Meet Lisa Hirsch - Founder & CEO of The Studio (MDR)
In my real life, I freelance in event production and while working on a project, two of my colleagues kept raving about classes at "the studio." There was constant talk about the studio this, the studio that and I finally asked what's "the studio?" They told me about this amazing class that changed their bodies and challenged them like no other workout. At the time we were all pretty active and in fairly good shape - One colleague was a Cross Fit regular and the other was a daily runner like myself. So the fact that both of them couldn't stop talking about how great this class was naturally peaked my interest.
Later that year, I decided to set up a class at The Studio (MDR) while spearheading a wellness initiative. Rarely do classes live up to their hype, but not only did the class completely and totally kick my butt, but I absolutely loved the atmosphere! Going to a new studio or class can be really intimidating so to walk away and immediately think of when you can take another class is amazing!
Had a chance to meet Lisa while coordinating the event and not only is she hilarious, she's genuinely a nice person who happens to own one of the top studios in Los Angeles!
Lisa is sharing her BEHIND the BRAND story of how less than satisfactory customer experiences turned into a career and life change that led to what is now the widely popular The Studio (MDR)!
Name & Role
Founder & CEO of The Studio (MDR)
What inspired you to open The Studio (MDR)?
Fresh out of college I moved to NYC and landed what pretty much anyone would consider a dream job: an associate in RCA Records' production & publicity department. I couldn't believe it was my responsibility to go to shows almost every night and hang out with hugely talented artists or sit in meetings with top industry execs discussing the evolution to CDs (yep, that's when I was in my 20s!). From there, I went on to Universal Records, where I created and ran the Artist Relations department. Work had never been 9 - 5 for me but now it was basically 24/7; 9-9 in the office and then off to work backstage at shows or traveling non-stop to manage the ever evolving demands of our artists. It was an amazing and incredible chapter of my life but as you can imagine, far from the healthiest.
My approach to being in shape was to work out like a maniac whenever I had a spare 30 minutes and subsist on salads, apples, and more salads. I thought I was fit (way more so than I actually was), and I certainly wasn't overweight, but I also wasn't happy. When I discovered The Lagree Method, the changes in my body were not like anything I had experienced previously. While the workout was incredible, I thought that the studios I visited lacked the client focused customer service that I felt was crucial to success. I decided if I couldn't find a place that offered me a caring, concierge level experience from entrance to exit with this life-changing workout, I would create it myself. Thus, The Studio (MDR) was born!
What's a typical day in the life at The Studio (MDR)?
There is no typical day; no more, having to be there or else, that's the best part! As I’m sure you know, it’s truly amazing how many disparate components go into running a business, so I spend a lot of my day in calls either making sure we have everything taken care of or working on the growth of The Studio! Also, our third location in Playa Vista recently opened so in addition to running between the two open studios, I spent a lot of time at the new space overseeing the construction and design -- and I have the Instagram photos to prove it!
What's been your biggest success thus far?
Just because I set out to create a caring, nurturing fitness community didn’t mean it would happen instantaneously. I’m incredibly proud of how together with our wonderful clients and staff, The Studio (MDR) has succeeded in growing a community where people can express who they are, work out any existing aggression, and learn how to better address the pressures of daily life while making friends and hitting the goals they forge for themselves.
Conversely, biggest failure(s)?
Hah, well, when I first started The Studio (MDR), my business partner was my boyfriend -- then the personal relationship ended three months in. : ( I’m happy to report it has all worked out, he’s still my business partner and we are both happy in other relationships, but it was a bit of a rocky road to get to this point!
Top three things you wish you knew when you first started
1) Have clear, realistic and specific goals
2) Hire slow, fire fast
3) It’s not always about trusting your gut. I’ve adhered to that mantra for most of my life but this year I learned that for the big issues it is important to take a step back, breathe, and bring your mind, heart, and maybe a fantastic business coach into the decision making process as well.
Top three things tools/apps/technology you can't live without
- iPhone/MacBook Air
- Headspace app
- MindBody app
Who's your professional crush & why?
Jane Fonda! Not only because she arguably led the way for female fitness entrepreneurs but also because I live by this quote: “It’s never too late - never too late to start over, never too late to be happy”. That is the TRUTH - I did it!
As one of LA's top fitness industry leaders, what's the industries next trend?
The future is definitely in integrating technology into workouts -- everyone wants to measure results and have instant data about how their body is changing.
What advice would you give to aspiring fitness industry entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to fail. We all do at some point and it’s those of us that learn from our mistakes that truly grow. Life is full of so many peaks and valleys and trust me, there is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel.
And think…think before you speak or before you press send on that email.
2015 was a great year for The Studio (MDR), so what can we expect for the rest of 2016?
I’m so excited that our third studio in Playa Vista finally opened! It’s always wonderful to be able to bring our unique community to new people and places and show them how we can help them reach their goals.
Extra credit: What's your source of motivation?
Every day I wake up and acknowledge that there is nothing I cannot accomplish in life if I put my mind to it. All I have to do is believe in myself and do the work to make it happen!
Any megaformer lovers here?! If you're in Los Angeles, you definitely need to make a point to stop by The Studio (MDR). The classes are amazing...pure torture, but one of the best workouts out there.
Have you taken a class at The Studio (MDR)? If so, share your experience in the comments below.