Club Pilates now open at Renaissance
RIDGELAND — A large fitness brand with more than 600 studios worldwide recently opened at the Renaissance.
Club Pilates Renaissance has been a long-running project for owner John Kaiser, a nearly 30 year resident of Madison County. They opened on Aug. 26. They currently offer 10 classes consisting of about a dozen participants a day and growing.
Kaiser said the response has been unbelievable. The location is the only one in the state.
“I didn’t get into this to get rich, I really wanted to bring something to the community,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser is originally from Brandon and attended college at Delta State. About 28 years ago he married his wife, Stacy, a school teacher, and moved to Madison where he has lived since. His background is in banking and most recently he started working with the Veteran’s Home Purchase Board of Mississippi in November. Stacy has been teaching for the past five years at Boyd Elementary in Jackson.
He retired from the Mississippi National Guard at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2017.
Kaiser started looking into investment opportunities about two years ago in 2019 when he found Club Pilates. With his 25 years in banking, Kaiser was well aware of the pitfalls of venturing out. He said for a long time he had apprehensions about starting a business of his own but when he did finally begin looking and found Club Pilates he knew he found a company he could work with.
“I really like their corporate structure,” Kaiser said. “Felt like a family.”
The Renaissance location was secured in late 2020 and Kaiser was able to begin selling memberships by March 2021, of which they have sold almost 200 to date, he said. In April he made his first big hire for the club, Amber Epperson, his manager.
Growing up, Epperson took the physical activity seriously. She was always involved in sports such as gymnastics, cheerleading and softball and had taken that competitive attitude into a career working in gyms for the past 10 years.
Epperson said she had recently found pilates after years of rough activity and intense, often competitive, workouts had sent her to the back doctor with four bulging disks. Epperson said pilates has been a key part of her recovery and prevented her from having to undergo a number of invasive procedures.
“It is just a great way to get a good workout without having to beat your body up,” Epperson said. “I can say it has been beneficial for me.”
Now she directs her competitive energy to Mario Kart sessions with her husband, Kevin, after they put the kids to bed.
Kaiser said he was originally dismissive of the “giggling girl” applying to run his pilates studio but she quickly won him over with her “infectious personality.”
“I told her to come work for me you just got to have faith,” Kaiser said. “Trust me and trust in God above.”
The two have an immediately recognizable rapport. They can talk business while peppering in a number of inside jokes and mutual movie references. Kaiser said that the aforementioned personality has been a key to Epperson’s ability to interact with customers and sell as many memberships as they have.
They have currently hired about six instructors including Reesheda Carter, who has more than 15 years of experience teaching Pilates on top of the 500 hours of training required for Club Pilates teachers.
Club Pilates Renaissance is located just across the street from Zea Rotisserie and Bar in the Renaissance next to the Ridgeland Tourism Commission and Smoothie King. For more information visit clubpilates.com.