Meet Julia, a mom and former New England Patriots cheerleader from Concord who brings her passion for dance and healthy living to life through her boutique fitness studios; Modern Barre with locations in West Acton, Chestnut Hill, and Brighton! Julia and her team are passionate about providing a variety of class offerings so there’s something for everyone regardless of age or fitness level. Plus, as an added bonus, classes end with a calming lavender cooldown – how wonderful is that! Read about Julie’s journey to becoming a business owner with 3 successful studios. And check out her favorite spots near her studio in West Acton Village.
Can you tell us a little about yourself: where are you from, how long have you lived here, and what brought you to the area?
I am originally from Watertown and after living in Southie and the Seaport my husband and I slowing, started making our way out of the city and into the suburbs. I found a charming old farm house in Concord that needed A LOT of work but it was love at first sight. We have lived here for the past 3 years.
Tell us about your business!
Modern Barre is a boutique fitness studio offering low impact, music driven classes for teens and adults of all ages and levels. I opened our first Modern Barre location in Chestnut Hill in 2013 and have since opened our second store front location at West Acton Villageworks in 2016 along with satellite studios at the New Balance complex in Brighton.
We have a wonderful community of clients ranging from 13 years old to 83 years old, many of whom are moms. We have a variety of levels of classes and we really try to make everyone feel comfortable coming to the studio regardless of their age or fitness level because there are so many benefits to our method. Classes are challenging but invigorating and end with a calming lavender cooldown which some people say is their favorite part! Recently, we have also started offering Mommy & Me and Stroller Barre classes to make it easier for moms to get time for themselves and find strength and balance in their lives.
Our goal is to give everyone a beautiful boutique experience without any of the intimidation; an escape from the hectic pace of life that they can look forward to every day.
How has the community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
We are an independently owned, small business and have relied on word of mouth to help build our community. We have so many wonderful regular clients who have made our studio such a happy place. We have also loved working with the other small businesses in West Acton Villageworks and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with the village community.
Do you have children? Ages?
Yes! I have one son who is 1.5 years old.
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
I love to bring Charlie to our Mommy & Me and Stroller Barre classes and he always has fun playing with the other babies. We also love to go to gymnastics at the Gymnastics Academy of Boston in Acton. The entire place is padded and bouncy so it is perfect for a toddler who wants to run and explore and the owner Jamie is awesome.
On weekends we love to go to Haute Coffee, walk around Concord Center and head over to Emerson Park. There are so many things to do in the center from going to the library to stopping into shops or grabbing food and I love that everything is so close and walkable.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Long before I was a mom I was a Patriots Cheerleader. Growing up, I was actually never a cheerleader, but instead a ballet dancer and soccer/basketball/lacrosse player. I tried out on a whim with a friend and made the team and it was actually a very fun and interesting experience.
Name a favorite book?
The Secret Life of Bees
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms? What was the best advice your mom gave you?
I would tell other moms to spend as much time with their little ones as possible but to make sure to take time for themselves when they can. Taking care of yourself by doing whatever it is you enjoy — taking a class, getting a facial, going for a walk — will help you recharge and give back to your family even more
My mom has always reminded me to cherish the little moments and I couldn’t agree more. In a world where email and social media are constantly at our fingertips it is always a good reminder to remember to pay attention to those little milestones that mean so much.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself? Furniture?
For Children’s clothes I alway head to Fritz & Gigi in Concord Center.
Since I wear workout clothes 99% of the time I usually just shop from our boutique at Modern Barre where we carry Beyond Yoga & New Balance apparel. But if I need something dressier I’ll head to French Lessons in Concord Center.
My favorite place for furniture and unique home finds is Stamm and Black which is in a cute antique house right next to our studio at Villageworks. They have so many interesting things I could spend the whole day there shopping for my home.
Do you have a favorite destination for family trips? Why?
My husband is from Maine so we love to go up there for family trips. Our favorite trip is always at the beginning of August when we run the
Beach to Beacon road race in Cape Elizabeth. When we’re in Maine we will usually head into Old Port as well which is has so many great restaurants, unique shops and hidden gems.
How do you relax and unwind?
Between running a multi-location business and being home with my son it is definitely hard to find any time to unwind. However, I have recently started to take a pastels class in Harvard and it’s been very meditative and relaxing. My husband and I are also currently watching The Good Wife which has enough episodes to last months of binge watching.