We had the good fortune of connecting with Tahlia Charleson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tahlia, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Given the current global pandemic, even more specifically, New Zealand’s national political party change, and lastly regionally where I live, where we have experienced an unprecedented surplus supply of commercial lease availability in downtown Tauranga New Zealand, my lesson… is to not allow ANY of that to be an excuse as to why my business wont succeed. I recently asked a local business owner in the city in which my new studio has established itself “how have you kept busy, survived, and even grown with our downtown community closing its doors around you?”. His reply “I have never let what has happened in downtown Tauranga, be a reason why my business will fail”. This profound moment was my greatest learning and it has become my mantra. You have to stay innovative. If you are passionate about an idea, chances are, it’s a great one and others will be excited with you. I quieten out all external noise that may be a distraction or an easy excuse as to why a certain month might be quieter than others (oh it’s school break, it’s been so cold, a lot of people are away for holidays). If I fell into the trap of allowing these reasonings becoming excuses to justify my quieter times in the business, I will never find the ability to adapt, grow and change to avoid them. My career lesson, and I say this with absolute clarity since experiencing lockdown and COVID-19, that in a service based industry like mine, the only way to ensure longevity is to house happy and well taken care of staff, and treasure your customers, for without them, you have no business. A client’s loyalty to stay with a provider for their health, wellbeing, conditioning or other for a number of years, comes down to them feeling looked out for, looked after and endlessly cared about I have always made the biggest effort to openly show my appreciation to each and every single one of my clients. I have even separated my class times to ensure my studio never feels like a revolving production line. We make time for people, for people are everything. Lastly, I believe in myself. I am chasing that dream. I have to be patient (this was a hard lesson as I am impulsive so when I want something, I want it NOW!) and I am focused. I break down the marathon goals into smaller bit size pieces and when I am overwhelmed and have taken a bite too big, I step back, find time for myself, surround myself with my family & friends, get out into nature and re-fill my cup. I don’t always get it right, but what I do love to preach… is that balance is key.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My dance career disappeared because of lower back pain & injury, and now 15 years later, a rehab journey in Pilates has come full circle for me. I trained to teach Pilates in Dubai and have now opened my own studio recently – The Pilates Fix – in Tauranga, New Zealand. I was keen to bring something unique and special to Tauranga after finding inspiration from my overseas teaching experiences across Canada and Dubai. I felt there was a need to offer all mindful movement practices across the board with specialists in their field, in one place, that immediately calms and also uplifts and motivates you the moment you walk through the doors. From Pilates to Yoga, Barre and even Meditation and Breathwork classes, I aim to keep the community that I live amongst and love, holistically active in mind and body. My journey with Pilates began shortly after my dancing career came to a standstill when I hurt my lower back at a competition. Pilates was suggested as something to compliment my rehab, but what I found and have continually experienced, is the profound strength, freedom and range I went on to develop after that injury by incorporating this neuromuscular strength training program into my schedule. I was stronger than before it happened. After experiencing the STOTT PILATES method of teaching in Canada, I moved with my young family to Dubai in 2015 and completed full qualifications in the STOTT PILATES method, before my passion for chronic pain really took off. Since 2017 I have been teaching in Tauranga and now in my new studio, I am able to provide a realm of movement education hosting specialists in their fields either in house or virtually online. I am working toward becoming an Instructor Trainer of Pilates, bringing the first comprehensive certification program to The Bay of Plenty. I am really excited to be providing a space for instructors within the region to further their understanding of movement, clinical anatomy & biomechanics, with new age movement philosophy. As well as specialising in providing good movement for chronic pain sufferers, which steams from my fascial movement studies, I am also trained in cancer rehabilitation and pre and postnatal Pilates, sport performance and many other special populations. The Pilates Fix has classes to suit everyone. Pain free movement is and should always be, an option for everyone regardless of age, aliment, injury or anything else. My focus is to educate clients about their own bodies, providing knowledge and power for them to overcome all obstacles and achieve their goals. I am a firm believer that it takes a multidisciplinary team to keep someone moving pain free. We work with other healthcare professionals to offer the hands on support when someone requires it, but we also love to offer a variety of exercise movement in the one space. The Pilates Fix is made up of two key components. The Equipment Room, encompassing eight Merrithew Health & Fitness Reformers for lighter or harder cardio use, and then the Matwork Room; a place to breathe, relax and take a moment of you time. You can give your mind stillness one day at our meditation classes, or get your heart rate right up through our cardio classes using the jump board on our reformers. We pride ourselves on modifying a class or exercise to ensure anyone can attend and enjoy the benefits of staying active, The studio offers a variety of specialised rehab and Pilates equipment and further supports the local business community by selling all merchandise & refreshments from locally sourced products or suppliers. The day-to-day running of our business is family orientated. My husband Tom is in business development and Amy, my sister, is the brains behind the seamless customer experience. The three of us hope that The Pilates Fix will add life, inspiration and motivation to its downtown business neighbours. But mostly, we hope the new space offers a place to enjoy moving for everyone.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well… each day would need to start with getting our “fix” from The Pilates Fix of course!! I am a lover of all things outdoors, and feel blessed to call The Bay of Plenty home. So hosting a friend to stay a week, isn’t a hard task with so many incredible activities on our door step. Favourite coffee & sweet snack spot would be from Jhai Kai on our way out to the Kaimais, Pap Hills or even across to our beautiful Mountain, Mauao, for a hike. We would swim, surf, SUP, water ski, biscuit or even sunbath at any of the endless spots along our Tauranga shore front. And then lastly, I would include a day trip inland to walk my friend through the most spiritual spot I have found, the Whakarewarewa Forrest in Rotorua. Getting lost amongst the redwoods and bird life there settles my mind like nothing else. As always though, I do love keeping it simple, and there is nothing like a cold beer out on the deck, under the stars chatting the night away to fill ones cup.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a word of a lie, The Pilates Fix would not have opened its doors without Business Development & Strategy Implantation guru Amy Jones, or without the love, support and affirmation from my Husband Tom. It takes a village – and with all things in life right now, this couldn’t be more true!! My parents who endlessly offer their time to help with school runs, play times with my boys or spoiling them with treats. My girlfriends who are continually forgiving my non existence at the moment, but are always there to share in the fun when I can join in, and then lastly, all my incredible, loyal to no end clients who I have taught in numerous studios over the years. Thank you!! Mentors, business advisors, instructors who I work with, learn from and are inspired by on a daily basis (you know who you guys are!!!) all add such value and momentum in helping me build this incredible business that is The Pilates Fix.