Craving a pilates and yoga studio that is non-judgemental, an upbeat environment and whereby diversity is celebrated, Rima decided to create Trunk Studios – a place for real people. Every individual is welcome no matter your experience, fitness level, gender, ethnicity or age. Practicing yoga, pilates or barre is for everyone – despite the common misconception that you need to be flexible or fit to start. I spoke with Rima about how Trunk Studios are changing the industry in a positive way and the exciting introduction of Trunk Studio TV – on demand classes so we can work out anywhere, anytime.
Hi Rima, thanks so much for chatting with me and sharing your journey and your amazing business. Tell me all about Trunk Studios!
Trunk Studio started as an idea while I was visiting India. I’ve moved around a lot over the past 12 years and had to restart over and over again. I often used to find a community in the gym space but found that Pilates and Yoga studios in Sydney were very elite. I didn’t quite fit in and to be completely honest – it bothered me. I am not the most flexible person myself and I don’t portray any of the stereotypes that come with the industry, so I wanted to create an inclusive studio that is beginner friendly and for anyone who had not yet found ‘their’ studio. I really wanted the studio to feel completely welcoming, regardless of age, gender, shape, nationality or sexual orientation and be a place where you can meet people and have a laugh, switch off your mind and not care if you were in the most trendy activewear, just genuinely be yourself. At Trunk Studios you will find smaller classes so your teacher has a chance to spend time with everyone, assist with post adjustments and give real time guidance. This is a really important part of the class experience and it ensures our members are improving their technique with each visit, prevents injury and that you get the most out of your class.
I love your philosophy of “A studio for real people”. How have you created your studio environment to not only encourage diversity but celebrate it?
I was very focused on the studio environment and creating a space where everyone would feel welcome and have a foundation of community. This was the most important priority and reason why I created Trunk Studios in the first place. I consciously hire teachers that are genuinely good people, who love what they do and have the same values as the studio. We try to contact all new clients when they first join to check in with them, see how their experience is going and if they need help with anything. It is really important in those early visits that our clients feel welcome and supported. We encourage our clients to chat to each other and our amazing team of teachers in the studio and have open conversations where everyone is invited. Plus, our clients are absolutely amazing because THEY are so welcoming and being part of a community is important to them too. Our clients embody our values so much, it’s really is quite amazing. I guess it is true that “your vibe attracts your tribe”!
Talk me through the different classes you offer and the benefits of your classes you offer at Trunk Studio….
In our studio we offer a variety of yoga classes, Pilates classes, barre and reformer classes. Our goal is to offer an all over body experience and all classes are great to increase strength, work on your balance and also help with mind clarity. We have a creche available, so mums can get some time to work out solo and have the opportunity to be completely focused and present in their class. Mums and bubs classes are great but some me time is always nice too! On our new online platform we also offer boxing classes.
Let’s chat all about Trunk Studios TV. On demand classes so we can work out anywhere, anytime! How does membership work and what are our options?
TrunkStudios TV is an extension of our current Sydney studio. I wanted to bring our platform online as our studios are close to being sold out again and to offer our clients an on demand option to fit in with their lifestyle. TrunkStudios TV is so much more than just a workout platform, in addition to the classes we also offer recipes, meditation, informative blog articles and we have just launched the first positive mindset podcast. When creating TrunkStudio TV, it was really important to me that this is a true extension of our studios and the quality and client experience is above and beyond. Our content is professionally filmed, our podcasts and blog articles are created by experts in their fields and the recipes are developed by nutritionists to ensure we provide a high quality platform. New content is added weekly so there is always something fresh and interesting for our clients, and there is also the option to download workouts to your app when you know you won’t have reception which is really convenient. A monthly subscription is $24.99 USD per month and $249.99 USD per year and all of our memberships have a 7-day trial period. We are excited to offer a special 40% discount for TDP readers with code TDP40 for our Annual Membership, simply enter the code when you check out.
For someone wanting to try online memberships for the first time, what are some tips and advice for staying motivated and getting the most out of their membership?
Plan ahead! Pencil it in your calendar as you would a meeting or appointment and do this for the week ahead if possible. Our software includes a calendar option where we offer a suggestion for your workout each day. This mixes it up and keeps things interesting. And don’t be afraid to try new workouts!
Let’s hear from some of Trunk Tv’s happy students…
“I cannot recommend Trunk highly enough. The instructors are all absolutely brilliant; all are just truly beautiful people who really know their stuff and look out for every participant in their class. Any niggles are taken into consideration and they keep the classes interesting, mixed up and challenging. Management is really well-organised, genuine and personable so it does not take long to feel really welcomed and at home. Thank you for creating such a perfect place and community!”
“Beautiful studio. Everything is really well thought through. The staff are some of the loveliest people I’ve ever trained with. I feel accepted and welcome, even with limitations to what I can do. There is never pressure to push yourself to injury. The space is beautiful, the app works really well, it’s very clean, all members are lovely and the classes are plentiful. I’m so glad I joined.”
“The studio is beautiful, the staff are welcoming and the classes are made suitable for all levels of fitness. The online zoom classes and outdoor park classes that have been developed in response to covid-19 have maintained a high standard. I can highly recommend Trunk studios.”
“I really enjoy the classes at Trunk Studios. The teachers are all friendly, experienced and are great at guiding you through the classes. I love the welcoming community vibe of the studio and would recommend anyone who lives in the area to try a class whether it’s yoga, Pilates or barre that you’re interested in.”
Trunk is all about community, inclusion and positive messaging only. I think it’s fair to say that Trunk Studios was definitely a pioneer in this, and it’s something that has more recently become “trendy”. Rima, what are your thoughts on this and how has this always been a part of Trunk?
We are definitely a very community based studio (I often get messages from clients 2 years later saying that they haven’t been able to find a studio like ours) and our seasoned instructors say that they have never worked in a studio with so many different kinds of people and everyone talks to each other! We have an above average male attendance, a huge LGBTQ community and lots of mums. Inclusivity and positive messaging has always been a part of Trunk Studios and it really should be what is normal in the industry. Our message is always body positive, in that we don’t use language like losing weight, shredding, diet, detox, toning or even challenges. All of these things imply that there is something wrong with you to start with and can trigger unhealthy habits and cycles which is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to foster for our community.
What is next for Trunk Studio and your plans for 2021?
We are hoping to grow our community online and will be adding even more content every week and we are working on adding forums to our platform so we can engage with our members more online. Towards the end of the year we are looking to open another location and are looking at overseas options as well which is very exciting. Communicating more about our mission and to keep working to really embed that in the fitness industry is also a priority for Trunk Studios this year.
Thanks so much Rima for sharing your journey and the amazing story of Trunk Studios. Be sure to check out TrunkStudios TV and save with 40% off your annual membership! Simply enter TDP40, and all memberships have a 7-day free trial.