We all talk about that ever-elusive work-life balance, but two Charlotte women took matters into their own hands to actually make it happen for themselves. Roni Pinch and Amy Radke met eight years ago when their kids were in school together. Roni was a speech pathologist, and Amy worked as both a CPA and a CFO. They are both passionate about fitness, and between them, they have five kids and were looking for a way to spend more time with them. Amy remembers, “We would always talk about being working moms and what it takes to have a career.” That’s when the idea for VIBE5 (pronounced “vibes”) started to take shape. “We are both entrepreneurs and have built businesses in other industries. We also have very active families and wanted to create a place and build a brand where there is something for everyone in the family,” Roni explains.
VIBE5, a fitness studio offering more than 60 different classes that range from yoga to boot camp, opened this summer in SouthPark. Initially they wanted to open a yoga studio, but the concept quickly grew to not only offer unique kinds of yoga classes, but additional types of fitness classes as well.
“We started out thinking we would do a yoga studio and also offer indoor cycling classes, and the more we started thinking about how it would be a great combination, the idea evolved,” Roni explains.
The women started researching fitness studios in the area and spent a lot of time looking at gyms in New York City.
“And then we got a call from the Laughing Buddha [the yoga studio that was previously in their location], so we knew that space was coming open and we moved into that space,” Roni says.
They moved in on the first of July and were open by the end of the month, and both women used their business prowess to make it happen. “We wanted to start slow. It was very important to us to self-fund. We wanted to build it ourselves. We thought we would start with yoga and then add strength and cardio classes and then decide if we want to expand.”
Thanks to the popularity of VIBE5, which has barely been open a few months, that’s already in the plans.
They offer yoga (for all levels, both hot and cool), strength training, cardio (including a class that incorporates yoga and cardio called Shakti) and a high-octane boot camp class. They also have classes specifically designed for younger patrons.
The women say Strong VIBE5 and H3 are their most popular classes. Strong VIBE5 uses weights for a combination of strength and flexibility training. H3 is the first hip-hop yoga class in Charlotte. The room is dark, there are candles lit and hip-hop music gets you out of your head.
But they say the unique class offerings are not what set them apart. Instead they say it’s the strength of their instructors. “They are so good!” Amy says. “We often hear that our schedule is so wonderful that clients can’t decide what class or teacher to take! We were very meticulous in hiring only the most talented teachers who love to pour into clients, encouraging them so that they find the courage to go beyond what they thought was possible.”
They’ve also managed to find a special and consistent way of giving back to the community by hosting regular donation classes to support area non-profits.
And despite working so closely together now, the women say they love it.
“[It’s] even better than expected!” Roni says of going into business with her friend. “Amy and I are in some ways opposite but in others completely on form. We complement each other so well, and even despite talking sometimes 10 times per day, we aren’t sick of each other. Or at least I am not sick of her!” In fact they say the whole process has been invigorating and they can’t wait to open more VIBE5 studios.
Their mission? Spread good vibes across Charlotte and beyond.
Amy explains, “We are creating an environment where people are happy, and they feel like they’re contributing. We already have our antennas out, and we absolutely plan to go to other cities.”
For now, experience Vibe5 for yourself at 720 Governor Morrison St., Ste. 140E, Charlotte, NC 28211. Learn more at (704) 362-3311.
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