RockIt Body Pilates
Above: L to R: Studio Manager Cameron Paulson; owners Brook Ricciardi, Kaci Bacher & Jennifer Chan
RockIt Body Pilates first opened in 2009. After teaching there for 10 years, Kaci Bacher bought the business in July 2019 and brought in Jennifer Chan and Brooke Ricciardi as business partners at the beginning of 2020. The studio offers an upbeat workout that tones, strengthens and elongates clients’ bodies. Here, Kaci shares more about RockIt Body Pilates with us.
Why did you choose to go into this career field?
Health and fitness have always been a priority, but it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I was able to turn my passion into a career. I graduated from Baylor University with a degree in business marketing. My first job moved me from Texas to California. Ten years later, I got a degree in fashion design and had a clothing line until I became a mom, which lead me to career #3: fitness.
I was teaching a couple of Pilates classes for fun when I became a single mom. I needed to go back to work to care for my three boys, but I had been home with my kids for 10 years so the thought of getting a full-time corporate job seemed daunting. Fitness offered flexible hours, so I was able to tailor my work schedule to be home when the kids were with me.
What would you like clients to know about RockIt Body Pilates?
We offer an innovative upbeat workout to music that will keep you motivated and having fun while toning, strengthening and elongating your body. Along with an incredible workout, we have developed a close-knit community that celebrates momentous victories and supports each other through adversity and challenges.
Describe your leadership style.
To put it simply, I lead by example. There is not a job or task I haven’t done or won’t do if it needs to be done. Nothing is “beneath” me. That being said, I’m also a get sh*t done type of person. I’m not a micromanager, and with my team I give ownership to projects. If a task is assigned, I let it go and expect it to be done because I believe in their capabilities.
How do you encourage honest, open employee dialogue?
I am kind but direct. Life is precious, and time is fleeting. I don’t believe in wasting it by not speaking the truth or beating around the bush. I take time to listen. I try to see situations from a different perspective, and I take time to process before I respond. I never react.
What strategies have you used to promote inclusion in the world of pilates?
Although Pilates has predominately been practiced by women, it is certainly not “just for women” and the benefits are certainly not gender-biased. After all, Pilates was developed by a man. Because Pilates has been around since the 1920s and practiced mostly by women, we needed to bring greater awareness to imagery and cueing.
For example: “stand up on your high-heel shoes” (lift your heels) or “tighten your corset” (pull your ribcage in). Most men have never experienced wearing high heels or wearing a corset, so we have changed the language in our teacher certification to be more inclusive. We are practicing being more deliberate with our language choices to be relevant and relatable to all genders.
How do you balance work and play?
Work time and playtime are synonymous. When I’m “working,” I’m surrounded by clients and employees I call friends. Sometimes work can consist of listening to fun music during a sweat session or a planning meeting over a Friday happy hour. When I’m “not working,” I’m working out, enjoying the beach or stuffing my face in the company of the exact same people.
What is the #1 thing you do to ensure your business is successful?
Keep it real.
If you could begin again, what would you want to “do over” in your career?
Absolutely nothing! I believe our path is our path. We learn and grow from our mistakes. We don’t look back and continue to move forward.
How do you find time to fit it all in?
I don’t sleep—LOL!
Tell us about something you recently learned that surprised you.
The first line of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea does not say “First things first, Cin-da-realla” (slang for Cinderella). It says, “I’m the realest.” I’ve been saying it that way for years and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
What advice do you give your kids?
I encourage them to make their own decisions. I guide them through the possible outcomes but ultimately leave the answer for them to discover. I want them to be independent free thinkers, not influenced by other people or circumstances.
Tell us your favorite quote.
There are two:
“Don’t knock on opportunity’s door. Kick that b*tch in, smile and introduce yourself.” – Dwayne Johnson
“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” – E.B. White