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Ten years ago, Jillian Lorenz took a New Year’s resolution and co-founded one of the largest barre-based workouts in the country. While The Barre Code started in Chicago a decade ago, it now boasts 60 locations and 200,000 members nationwide. In addition to being a total Boss Babe, Jillian is also the mom of three with a fourth on the way. This Mom Boss recently sat down with BCB to dish on all things business, mom life and more.
Name: Jillian Lorenz
Kid(s) and Ages: Verona (7), Lincoln (5), Lyric (18 months), Baby 4 due 7/11/20
When you dreamt up The Barre Code did it look like it does today?
The Barre Code started as a New Year’s resolution in 2010. My co-founder Ariana and I spent New Year’s Day writing out mission statements and vision, and planning how we wanted to create a business that used a best-in-class fitness program as a vehicle to empower and support women on their path through personal growth and self acceptance. Although our mission & vision has stayed the same since day 1, we didn’t imagine how far and wide our dream could grow, and how we would be able to expand and reach as many people as we have today.
How can all moms benefit from The Barre Code?
Our scheduling flexibility and different virtual options allow new moms, working moms, moms with multiple kids, and more to get their workout in at home on their own time. Oftentimes as a mom you don’t have a full 50 minutes to complete a workout, so our On Demand platform also offers varying class lengths so that moms who can just sneak away for 10 minutes are still able to stay active throughout the day. The Barre Code’s mission also speaks to all moms. Now more than ever, the motherhood journey is about personal growth. It’s a hard journey, and everyone’s path is different, , so we are proud to provide a community where moms can connect, not feel alone, and get support while navigating their own way.
For you, what’s the hardest part about running a company and being a mom?
Balance is definitely the hardest part, especially now during quarantine days. Having three little ones at home (and also being pregnant), I have to be able to find the perfect balance between motherhood, schoolwork, marriage, and being a co-CEO of a company with 60+ locations.
Did having kids change the way you run your business? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. As a mom, you become more efficient. When you’re working, it’s more focused, and only on things that you bring the greatest value to. You’re able to recognize your weaknesses and limitations quicker, so that you can delegate and have others help you when you need it.
Where did you learn about BCB? What has been your experience with BCB throughout the last ten years.
I met the founder when Ariana and I first started The Barre Code in 2010. At the time I wasn’t a mom, but was so inspired by the community and the synergies between our mission to support one another.
Pregnancy and exercise – how did it help you? How do you advise women as they are newly pregnant and beyond?
It’s best to start exercising when you’re even in the vicinity of trying to become pregnant, because working out will not only keep you physically strong, it will help you keep mentally calm. Whether becoming pregnant happens right away like it did for my first two children, or years like it did for my third, exercise keeps you as calm as you can be while you navigate this new journey. When you do become pregnant, it’s important for you to stay active. I’ve never had any aches or pains through any of my pregnancies and I 100% equate it to staying active through the pregnancy and recovery.
You’re pregnant with baby #4! What are the top three registry items from your baby registry? And how have the needs changed from each of your 3 (almost 4) registries?
The Vista UppaBaby – it has held up with all 3 kids!
Baby Bjorn, I have several different kinds – I use them constantly for the first year.
Fisher Price Cradle & Swing, used it with every kid and so helpful during the first year, especially when there are multiples!
What’s the best parenting advice you have ever received?
Everyone can offer advice that worked for them, but you need to find what works best for you. And EVERY family and kid are different, so no two solutions are the same.
What’s the best business advice you have ever received?
Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and don’t take no for an answer.
What’s the one piece of advice you would like to share with other expecting or new moms?
No two children are alike and no two experiences are the same. Don’t worry so much about the milestones. Take advice from others, but also take your own road and do what’s best for you and your children.
Can you take maternity leave when you own a business? How did you make the most of your time with newborns and still keep the business running?
For my first three kids I took about three weeks of maternity. I’m currently pregnant with my fourth child, and my business partner is actually pregnant with her second, and we’re due two weeks apart. We were planning on both taking a month off, but then COVID hit. We’re going to try to take 2 weeks completely off, and then after that, have a touch point daily in the morning. We’ll also have a placeholder scheduled in the late afternoon/early evening that we can use to connect on any matters, or forego if we can.
During this pandemic, what are some lessons you have learned?
In regards to motherhood, patience and empathy. I thought I was busy before, but the pandemic has taken it to a whole new level. I can’t believe what I accomplish in a day. We have to remember this is hard on our kids and they are kids. They miss their friends and family, the parks, the dinners, human interaction. They get cabin fever just like we do. My patience are tested now more than ever.
For business, it’s time to think outside the box, there is no more Pre-COVID life. How can we pivot to make us relevant and ready to thrive during COVID.
Each week BCB introduces you to a mom we think is amazing through our Mom IRL feature. Check out Bump Club & Beyond for more moms we love! Are you doing something amazing that we should know about? Or do you know someone who we should meet? Be sure to email us with your recommendation at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured.