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Meet Cricket Wardein of Mighty Pilates in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cricket Wardein.

Thanks for sharing your story with us cricket. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I made a major life shift in 2016 when I decided to say goodbye to a demanding, but cushy, corporate career to truly embrace my passion of operating Mighty Pilates. I went from managing a team of 675 people as the President of the West Coast of the largest privately held marketing agency in the world to managing less than 40 part-time stars. Went from traveling the globe and staying at fancy hotels to staying with friends to save money. I went from the highest tax bracket to the lowest tax bracket. And I went from having teams to help with daily tasks to mopping the bathrooms myself. The journey has been challenging but building an inspiring brand, being my own boss and having satisfied clients tell me that Mighty Pilates is their “happy place” is worth it all.

I was quite lucky to land many great gigs and work for amazing mentors in the corporate world. I worked at ad agencies on clients like the Gap, Electronic Arts and Disney and spent 8 years at Yahoo! in my last year at Yahoo, I was the CMO in Australia and New Zealand. While I was overseas, I discovered large group Pilates classes on reformers, which I hadn’t seen in the States. I loved the combo of a sporty, tough workout and graceful, therapeutic Pilates. I came back to San Francisco and got Pilates certified and started exploring opening a studio. I was working full time in the corporate world and spent my weekends and night’s opening Mighty Pilates. I opened with 2 good friends and self-funded the venture. I had made bit of stock money at Yahoo and maxed out every credit card. Honestly, I had absolutely no idea how hard it was to open a small business. Thank goodness, I didn’t – ignorance is bliss!

During our first few months, we had days where no one would show up for class. Days where total sales were $0. Days where a 1-star Yelp review sent me into the fetal position crying for hours… I was thankful that I had a good-paying corporate job to keep me afloat. Fortunately, I found other local small business owners to be a cathartic outlet. And I found that I was so energized by these self-starters who were opening successful jewelry lines, DryBar and nutritional counseling. They helped me be resilient to get through these tough times. But this time was also incredibly exciting and rewarding. I squealed with joy when our first big sales of 10 private appointments came in for $800. I shed happy tears when the SF Chronicle listed us as “The Place Where the Sex and the City Girls” would hang out. I loved to hear stories of how Pilates empowered people to get through personal challenges. I loved to be at the studio and feel the positive energy of the great community we were building.

For the next five years, I continued to rise at work, the studio in SF kept growing and I launched my best product ever: my little girl Charlie. I was desperately wanting to leave the corporate world but I financially couldn’t as a single mom who solely supported my little girl. I was an entrepreneur who was able to build things at Yahoo and at agencies but I was really itching to just focus on Mighty Pilates. So, I started saving a bit from each paycheck and plotting my escape from the corner office. Finally, last fall I quit my corporate job and traded in a steady paycheck for the roller coaster. First, I took out a loan to cover half of opening the new Mighty Pilates in Santa Monica. It was much easier to open this studio because I had learned so much the hard way already. But the Mighty Pilates brand was unknown in LA, the completion was much fiercer and rent prices were higher.

Both studios are now striving. We have 5 stars on Yelp for both studios, both studios are profitable, we have happy clients, the staff is a wonderful team, and operations run smoothly. We still have some days when sales are slow or we have an unhappy customer. I have learned that there are always potholes along the journey. But I know we will make it through. And most importantly, I am not working 80 hour weeks or traveling the globe. I can set my schedule so I do my favorite things: making chocolate chip pancakes with my five-year-old and dropping her off every day at preschool. If I stayed in the corporate word I wouldn’t be able to show my daughter that hard work, resilience, passion and a supportive, wonderful village all help create a new world of endless possibilities… and precious time to make chocolate chip pancakes. On to opening the next Mighty Pilates!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mighty Pilates – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Mighty Pilates is a 5-star studio in Santa Monica that offers challenging group Pilates classes on Reformers and Springboards, plus TRX. One of the most popular classes is TRX/reformer combo for a tough workout. We are on a private second floor with over 2,000 square feet filled with cool music, a wonderful community and soothing ocean breezes.

Clients can choose from over 80 classes each week taught by tough, dynamic instructors.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that people care about their own health so much.

I dislike the traffic from my home in the Valley to the studio in Santa Monica.

Pricing:

  • New Client Special: 3 classes for $59
  • New Client Special: 3 Private sessions for $195
  • Mighty Monthy Pass: 10 classes and 10% off all retail and services for $235/month

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