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Meet Carol Chen of KinetiCore Pilates Therapy in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol Chen.

Carol, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been into health and fitness for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I did science projects on the 4 basic food groups (which has since been replaced by the pyramid). I taught an aerobics class to my fellow 7th graders. I wrote a letter to McDonald’s asking them to ban smoking in their restaurants (back in the 1980s). My senior year Biology thesis was on the physiological benefits of yoga. It’s just a part of who I am.

My education followed the same path – Kinesiology Major with Movement Science emphasis, Masters & Doctorate in Physical Therapy. As a new PT grad, I soon learned that there needed to be more emphasis on the prevention side of the spectrum, to lessen the struggles of rehabilitation after an injury. That’s when I found Pilates, and knew that the integration of Therapy & Pilates would have a greater positive impact than either alone.

My philosophy is to ‘teach a man to fish’ rather than simply giving them food. I love how the mind-body aspect of Pilates gives people more knowledge about their bodies, their posture, and how to move. As for PT, I’m a huge believer in giving people tools to treat and manage their symptoms for the long-term – in addition to making them feel better walking out the door.

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?
After living and working in the Bay Area for 5 years, I moved to Orange County and opened KinetiCore. I had to start from complete scratch, new to the area with no physician referrals or client base! I also happened to set up shop in 2008, right at the start of the recession. It was slow-growing.

I put myself out there with networking events, which was not natural for me, as an introvert. With no business background at all, I had to learn all the basics of setting up a website, filing a DBA, leasing a space, etcetera.

Of course, as a one-woman show I handled everything from teaching sessions, marketing, janitorial, administration, and the list goes on 😉 As hard as it is to wear so many hats, letting go of the need to do everything myself was hard too!! Finding the right team members that are well trained & qualified to work with our population is not an easy task, but I’ve been fortunate to attract first-rate instructors who have carried on KinetiCore’s culture.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about KinetiCore Pilates Therapy – what should we know?
We specialize in individually tailored Pilates & Physical Therapy programs that target each person’s goals. We’re known for our highly qualified staff & personalized service, and that’s what we’re most proud of. We spend quality time with each client, we’re attentive to proper form for optimal outcome, we take time to listen to and educate our clients, and they become our family. In a business world where productivity is priority, and ‘mass classes’ are booming, we’re holding true to our principles that each person deserves to be treated as just that – a real person, not just another number.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our long-term clients are the most important factor to our success. They trust us to partner with them in their quest for a healthier, more active life. We value that and take pride in those relationships. We’ve had clients who have been with us since the beginning, and we’re so grateful!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As I eluded to before, Pilates franchises & corporate PT facilities are growing. It’s a positive sign that people are looking after their health & fitness (and getting active! Yay)! We’re not trying to compete with that, but we’re offering something different for those who see the advantages 😉

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Andy Coles
Laura Izumikawa

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