New business offers affordable exercise classes
DARIEN — After working on Wall Street for 25 years, Scott Ackerman decided it was time for a change and opened Club Pilates in Darien. Now the 48-year-old resident of Rye, N.Y., is making the move across state lines to be closer to his new business venture.
Ackerman said he always had an interest in the Darien community.
“I have a history with Darien,” he said. “Growing up, my best friend from college lived there.”
Ackerman said he would constantly visit Darien during breaks and vacations and would continue this tradition into his adulthood. On Aug. 1, he will move to the town to be closer to the business.
“I had a vision of moving here and establishing this all throughout the southern Fairfield County area,” Ackerman said.
When he opened Club Pilates seven months ago, he wanted to make sure the prices were affordable, he said. A traditional Pilates class is a one-on-one training, or what is called duet classes.
“It was expensive,” he said. “The private training was anywhere up to $150.”
“We decided to create an environment where people could come and not break the bank,” Ackerman said.
Most group classes at other studios are $40 to $50, but at this studio classes can potentially be $15 or lower depending on the membership, he said. Club Pilates has around 60 sessions scheduled per week with 12 people per class.
“I have such a deep belief in the way this is going to work. I actually just left my Wall Street job a month ago to commit to this fully,” Ackerman said.
The studio has eight instructors and eight different class formats to keep things interesting, he said.
Mollie Jones Boyle, general manager of the studio and an instructor, said she was always passionate about wellness and fitness. Pilates has helped her achieve personal goals.
“I was trying to work out my core, so I started doing Pilates,” Boyle said. “Pilates is all about starting with the core and woking from the core out.”
Boyle said since the studio’s opening, customers have already started to show progress.
“Joseph Pilates believes it takes three months to really change your body,” she said. “So when someone joins the studio, it’s a three-month commitment. ... We’ve seen women completely change their bodies,” she said.
Boyle said one of Club Pilates’ clients who had double scoliosis had shown improvement after taking classes; the client returned after tests and scans from their doctor with the good news, she said.
“They said her posture and spine was so improved. It’s nice to hear when someone is making really amazing improvements,” Boyle said.
With the positive reception from the community, Ackerman said he is planning to open five more studios, including a new studio in Wesport in the fall.
“So far, we’ve been very well received,” he said. “We feel like we’re bringing something to people that they ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance to experience.”