HTPilatesPlus was established in 2013 by Physiotherapist Hollie Turner. With over 20 years’ experience working in multiple rehabilitation settings both nationally and internationally, she aims to help her clients to grow in strength and confidence in their own bodies through Pilates, so they can be better equipped for their busy lives and able to do the things they need and love to do. She focuses on strengthening the muscles of the core and pelvic floor and helping people who are suffering from lower back pain, recurrent injuries or other stability related concerns, including pregnancy and postpartum. Here Hollie talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about what inspired her to launch HTPilatesPlus, the challenges she has overcome, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’ve always been quite ambitious. I enjoy new challenges and am willing, if not entirely comfortable, to take calculated risks! I enjoy working independently and my desire has always been to have a work schedule that is flexible to fit around the things that are important to me in the different seasons of life, from when I was single and travelling the world, to married and now with family, so I was probably always destined to run my own business!
When I returned to NZ in 2012, I applied for a physio job that was also looking for someone to take their Pilates classes. I started researching what Pilates was and realised very quickly that it was something I had always been passionate about as a physio – the importance of strengthening the core and stability muscles – but I didn’t realise that an answer to this problem already existed! So, I completed my Pilates training and started taking classes, which I absolutely loved, but I was planning the classes in my own time and being paid just an average hourly wage, so the entrepreneur in me thought ‘why don’t I do this for myself and take all the profit for my hard work’! I knew I loved Pilates and wholeheartedly believed in its value for my clients as a physio. The results spoke for themselves and hearing people’s stories I realised the huge impact that it had on their quality of life. I loved being able to help people so effectively for long-term problems that they had been unable to solve through other means and this inspired me more. I also love to gather people, giving them the opportunity to talk and connect in a positive environment, to encourage them to believe in themselves, achieve their personal goals and feel good about their bodies again, so starting my own Pilates business was a no brainer for me really. I started to think and pray on how it would look to run my own Pilates business that was unique to my passions and skillsets as a physio… a class that was more than just Pilates, but more of a total rehab program, and from that HTPilatesPlus was born.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
HTPilatesPlus started in the basement of my local church via word of mouth and fliers as it was in those days. The results spoke for themselves, and people were strong advocates for it on my behalf. When you find something truly good, people like to tell others about it, so that has always been the main way my business has grown.
I had also been prompted to build an online Pilates business for some time, as whenever we moved, people would say, “Can’t you just make a video or something?”, but it always ended up in the too hard box. However, in 2019, a career change for my husband meant we were going to be mobile for a bit, so it seemed like the perfect time to take on this new challenge. I did have to pay for an online course to teach me how to build an online business myself, but it was well worth the investment, as without it I would never have got my business off the ground. I started filming amidst the beautiful scenery and birdlife of Peel Forest where we were based at the time, and things just went from there!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I think the first time I had a full class who kept coming back and giving positive feedback helped me to see the value and difference I could make in people’s lives, and I realised I was onto something that wasn’t just going to come and go. People need Pilates for a variety of different reasons both mentally and physically and they need it for life, because every time they stop, old niggles and injuries return, so if you provide good quality classes and genuinely look after your clients, they are very loyal and will literally become clients for life.
When Covid hit NZ in early 2020 I just ‘happened’ to have my online business ready to launch. This was a massive breakthrough as all my class clients who could access internet were able to jump online and continue their Pilates over the subsequent lockdowns, and whilst everyone else was scrambling to get their head around the new innovations, I was able to hit the ground running.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I don’t think this is ever something you feel like you have nailed. It’s more of a daily intentional struggle. I try to be 100% present for periods of time in whatever I’m doing, whether it’s time with family or doing work. Less sleep is a reality, and whoever said “sleep when your baby sleeps”, although well meaning, probably isn’t running a business as we all know that is when you get the most work done!! I try to prioritise the ‘urgent and important’ things and keep the ‘important but not urgent’ things ticking over in the background. I’ve also learnt to start things well in advance, as it might now take me a month to complete what I would have previously churned out in a week.