When Barre Bee Fit co-founders Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin met through mutual friends back in 2009, they quickly bonded over a shared passion for women’s fitness. The two, who had been independently choreographing workout routines for years, joined forces to create Barre Bee Fit, a complete fitness program specially engineered for women. After months of careful planning and teaching makeshift classes out of Jillian’s condo, they took a leap of faith and signed a lease on a basement space in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in 2010.
Within six months, the flagship River North studio expanded to included a second studio room. Ariana and Jillian opened a second location in Lincoln Park in 2011, a third in the Gold Coast in 2012, and a fourth on Michigan Avenue in 2013. In late 2012, Barre Bee Fit started a national franchising program, and now has studios in Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Dallas, and the metropolitan area of Detroit. Studios in Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. are in the works and slated to open later this year.
Barre Bee Fit goes well beyond the barre, offering a variety of classes that allow clients to get cardiovascular conditioning, strengthening work, and restoration all in one place. Instructors undergo intensive training to learn the Barre Bee Fit program’s methodology and approach to motivation. With ever-changing routines, new props, and customized playlists and lighting, Barre Bee Fit classes are a full-on fitness experience.
Beyond designing a series of highly effective and varied group fitness classes, Ariana and Jillian also set out to challenge commonly accepted ideas of what it means to be a healthy, fit woman. With a fitness program that heavily emphasizes personal goals, inner strength, and a community of positive support, Barre Bee Fit aims to controvert the unrealistic ideal of “Barbie” and create the new “Barre Bees” — women who feel strong, comfortable, and beautiful in their own skin and who work to better themselves and positively influence those around them.
In just a few short years, Jillian and Ariana have seen their dream begin to unfold into reality, assembling a strong team of instructors, client relations representatives, and executive team members behind this movement. They are thrilled to have franchise owners around the country joining them in their pledge to live by the Barre Code and bring the BBF lifestyle to women everywhere.