Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexandra Philps, Co-Owner of Barre Belle, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Barre Belle offers empowering workouts blending the best of barre and HIIT. When it burns, we say bring it! Our program is based on barre and dance principles combining strength and cardio sequences designed to make you SWEAT. We take the most effective exercises and make them accessible to all levels. Our movement is driven by music, motivating instructors, and a community that will push you to become your strongest self! Our Belle Fam is #sweatobsessed and can work out with us across the globe - today, you can find us in studios in Toronto and Calgary, and online - our app is available in hundreds of countries on most major app stores.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Alex, and I am one of the co-owners of Barre Belle Studios. I was initially hired by the founders of Barre Belle as their first fitness instructor. I was immediately hooked by the concept, the vision, and the community. With a bit of persistence and a lot of risks, I led the expansion of Barre Belle to Ontario and opened 2 physical locations in under 1 year. Fast forward through a pandemic, and I now co-own 2 studios, a global 5-star app, and lead the charge for our on-demand OTT platform.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think there's this misconception that once you start or own your business, you've succeeded - but the true test of entrepreneurship is how you're able to continue growing your company and adjust to the industry's ever-changing landscape. I'm proud of Barre Belle's ability to constantly adapt and grow.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a business owner means there is NEVER an off button. Of course, you outsource to experts and work with people you trust, but there will always be something that requires your attention, and even if you hand it off, you'll be thinking about it in the back of your head. The freedom and schedule that comes with being your own boss are incredible, but it comes with a trade-off.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Work with people you admire and trust. Hand-pick every accountant, lawyer, vendor, etc., and if you stack your team with the right talent, you'll always feel supported.
  2. Learn every corner of your business. Construction build-out, accounts payable, operations, merchandising - ALL of it! You don't need to be the expert (and know when you're not), but you shouldn't have any blind spots in your own company.
  3. Leave a good impression. Don't underestimate the power of "word of mouth" referrals. Clients will know whether or not you're genuine, and every client could lead to many more.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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