Meet Julie Lee: co-owner and operator of DEFINE body & mind fitness studio located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Julie is mom to her two daughters, Locke and Lucy, and sister to our Owner & founder, Alex Klempf. If you’ve ever been in a room with Julie, her energy is infectious. In 2016, Julie and her business partner, Kelly Kuntz, opened DEFINE body & mind, a franchise based out of Texas. Their partnership is the definition of good synergy. After going through the training process, they both became instructors at DEFINE to experience what it’s like on both sides of the business. We sat down with Julie and picked her brain on all things wellness, motherhood, and DEFINE.
What were you doing before you decided to open DEFINE body & mind?
I was working a 9-5 in Fort Lauderdale and traveling a lot. I wanted to move back home to do something completely different that would involve building a wellness community.
What about the DEFINE fitness model sets it apart from other fitness studio franchises?
DEFINE is one-of-a-kind in that it offers a variety of fitness methods under one roof. We have barre (body classes), cycle (rev classes), bounce (trampoline classes), and we have the ability to offer yoga and mind (hammock classes). We are completely rhythm-based, meaning everything we do is to the beat of the music; it’s ADDICTING and our instructors have free reign to play their own music and make up their own classes and choreography. We also require any instructor wanting to join our team to complete our personalized training program. The level of detail, attention and care that goes into every single one of our classes is exceptional and unparalleled in our industry.
You went through the DEFINE training program and now you actually teach cycle/rev classes. What did you learn from going through that experience? Does it help in working with your other instructors?
Yes, I think that being trained in our core methods has helped us understand the pressures of creating new classes, new playlists, new choreo, giving and receiving feedback, prioritizing plans and social/family matters, as well as honing in on our owner versus client experience.
How did COVID impact your business? What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
We shut down March 15th and within 48 hours we were able to offer our clients online/virtual classes with their beloved local instructors and teach classes all over the US at other franchises by new instructors. We learned the importance of relationships and how constant communication with clients was the only way to move forward. We learned that they needed equipment, so we rented our bikes, we rented our weights (and sold weights!), we sold all of our trampolines, and basically rented everything we owned (mats, silver balls, shoes, etc.). We learned to ride the wave of uncertainty and to adapt.
What is the biggest challenge with owning a business and raising a family?
The balance of work life/personal life – and always needing our phones. I hate being on my phone with my children near, but it’s impossible to not use it or look at it!
How do you make time for yourself?
Ironically, when I am at the studio and working out I am phoneless and kid-less, which is why I also believe a lot of people love to come to our studio: to disconnect for 45 minutes or an hour while they do something for themselves.
I also love to get into bed early when the kids are down and chat with my husband (free of constant interruption!) or read a couple chapters in a book!
How do you get cozy?
Being alone, LOL
Xo, Team SipC