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Meet Trailblazer Sandy Shimoda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandy Shimoda.

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
There are a lot of wonderful stories about professional dancers who were drawn to Pilates and became teachers. And although that is true for me too, the story I wish to tell today is about my business, Vintage Pilates, and my personal experience building it. Vintage Pilates, has always been dedicated to restoring the enduring values of Pilates – those that stand the test of time by pinpointing the heart and soul of Joe Pilates’ method. I can tell you that the process of building a business around that goal has been wildly rewarding, challenging, and full of surprises.

I got where I am today because of my love of Pilates, a desire to preserve its integrity, a supportive mentor and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The reason I care is that Pilates works, it has improved my life multidimensionally, and I can think of few things more rewarding than helping others to experience their own positive change.

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? Any advice for other women, particularly young women who are just starting their journey?
It has been a smooth road, or perhaps that is just how I see things. I expect struggles and see them as part of the creative process and the successful running of any business. Struggles help me to make important decisions about my business.

Vintage Pilates has blossomed even with a shift in ownership and constantly evolving programs. It has struggled to handle demand at home while making its teachings available worldwide. And this year, it is in the process of transitioning from a physical studio space to a studio without walls.

My advice to women just starting on their journey is to pour yourself into defining your mission. Refer back to it as your business grows and guides you toward achieving your goals in surprising ways. Then, be prepared to succeed, and never compromise your happiness and well being.

We’d love to learn more about your work. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
My job is to guide people toward improved body awareness, better movement and greater vitality with Pilates. I endlessly value teaching the students who have been drawn to work with me. I owe everything I understand to them.

Vintage Pilates is a boutique business that has thrived on the support of its clients. They know that we teach Pilates to the highest standard, and they experience greater agility, mobility, and wellbeing from their practice.

What sets Vintage Pilates apart is its world-renowned teacher’s program, offering workshops for certified teachers driven to enrich their understanding and improve their teaching.

Which women have inspired you in your life? Why?
My mother, Aloha, is the woman who most inspires me. She raised four children and managed a house of six while getting a masters degree and working or volunteering much of the time. Not only did she do all of this with grace and competence, but she never complained or caved from the constant demands. I always felt valued by her and almost guilty about the fullness with which she supported me.

She set an example of positivity and hard work that showed me what is possible. She once told me that she couldn’t believe all the things I had achieved in my work life, noting that when she was a young woman the only choices she had were to be a teacher or a nurse. Still, as disparate as our options were, I adopted my Mom’s zest for work and family life, and continue to strive for her combination of kindness, intelligence, vision, organization, and creativity ~ a dream that is always just beyond reach.

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Image Credit:
Ben Bertucci, Rod Foster, Joy Jacobs

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