Connect
To Top

Meet Molly Kainuma and Laura Morrell of Barre Forte NoCo in Loveland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Kainuma and Laura Morrell.

Molly and Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Laura and I had worked together for over 12 years in a completely different profession. Our jobs often left us mentally and physically spent, but we found barre fitness to be a great form of exercise and stress relief. We actually discovered Barre Forte right when they were just starting out, snagged a Groupon deal, and continued as regular clients. It was always something we enjoyed together outside work. Flash forward eight years, Barre Forte was expanding throughout Colorado and beyond. After trying almost every barre fitness studio around the Denver area, we always kept coming back to Barre Forte. We’d daydream over lunch about what it would be like to own our own studio. At some point, we convinced ourselves that life was too short for ‘what ifs’ and decided why not. The timing just made sense. In a nutshell, we were long time clients turned studio owners. We began the licensing process over two years ago and were able to open our doors in June of this year.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to opening a studio seemed long, and required a lot of work and planning; however, I would say we very much felt like things really fell into place almost the entire way. We often said how lucky we got throughout the process – just when we felt stuck, everything would align and we’d be back on track. And then, just as we were about to open our doors, COVID stopped everything in its tracks. It has been a challenge we could’ve never expected and the timing was just unbelievable. Trust me when I say we’ve been through all the emotions over the past six months. We’ve pivoted and almost completely adjusted our business model to operate within new health & safety guidelines and enter the fitness industry in an unprecedented time. There’s always that little voice inside your head telling you how unfair things are, but there’s no time to dwell on that when you’re a business owner. You have to keep reaching for the little lights and adjust on the fly. You fall back on your why’s for starting in the first place, dig your heels in, and keep pushing forward. For example, during the mandated business closures, we researched software and set up new technology to be able to support Virtual classes. This was completely new to us but necessary to stay relevant and provide options for our clients.

Barre Forte NoCo – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Barre Forte is a boutique barre fitness studio offering dance-inspired fitness classes. One of the first questions we always get is “Do you have to be a dancer to do barre?” And of course the answer is no! Truly, barre is for EVERYone. The beauty of barre is that it is low-impact, which makes it appropriate for any age or fitness level. Each movement can be modified or advanced to meet you where you’re at. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard -and we like it that way! Our instructors follow a specific format but are able to create unique choreography within that format to keep things fresh. You will never do the same workout twice. Throw in the best mixed-in-house playlists around and you’ve got yourself the Barre Forte magic of a killer workout plus fun! Some of the earliest changes our clients notice in their bodies is a tighter core, toned arms, and a lifted seat.

Barre uses small, precise movements to isolate each muscle group and work them to fatigue. We dedicate class time to thoroughly stretching each muscle group to encourage long, lean muscles. While a quarter of class is focused on core work specifically, you are really working your core for the entire 60 minutes whether you realize it or not. Our signature class is a full hour, but we also offer a 45-minute Express class for when you need to squeeze that workout into a busy day. We are looking forward to adding Sculpt, barre yoga, and cardio barre formats to our schedule in the future.

All Barre Forte studios believe in creating a safe and supportive space for our staff and clients. That starts with who we hire as instructors and is instilled in their training. Being a part of someone’s journey is an honor, and there is no prouder moment than when your clients tell you how the classes and the community have changed their bodies, their confidence, and impacted their lives in a positive way.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Just taking the leap and deciding to go for it! Specifically, finding the courage to open during the least ideal time imaginable. Although our first few months in business have looked drastically different than what we expected, we know our studio is meant to be here in the NoCo community and that we can provide a safe and welcoming experience to everyone that walks through the studio doors.

Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so – who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
First and foremost, the Barre Forte brand owners:  Sarah, Amy, and founder Nadia.  It’s a testament to the community that Barre Forte studios strive for.  Over the years we developed relationships with the owners and instructors and watched their studios grow and evolve into a place we loved to be.  There is no question that we never would’ve considered going down the studio-ownership road if it weren’t for our trust and confidence in these women.  Their support, advice, and mentorship has been invaluable throughout the whole process.  It’s easy to have doubts when you step into something completely new, but our friends, families, and husbands continue to believe in us and show us their support in both big and small ways.  And last but not least, again, our clients and instructors!  We hit the jackpot with the instructors that have joined our team!  They are endlessly supportive and positive and committed to seeing the studio be successful.  In just a few short months our clients have become our friends and they light us up.  “Yes You Can” has become a favorite unofficial mantra of Barre Forte studios over the years and it’s something we say often during class when things get tough, a reminder to push through.  Our clients have already reminded us of this when we needed it too.  This support system has one hundred percent gotten us through the first few months of uncertainties and restrictions.
Pricing:
  • $115/month Founder’s Membership. The best of everything – Unlimited In Studio, Livestream, and On Demand classes. This option is price-locked and hands down the best value. We only have a certain number available for a very limited time before they are gone.
  • Introductory offers: Your first class is just $10 or your first month of unlimited class is $99.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in