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Hidden Gems: Meet Andi Prather of Barre3 Winter Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andi Prather.

Hi Andi, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I found Barre3 as a client over five years ago. I had been trying other workouts and running but was constantly battling various aches and pains. Within just a few weeks of Barre3, my pain had disappeared, and I noticed changes in my body. The instructors and other clients were friendly, there was a Kids Lounge to bring my kids along, and I was quickly hooked. I started Barre3 to stay in shape. But I stay because Barre3 taught me how to listen to my body, to respect my body and to love my unique body and all of its strength. The owner at the time approached me about becoming an instructor, and shortly after I agreed, she then asked me if I was interested in purchasing the studio franchise from her. Fast forward four years and I am a proud Owner and Instructor of an amazing team and a warm, loving tribe of clients. This exercise, both mental and physical, and this community has seen me through a lot–adrenal cancer treatment and recovery, chaotic life with my five children and husband, and now a pandemic. I am proud of this small local business in my hometown, where my family lives, works and attends our public schools. I am also proud of how my business has supported our clients and nonprofits doing amazing work in our community like The Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families, Foundation for Foster Children, Equal Justice Initiative, JRF and more. I, and Barre3 as a brand, believe strongly in being a positive part of our communities. It’s just one of the reasons this job is so fulfilling.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not always been a smooth road. I expected challenges early on like increasing awareness, transitioning clients to a new owner, and personally balancing being a mom of five while working flexible yet odd hours. I did not expect that I have to move the Studio within a few months of owning it. That entailed classes in a temporary location while I purchased a new space and oversaw a brand new Studio’s buildout. Right before our move into the new space, I was diagnosed with rare cancer and had a couple of surgeries and treatments that took me out of teaching for months. It was a stressful, chaotic year. It was also a beautiful experience because the Barre3 tribe rallied around me in the most unique and supportive way. And my staff kept Studio running when I could not. We had a smooth few years until 2020 and now Covid-19 forced closures, drastically reduced attendance upon reopening, and added new expenses with cleaning procedures, etc. We have gone from teaching one format in our Studio to four classes. We are still offering in-Studio classes and now also Park classes, a video library of filmed classes, and Livestream classes. All of the challenges have served to make me and the team stronger, and I am so proud of how we have worked tirelessly to adapt to our community’s current needs. Conquering challenges only make me a better owner moving forward– I remind myself of this constantly lately!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Barre3 is a unique fitness studio. Our workouts are 45 to 60 minutes in length, combining strength training, cardio, and mindfulness. My favorite thing about our classes is how I feel when I am done. Somehow exhausted and energized at the same time and also more confident about myself. I think what sets us apart from other workouts is how we teach people to listen to their own bodies and do what they need each day. We celebrate our differences and unique needs. Because of this, our community has clients aged 14 to 80 that can take the class together. Barre3 is focused on functional movement so that your body is equipped for daily life. I am most proud of how we make people feel. I watch clients stand taller after class, smile bigger, be friendlier with others. When we are empowered to do what we need each day, we can safely challenge ourselves. Because we have always been a body-positive brand, there is no messaging in our classes about achieving a certain body or earning a special meal. We aim to help people feel exercise as a celebration of their bodies and part of a healthy body AND mind. Our instruction does not stop with physical cues. We also do guide breathwork to help clients release their tension and connect body and mind. My love of our community and caring for people means that our Studio always puts clients first. For example, this past Spring and Summer, we closed before we were required and reopened after gyms were allowed to because I wanted to be 100% sure our Studio is safe for all clients, not just the average client.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
Tough one! I have amazing memories from a family trip to Greece. I think that trip was the beginning of my two loves: travel and cooking. Everything was so different from my life in Winter Park. And the history of Greece–of the buildings right in front of me–was hard for me to comprehend. I was ten years old, and watching our Greek friends enjoy meals together for hours and then dance or play cards or just talk was so new to me. I love the idea that food is what connects us. We gather together to eat, but we also share our lives and connect with each other. Our family shares family dinner almost every single night with all five kiddos present, both parents, and no screens. I love cooking, so now my children do too, and it has become a time I can teach them about their history–like how my grandmother made her chicken or how my mother taught me to make a certain dish. Our family loves to travel and experience new places and people and bring home with us the traditions, recipes, ideas we learned from others. Greece taught me that travel opens the mind.

Pricing:

  • Unlimited Class Membership $150
  • New Client Special 2 weeks/$49
  • 10 class pack $180

Contact Info:

  • Email: winterpark@barre3.com
  • Website: www.barre3.com
  • Instagram: @barre3winterpark
  • Facebook: @barre3 (Winter Park, FL)
  • Other: tiktok @barre3wp

Image Credits
Annie Vanacore Photography, Simone Boos Photography

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