Turning lemons into lemonade is one of Kaci Bacher’s superpowers. In 2011 she stepped into the role of single mother after being a stay-at-home mom for a decade. Now it was time to find a way to support her three young boys.
The thought of working a full-time corporate job and missing out on so much of her sons’ lives seemed daunting to Kaci. Meanwhile, she had been taking Pilates—and even teaching classes—at a local fitness studio since it had opened 10 years prior. She dreamed of business strategies, branding ideas and community involvement possibilities for the company. Simultaneously she was doing fitness consulting jobs on the side and offering in-home private lessons—hustling just to make ends meet.
“Influencing mental health is just as important as physical fitness.”
Rather than expend her efforts on someone else’s dream, she stepped up and bought the studio in July 2019. “I loved the business and the people in it so much and wanted to nurture it and watch it flourish,” Kaci remembers. “Plus, fitness offered flexible hours, so I was able to tailor my work schedule to be home when the kids were with me.”
A New Look
Transitioning from instructor to owner, she rebranded, remarketed and remodeled. Then, at the beginning of 2020, she brought on two business partners who are also her two best friends and instructors: Jennifer Chan and Brooke Ricciardi.
“What better way to enjoy your passion and dream job than alongside your friends?” she smiles. “It’s nice to have a team to bounce ideas around with or look at things from a different perspective.”
Despite the pandemic and the required restrictions for businesses during that time, Kaci kept her chin up and persevered. She and her team continued to get the word out about the benefits of their method of Pilates. Today RockIt Body is not just a Pilates studio; it is also a close-knit circle that celebrates momentous victories and supports each other through adversity and challenges.
“Our studio is more than a place to work out; it is a community,” Kaci shares. “We regularly hold social gatherings, and our classes are filled with clients who are also—more importantly—our friends. If you care about another person on a more intimate level, you work harder to reach a common goal. We treat each other with respect and consideration because we truly care for one another.”
Blending classical Pilates philosophies with modern elements, RockIt Body instructors offer a variety of class formats to suit all fitness levels. If you want intense, fast-paced, muscle-shaking classes, this is your place. Prefer slow-and-steady burns? They’ve got that too—and it’s all set to fun, upbeat music.
“We believe you shouldn’t have to decide between a traditional Pilates studio and a modern fitness Pilates program,” Kaci says. “Our studio not only offers the hardcore, sweat-drenched, burn-and-shake workouts you’ve grown to love/hate from us but also classes that are more traditionally focused—incorporating elements that Joseph Pilates originally intended his workouts to be.”
Joseph and Clara Pilates opened their Body Conditioning Gym in New York City in the 1920s, featuring machines that Joseph invented to resist a user’s movement in a way that required the muscles to work against it slowly and smoothly. Through the years Pilates has evolved with modernized equipment and fitness techniques, still steeped in Joseph’s initial creation. It has become a worldwide fitness phenomenon with millions of devotees due to its effectiveness and adaptability.
“We’re inclusive to all ages, shapes and sizes,” explains Kaci of the modifications geared toward those who are pregnant, who have chronic back pain or painful joints, or who have not been physically active in the past. “Our goal is to empower every client who walks through our doors. No matter what is going on in their day, we want to provide a venue that helps build confidence not only by improving physical fitness but by being a safe place mentally without competition or judgment. Influencing mental health is just as important as physical fitness.”
Do What You Love
Kaci is excited to debut the studio’s own RockIt Body Reformer, which she has been working on for years. Once the machines are complete, she plans to replace the existing machines in the Manhattan and Redondo studios and also open additional studio locations.
“Our studio is more than a place to work out; it is a community.”
Counting her many blessings, Kaci gives back whenever she has an opportunity. RockIt Body has supported the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, Tour de Pier, the Skechers Friendship Walk, the Redondo Beach Halloween Trick or Treat Festival and Holiday Stroll, and the Manhattan Beach 10k.
Her sons, who were in preschool and elementary school when she started teaching Pilates, are now 17, 18 and 22 and occasionally help out at the studio. When Kaci’s not working or working out, she immerses herself in the beautiful South Bay—walking The Strand, hanging on the beach, meeting for dinner with friends at local restaurants.
But most of the time, you’ll find her moving. “Movement is in my blood. It is what I was meant to do. And if you do what you love, you’ll never work another day of your life.”