In the spring of 2017, Caroline Harris opened a Barre3 exercise studio in Brookside Kansas City and she invited me to try a class. Since then, Barre3 has been a major part of my life. I instantly loved the workout because it gave me energy, strength, balance, and confidence. It incorporates elements of yoga, pilates and barre, and this combination feels more energizing and exciting to me than those taken individually. The music is cool and loud, and the classes keep me engaged with their variety and intensity. I love the studio itself, because it is clean, modern, bright, welcoming, and it offers childcare.
So here ya go: my interview with Barre3 Brookside owner, Caroline Harris…
Sarah: What is Barre3?
Caroline: Barre3 is a full body balanced workout combining strength conditioning, cardio and mindfulness.
Sarah: How did you learn about it and why do you believe in it as a great form of exercise?
Caroline: I found barre3 when I lived in Austin, Texas. What I love about barre3 is no matter how I feel before class, I leave class feeling strong and empowered. I also love the community.
Sarah: How long have you been practicing?
Caroline: Four years
Sarah: When did you become an instructor?
Caroline: Four years ago
Sarah: Why did you decide to open a Barre3 studio in Kansas City? When did you open for business, and how did you decide on the location of Brookside?
Caroline: We wanted to move closer to family. We chose Brookside because we love the vibe of the neighborhood. We fell in love the space and all the natural light that floods the studio.
Sarah: Do you have plans to open a studio in other parts of town? It seems like Leawood could use one.
Caroline: There is endless possibility for growth in the Kansas City market.
Sarah: How many instructors do you have?
Caroline: We have an extensive 7-8 week training process.
Sarah: I love how different the classes are every day, and it seems like you mix up the instructor schedule so I never take the same class by the same instructor week to week. It never feels boring. Is this intentional?
Caroline: Yes. Each instructor teaches a balanced barre3 class, however we all have our own vibe which I love. In every class you will feel challenged, yet successful. We meet you where you’re at, which is different everyday. It’s all about balance 🙂
Sarah: How do you and your instructors design/choreograph the classes?
Caroline: At barre3 we have a class requirements that we must teach to allow our clients to feel balanced in body and empowered from within. We have an extensive library of postures, sequence blocks and music to help keep us inspired and our classes fun!
Sarah: The music is loud and awesome. Is it provided by the Barre3 brand? Who makes it?
Caroline: Yes, all of our music is thoughtfully and intentionally selected by our master trainers at the home office. (They provide playlists for us or we can make our own using barre3 approved songs)
Sarah: The childcare element seems very popular and well planned. Do all Barre3 studios have childcare with memberships? How does it work?
Caroline: Yes, all barre 3 studios offer childcare. Not every studio includes it in their membership. It is $5 per child.
Sarah: Your studio is so modern and beautiful. It feels very calm, bright, and CLEAN! Is this clean, modern environment intentional?
Caroline: Our studio design is all about simplicity. Less is more. Our aesthetic is modern, warm, and welcoming. The lighting, fixtures and accessories create an environment that is simple but never boring, sophisticated but also approachable.
Caroline: My routine is flexible, but I always incorporate gratitude, prayer, coffee/tea and a smoothie.
Sarah: Do you practice any other forms of exercise or meditate? If so, why?
Caroline: I love all types of exercise and wish I had more time in my day to take a group exercise class. Most weeks it’s walks with my dog, a quick 30 minutes workout or a barre3 class. I do meditate most afternoons before I pick up my girls from school. It helps ground me, helps me refocus and switch from work mode to mom mode.
Sarah: What are your favorite things about Brookside/KC? Any favorite local products or businesses?
Caroline: I love the quaint neighborhood feel of Brookside. Some of my favorite stores are SkinKC, Coco and Ladybye and 5 B and Co. I also frequent Consentino’s, the bank, The Roasterie. We love Unbakery and Can I have a Bite. All my needs are met in Brookside 🙂
Sarah: You seem like such a calm, strong ladyboss and I sense a real team atmosphere around your studio. Are you enjoying your new role? How did you prepare for it?
Caroline: Thank you. Real talk, owning a business has been the most frightening and stressful thing I’ve done. I’m imperfectly balancing my roles and often I worry about being enough for my clients, my team and my family. I believe that every job I’ve had prior to this has provided me with the skills and tools I needed for this role. Our community at barre3 is special and what makes it so unique is the people. I’m so grateful for my team- I couldn’t do it without them.
Sarah: Where do you live?
Caroline: We live in an older home in Prairie Village
Sarah: If you could live anywhere or in any type of house, what would it be?
Caroline: Oh, this is a tough question. My dream home is a modern farmhouse.