When I say franchise owner Carrie Caldroney has been with me from the beginning, I’m not exaggerating. She was one of the first people to take a barre3 class from me at a little studio I rented in a natural foods store in Portland, before I opened our flagship studio. I saw something special in Carrie from the moment we met. Lucky for me, Carrie decided to grow with barre3. She opened a studio in Vancouver, Washington three years ago.
We recently sat down with Carrie for an interview. Read on to get to know a little bit more about her in her own words. You’ll see why we adore her!
I used to be so type A in my form of exercise – GO GO GO. Bigger is better. Intensity is better. Turning that off and retraining my body and mind to recognize what muscles are working and retraining my perception of exercise was a turning point. You don’t have to be so grandiose. I recognized and understood that, and it was pivotal. It changed everything.
I invited a photographer to come in to the studio shortly after we opened. She put all of the pictures into a slideshow, and added music. Seeing all of the hard work of getting the studio up and running was huge. I was working so hard for six months, seven days a week, and to see that put together was really empowering—it just brought me to tears.
My husband and I recently took up golf. We both have busy schedules, and our kids are young, so golf gives us a chance to get out. It’s peaceful, quiet, and grounding. It helps infuse that balance into things.
It sounds crazy, but taking a barre3 Foundations class is probably my favorite way to relax. Ok, so another way is to sit outside, get my feet up, and have a glass of wine.
My dad called me Peanut Butter as a little kid, and he still calls me that to this day. I have to have peanut butter on a daily basis. One of my favorite smoothies has peanut butter, cacao, banana, and almond milk with ice. I’ve also been really in love with my green smoothies lately. I love spinach, kale, chia seeds, coconut or almond milk, and mango.
Not a lot jolts me. Generally there’s a lot going on, so when something major happens I just kind of keep going, and it doesn’t frazzle me. It would take a lot to knock me over.
We rescued our dog Moochie from a shelter in Berkeley, CA about 11 years ago, and she’s turning 12 this year. She just can’t give enough love. We call her the Shadow because she follows you everywhere. She’s so great with the kids—just so affectionate but so gentle. She fits into our family well because she has a strong structure on the outside and is sensitive on the inside.
My mantra lately is to teach clients to be patient with their bodies. It takes time. It takes focus on trying to work deep. That was my aha moment on baby number two. When I was pregnant with Lillia, my first child, I was still getting my feet under me as an instructor, still working 9 to 5. But with my son, Colten, I had more time to take it all in. I was older, wiser, and I realized that I just don’t have control of all of my muscles. It was such a humbling realization. It stopped me in my path.
There are so many things that kids have taught me. More than anything, it’s trying to pause and stop time and just look at them and notice how much they have grown. We just laugh with my daughter and tell her to stop growing! My goal is to stop and be present, and that is hard to do.
When Sadie asked if I wanted to be an instructor, I was really stoked. I was a gymnast before, and I loved that barre3 left me refreshed instead of depleted. Then the opportunity arose to become a franchise partner, and I never questioned it. Dropping a job that I had for nine years that was very stable and lucrative was scary, but barre3 felt right, and it felt like family. I wouldn’t change anything. I went with my heart, and I never looked back.
Running a business has taught me to trust my gut and be confident. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. When making decisions, I keep going back to that.
I often go back to what Sadie says: Seek to understand before being understood. Whether it’s a client or someone on my staff, you need to understand where someone is coming from. It’s too easy to be hasty in your decisions or hasty when drawing conclusions about what’s going on.
I have this quote sitting on my desk: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” A client came up to me yesterday and she said, “My mom was so excited you knew her name.” I was like, “Yeah of course I know her name!” It’s the little things that can make someone’s day. If you take a moment to help someone understand something on a deeper level, you are there for them and you are present with them. It means a lot.
What I love about the root of barre3 is that you’re actually building the intelligence of your body while you’re exercising. You have to think about what you’re doing to make it more intense and challenge yourself. That’s why it never gets easier. You can always push yourself more.
There are so many little moments when clients stop you and tell you, “You changed my life.” That’s truly amazing.