Fluid Form Pilates Owner and Head Instructor Kirsten King, is the latest inspiring woman to be featured for 'An Organised Life With...'
I visited Kirsten in her new La Porte based Studio in Sydney to chat all things wellness, health, fitness organisation, and business.
Name: Kirsten King
Occupation: Pilates Studio Owner and Head Instructor
Ok, so first things first - How did it all begin and what was that light bulb moment when you decided to start your first Fluid Form Pilates studio? + Did you have any business experience previously?…
I started Pilates over 20 years ago when I was living in Melbourne. I loved it so much that I enrolled to do my training qualification. I love the human body and what it can do and I always thought it would always be a great career later in life when I had children.
I was teaching in the UK for 4 years and when my Husband and I moved back to Sydney I started teaching in a Studio at home. I studied Commerce at Uni and worked in Marketing for almost 10 years so I have a passion for business and brands. I started doing some consultancy work with Fluidform and little did I know I would soon own and be running the studio. The rest is really history now. The love of Pilates and Business has allowed me to develop a great brand that is renowned for Pilates and a safe haven for all who attend our studios.
What have your biggest pinch me moments been?…
I think the fact that people talk about my business with as much love and admiration as I do. It's one thing to develop a business and brand that stands for everything you believe in and want to give to others but it is another thing to hear people talk about it, in exactly that same way. That makes me so happy!
And on the flip side what have the most challenging moments been?…
Its hard to always be in the studio, we are open 7 days a week and 4 nights and with 3 children at home and a husband it is impossible for me to always be here. After my third baby girl I really had to take a hard look at myself and work out how I continue to grow the business and deliver on the promise that we stand for without me personally being in the studio everyday. I used to work 3 nights a week and 5 days but that was not sustainable. Now with continuous mentoring of my staff, recruiting the right people I have found a balance that even when I am not in the studio physically a little piece of me is till there.
You're dedication to educating your customers carefully while caring for their individual needs is such an inspiration and a testament to you - I know you have worked hard developing your programmes over years and years too. A huge congrats! Along the way what and who personally inspired you and inspires you today too...
I am a very driven person, and for me working hard has been engrained in me from a young age, thanks to my parents. I always wanted to be a woman that was independent in her own right, the romance of marrying, settling down and staying home was never something that interested me.
My Mum and Dad have always had strong work ethic and have been amazing role models. They were definitely my first inspirations. Today, I am inspired everyday by my three little girls and my husband. I strive to be the best I can to provide a better life for all of us.
As a business woman it's always important to have a support network by your side - who are yours?
I have a group of friends that I talk business to weekly, most of them have their own businesses. I also have a group of friends with children similar ages and we support it each other when we need too.
Looking back on your career to date - what would your advice be for budding like minded entrepreneurs …
Be ready to work hard, understand every part of your business. Never pass on a task you don't enjoy to an employee, do the hard stuff. Trust your internal instinct and believe in yourself, you are more capable than than you know.
Now, on to some health and wellness questions that I personally want to know about! What is your personal strategy when it comes to health and fitness? Do you have the exact same routine weekly or do you mix it up? Are you hard on yourself when you skip a workout or have a splurge day?
It's so hard for me because I spend my life literally fixing everyone else. To find the time for me means a client misses out. Most days I do 20 mins of Pilates and target a specific muscle group. I always do my leg work (plies) and then a series of other exercises. When I can I book in and do a class with one of my instructors. It's a great way to continually mentor them as well.
I never do the same routine, I listen to my body and work the areas that feel weak, tight or floppy! Also I try to use the different Pilates apparatus, each piece of equipment has different benefits and I love the challenge that this provides the muscles..
Do you organise your meals and workout calendar in advance weekly?
I definitely plan my meals. I have a Harris Farm delivery every Sunday night and this prepares my week of food ahead. I schedule my workout slots into my days usually at the beginning of the week but these time slots are very flexible depending on what happens in the studio on the day.
And what would your advice be for busy women with fast paced lives who struggle to fit fit fitness into their schedule (e.g me!). Do you have some key tips?
It's so hard, but if you just start by finding 15 mind a day. Whether that is before bed, while you talk to your children at night, while you are at the park of an afternoon, before you get ready in the morning. Everyone can find 15mins, and once your mind and body begins to feel and see the benefits of exercise and moving you quickly find the ability to allocate 20mins a day and before you know it your work/life balance shifts. It really is incredible how your productivity and happiness changes when exercise becomes a regular part of your daily routine.
Why is organisation so important to you?….
Oh my goodness, you are talking to a total control freak - if I didn't have my routine I really couldn't achieve the work life balance I currently have. With 3 children and a business it would be almost impossible to get everyone thing done.
What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?…
1. I'm prepared for the day ahead before I go to bed each night - that's includes my clothes laid out on my bed as well as the girls.
2. To Do Lists - I have multiple going at any one time.
3. I do my grocery shopping online. I have Harris Farm delivered every Sunday night and a Coles delivery every Wednesday. If my house is full of food, it saves so much time and contributes to a happy house.
Stationery wise - are you a….Diary Lover / To Do List Lover / Calendar Lover / Sketch Book lover - or all of the above?!
I am a diary lover and a to do list lover. My to do List has little boxes at the end of each action and I tick them when they are complete. I actually get a really weird satisfaction out of ticking the boxes (I cant believe I actually have just admitted to that!)
What is the one thing you are notoriously disorganised at?!…
Returning to text messages. I'm either straight away or you get lost in the 60 odd that sit in my inbox on any given day!
Do you have a set 'workspace' at all or are you always working on the go in-between classes?
Always on the go - My phone is my lifesaver, my booking system is online and obviously emails are too.
And finally - the fun part - what are your plans + goals for Fluid Form in 2018?
Watch this space, Fluidform will be popping up in the East and the inner West very soon!
LEARN MORE ABOUT FLUID FORM PILATES HERE