Where did you grow up? And what brought you to Birmingham?
Danielle: Born and raised a Kentucky girl, I grew up in Lexington, KY. As far as making it to Alabama? Plain and simple, God had his hand on me. Samford was nowhere in my sights as a high school student. I had been accepted to schools for creative writing and theater up north, had spent summers in New York as a kid in acting and musical workshops and had my eye on creating and performing ever since I could remember. I only had my heart set on moving to the big city, but the months leading up to graduation, I had a restlessness about my decision, and a friend asked me to come visit SU. It made no sense at the time, but when I showed up in Birmingham, I knew that was where I was supposed to be, despite the years of planning and preparation for my northbound expedition. I went with my gut instinct, and thank goodness, 10 years ago, I met Lindsay and that was the beginning of our dream – before we could empower women, we had to build a strong foundation in Christ and in our friendship. We lived together in college, have seen the best and worst of each other, and still stay strongly bonded every day.
Lindsay: I am a Florida girl, a true cracker! I was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida, right on the water. When I came to Birmingham in 2003 to attend Samford University, I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the biggest blessing to come to Alabama and meet my husband and Danielle!
Tell us how you all met and how you came to open Pure Barre Birmingham.
Lindsay: We met almost 10 years ago, our freshman year at Samford. Pretty much the second we met we clung to each other! With both of us coming from out of state and not knowing a soul we knew right away that our relationship was different, life long. After we graduated we both married a year from each other and we yearned to do something bigger than us that brought women together for a common goal. Danielle’s mom was one of the first Pure Barre client’s in KY and we had visited that Pure Barre studio throughout college. We had an unstoppable passion to bring something to Birmingham that allowed women to come into our doors and feel comfortable in their own skin. Also, we wanted to create a safe place where women were encouraged to grow and find their own inner beauty! We prayed and worked nonstop for months that a door would open and it was evident that Pure Barre was a perfect fit.
How is Pure Barre different from standard workouts?
Danielle: It is customized for the individual, works within 10 classes, and it never levels off. I have been a student of the technique for over 6 years now and it gets harder the longer you do it and the better you grasp it. There is always a new challenge to be discovered. Just the other day, I had a revelation about my abdominal exercises, and it amazed me and transformed my body and mind all over again. It chisels muscles while burning calories and creating a long lean appearance; it is efficient, protective and flat out effective. For 55 minutes, you zone in, the instructor thinks for you, and you just ‘do it.’ One of my instructors, Hannah Beth Cobb, always says “Half the battle is showing up.” That is so true–once you walk through those double doors, slide on your sticky socks, something pretty magical happens, then boom, you are finished and you have a lifted seat, toned thighs and arms and have burned calories by utilizing the large muscle groups throughout class while simultaneously honing in on those “hard to reach” areas as well! It is personal training to a degree, in a group exercise format.
Greatest piece of advice for someone on a mission to either lose weight or get healthier?
Danielle: You are gorgeous in your skin, regardless of how much of it you want to lose or keep; the essence of you is the beauty that remains when all of the exterior or surface things fade. I am an advocate of health and wellness, obviously, but I am more of an active encourager of self-acceptance, if you will. I love seeing women click into a sense of confidence about who they are, not about what they look like.
Lindsay: We like to encourage our clients to create a healthy and active lifestyle, which is different for each person. Creating a healthy balance that works for you, with exercise, eating clean and sleeping, all which are sometimes compromised but a set routine helps keep yourself accountable.
What did your bedroom look like as a teenage girl?
Danielle: My family always jokes that I am a flower child born in the 80’s. I was/am a free spirit, no pink, no frills, no glitter in my room. Always had light teals and cool/calming colors on the walls, and this amazing distressed yellow chaise lounge that I still have in my house today. I distinctly recall an entire table/piece of furniture dedicated to my jewelry–always have been an over-accessorizer with my necklaces and bracelets. When they weren’t on my body, they were décor in my home, and it that is still the way it is.
Lindsay: Ha! Well honestly, a lot like it does now: “organized” piles, maybe a few less piles now!
What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
Danielle: Acid washed jeans. Never got it, never will. But more power to ya if you are rockin em. Get it girl, I just can’t!
Lindsay: Fashion and trends are a huge part of what Danielle and I both love and are passionate about. Trying new statement pieces aren’t out of the norm for us, but I know an item that would be difficult for me to rock: ballet flats.
Any new workout wear that has your eye?
Danielle: Always! Karma Wear has some gorgeous colors out right now, and their line is very “lifestyle” oriented, great for layering daytime then sassing it up with a small change for the summer nights. Splits59 has my favorite pants. The Raquel pant and the Kym Tight are staples for me.
Lindsay: We are always researching new active wear that is good quality and unique for the Birmingham area. This summer we will be highlighting a new brand, Pink Lotus. Pink Lotus pretty much encompasses what we love, tie dyed active wear and casual wear-from the studio to the streets.
Favorite local restaurant?
Danielle: Jinsei. Hands down.
Lindsay: For lunch I love Nabeel’s and for date night dinner Jinsei or Dram
What are you listening to these days?
Danielle: Wow, might be the most difficult one to narrow down. As a musician, I tend to explore new music on a daily basis. Currently, I am really into a more international sound like Omar “Bombino” Moctar (North African), and Badi Assad (Brazilian), both extremely talented with an eccentric vibe.
Lindsay: I feel like I seasonally change my music, but heading into the warmer weather I listen a wide range of “feel good music.” Frank Ocean, Blue Merle , Dave Matthews, Miguel, Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, any reggae (all reminds me of the BEACH).
What books are you currently reading?
Danielle: 1,000 Gifts, Jesus Calling, and my daily Bible that is so tattered and so special to me, been on every travel and trek through my overseas adventures and more. I’ve also become quite the magazine junkie, one of my favorites being Garden and Gun.
Lindsay: Daily I love reading Streams in the Desert, but I am currently reading Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Pretty awesome message. Also I always have an Instyle in my bag!
What is your “must-have” purchase for spring 2013?
If your house was on fire what’s the one non living thing you would grab?
Danielle: My journals–I have an entire writing room/library full of writings/entries from the past 27 years. I would hope that my favorite pen would be tucked away in it, so 2 for 1!
Lindsay: Cliche as it sounds, it would be my computer. Not for the obvious reason but EVERY picture that means something to me is on my computer. Literally over a decade of memories from adventures in college to my wedding and even the most current vacay’s with close friends. I’ve always loved photography and each photo brings back memories that I don’t always remember! They are tangible memories, just showing me how blessed I am!
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God!).
Danielle: Guitar, a vintage poetry book my grandmother gave me, my chain cross necklace (assuming it is not on my neck, so maybe doesn’t count), and definitely my shea butter lotion from Frederic Fekkai–it is an addiction!
Lindsay: My camera, my ability to research and find the latest styles in fashion or just the best current pieces, and the beach and the sea.
Thanks for sharing, Danielle and Lindsay!
And a huge thank you to Beth Hontzas for today’s fabulous photos!