This October, we're shining our Portland Business Spotlight on our friends and neighbors in the Pearl—Firebrand Sports, a boutique fitness studio known for cutting edge, no-where-else-in-Portland workouts. We sat down with co-owners (and mother-and-daughter team) Linda and Sara to chat about what differentiates Firebrand from its competition.
“We empower people to challenge themselves and transform their lives. ”
— Firebrand Sports
Local & Family-Owned:
When you work out at Firebrand, you will truly be there to “sweat local.” A Portland business through and through, co-owners Sara and Linda are both proud residents of Portland's Pearl District. In fact, Linda is a member of the board of directors for the Pearl District Business Association and chairs the Membership Committee. Pearl residents also receive a 10% discount on their Firebrand membership.
Prior to being entrepreneurs in the fitness industry, Linda was a corporate warrior in financial services, and Sara was an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. However, the mother-and-daughter team, along with husband-and-father John, decided it was time to move to Portland and bring their fitness studio dreams to fruition. Sara, Linda, and John were always a close family, and John's experience greatly influenced his daughter Sara, who at one point wanted to be a player's agent in the baseball world. Starting Firebrand was a natural fit for the family. Tragically, however, Sara and Linda lost John three months after opening Firebrand's doors—John passed away unexpectedly due to complications from heart surgery, which was a very tough way to start a business. Despite the incredible loss for their family, the mother-and-daughter team prevailed and has been growing their business steadily ever since.
Steady Gains for Firebrand:
Firebrand launched its first studio in the Pearl in 2012, and opened their second studio in Lake Oswego in January 2018. In November of this year, Firebrand will be launching an all-new workout called Triple Threat—as well as a redesigned space in their Pearl studio. Triple Threat is Firebrand's unique trademark and spin on a dynamic group circuit training workout that has been taking New York and Los Angeles by storm. In addition to Triple Threat, Firebrand also offers group classes for Lagree Fitness and Urban Row. Because of the trend in the fitness world of having separate studios for different types of workouts (e.g., cycling, yoga, and pilates), it's become a hassle for consumers to have memberships at so many different gyms. Firebrand sought to eliminate that hassle. With three group class workouts under one roof, Firebrand is truly Portland's one-stop fitness shop.
In addition to their three killer workouts, Firebrand also offers a corporate program that's worth highlighting. Sara and Linda, both of whom came from the corporate world (Linda still being an an author and consultant in the financial services industry) discovered that their participation in Lagree Fitness classes made them “more focused, confident, happier, and kickstarted productivity and creativity in the office.” As a result, the two co-owners developed a unique and effective corporate program for companies that provide fitness and wellness benefits for their employees.
Business Advice from Firebrand:
When we asked Sara and Linda for advice to give other entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses, they told us: don't wait to create core values. “When we finally took time to develop what we call Firebrand's ‘Living Breathing Values,' we discovered that it helped us attract and retain the right people in terms of both employees and clients. We use our values in hiring and they are part of Quarterly Conversations (our approach to performance reviews).” Firebrand's core values are:
Catalysts of Change
Many thanks to Sara and Linda for taking the time to share Firebrand's story with us, as well as the excellent advice for others who are starting and growing their own businesses. We wish Firebrand the best with November's big launch! You can visit Firebrand's website here, and visit their two locations below:
Pearl District: 500 NW 14th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209
Lake Oswego: 15082 Bangy Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
© Firebrand Sports.
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