found the land where we’re located and knew it was destined to be home to Barre3 Eagle. So while they built the studio, I would continue teaching classes out of my house and do takeovers at different athletic stores and gyms throughout the area.
Barre3 has multiple core values including a love of learning, give generously, and committed to real (along with three more), how have those impacted your business?
These values aren’t just for the studio, they are what make up our family of clients and instructors at Barre3. These values are shared by clients who work with us to give back to the community, who share their hardships with us, and who love immensely. No matter who you are, you’re welcome to join us at Barre3. We are a family and want everyone to be welcomed to join our flock. As the owner, it’s my job to protect the culture of my business, to extend love to all.
How has this gym influenced positivity in your life? What’s the greatest thing you’ve gotten out of owning Barre3?
Opening this gym and becoming a certified instructor has been a huge accomplishment in my life. I continue to run this business with a grateful heart and have a desire to bring health and happiness to everyone in the community. I want to use this platform and my own experiences to inspire other people to grow with feedback, to never take “no” for an answer. The gym has also inspired me to continue creating connections throughout the community, I’ve taken on the role as a Lululemon ambassador. This is just one example of how never accepting “no” as an answer has opened great opportunities for Barre3 Eagle and me.
What’s your biggest tip to being inspired while working out?
STOP comparing yourself to ideals on media, the old you, or to others. Focus on becoming your best self in this moment, now.
Jen and the rest of the Barre3 Eagle team continue to strive to uplift the community through giving back, creating an open and inclusive environment, and showing love to everyone who passes by.