How BBF Began
In 2009, Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin met through mutual friends at a holiday party, where they instantly hit it off. The two were independently known around Chicago as fitness gurus in the city, as Jillian spent years choreographing and teaching fitness and dance classes, and Ariana spent her days at the University of Michigan training clients at the campus fitness center. The two bonded over their shared passion for women’s health and fitness and their struggle to find the perfect fitness solution. At the time that Jillian and Ariana met, they were each working 80-hour weeks at their high-profile corporate careers. The two business-savvy women decided to come together to create a fitness program that would be committed to continual innovation and be crafted specifically for the needs of women. With only their personal savings to invest, the duo decided to make a leap of faith, and in June 2010, Barre Bee Fit opened its first studio in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.
While still working full-time at their corporate jobs, Jillian and Ariana signed the lease for the River North location, teaching all of the eight classes that were offered daily. Within six months after opening their first location and observing Barre Bee Fit’s remarkable trajectory, Jillian and Ariana officially quit their jobs and focused their energy on growing the business within Chicago. Within a year of opening its River North studio, Barre Bee Fit opened its second studio in Lincoln Park, and the Gold Coast location followed shortly thereafter. Barre Bee Fit’s newest location on Michigan Avenue is set to open in summer of 2013, and Jillian and Ariana are thrilled to announce their arrival on the most prominent street in the heart of Chicago. The two are also excited to expand on a national level through the Barre Bee Fit franchising program. While back in 2009, the duo may have never envisioned their current level of success, they can finally say that their dream has turned into a reality – that they are helping women transform into their strongest, fittest selves and inspiring women everywhere to “live by the Barre Code.”