That formula has obviously worked for Holmes and Pure Barre. She opened the first location in August 2010, her second in September of last year. And she was introduced to the method only briefly before opening her own studio here.
“I was introduced by a friend who opened a studio in Birmingham,” said Holmes. “She had the first franchise at the beginning of 2010. I went down, took a class and found it’s not just a great workout, but addictive. I love the feeling you get. It really creates that ‘runner’s high’ without the joint impact.”
Because class sizes max out at 20 people, the group is smaller, the feeling more intimate and there’s an undercurrent of collective enthusiasm, Holmes said.
A typical class begins with a basic warm-up, followed by weight work, then moves to the barre. Stretching ensures, back to the barre, working the “seat,” stretching again, and finishing with an intense ab workout on the floor. That’s about an hour, three or more times a week and, Holmes said, results are quick and encouraging.
Pure Barre has two locations: 1414 Jenkins Road in East Brainerd and 214 Manufacturers Road on the North Shore. Call (423) 468-4960 for the former; (423) 580-1162 for the latter, or visit purebarre.com.
After a quick lunch, I was ready for the “looking hot” portion of my tour. Yes, it’s winter—such as it is, what with global warming adjusting the temperature every other day from icy to downright spring-like—but that roller-coaster makes it all the easier to justify a savage tan. Well, not “savage,” but a little less pasty would work just fine for me.
So I entered Sophia Bridger’s new Healthy Glow Studio on Manufacturer’s Road, which opened just before the holidays and brings a new, organic and healthy method of tanning to Chattanooga. No tanning beds here—just an eye-opening, in the “why didn’t they think of that sooner”sense.
Bridger, a Polish native who spent 30 years as an interior designer before moving to Chattanooga and opening the salon, said she wanted to do something fun to complement her daughter’s thriving North Shore business (that would be hairstylist Elizabeth Tate, who owns and operates Hair a Go-Go) and share her “healthy glow” with the Scenic City.
“My daughter, who used to live in L.A., brought Infinity Sun to my attention,” Bridger said. “Then I visited a salon in Ashville (N.C.) and I grinned from ear to ear. I knew Chattanoogans would love this approach to tanning. Who wouldn’t?”
Indeed, the art of airbrush tanning is hot—in L.A., New York and in progressive Southern cities such as Asheville—bringing a touch of Beverly Hills (where Bridger and her staff received intensive training) to Chattanooga.
The method is, like most brilliant ideas, surprisingly simple. Technicians confer with clients, assess their tanning needs and desires, work with them to achieve the perfect matching skin tone, assist them in exfoliating and then literally spray them all over with a bronzing solution that also moisturizes the skin with pure botanicals, aloe and anti-oxidants.
The result? “The bronzers are fabulous,” Bridger, who is both owner and a client, said. “It’s natural, shimmering and rejuvenating—there’s no chemicals or UV rays and you’ll never leave with that ‘orange’ glow, just a healthy glow.”
After a consultation, clients shave, exfoliate—at home or in the studio, which also offers a shower and disposable garments—arrive in comfy clothes, change (into a bathing suit or naked, if they feel comfortable) and a technicians applies the perfect tan—in five minutes. After a short drying period, you’re out the door with a super, natural-looking tan.
“And in the summer if you like to lay out in the sun to absorb its natural effects,” Bridger added, “a pre-outdoor tan with an airbrush tan will advance the process so you aren’t exposed to harmful rays for too long.”