By Marti GaciochArmone Sullivan’s passion for Pilates led her from a small business in her converted garage to a 2,200-square- foot gym and Pilates studio on Girard Avenue in La Jolla in less than six years. Sullivan, who began dancing at age 6, and competitive road cycling in her late 20s, said she took up Pilates at the suggestion of a friend.
“I developed big legs from cycling and as soon as I tried Pilates, I was hooked,” she said. “It leaned me out and I knew I wanted to do Pilates for the rest of my life.”
Sullivan said she trained for nearly three years to become a certified instructor. Her early garage business grew through referrals and that trend continues to the present. After earning certification, she was still a working Realtor when a friend asked Sullivan to train her.
Within a year, Sullivan had 40 clients and stopped her work in real estate to train people full time. She opened a 1,200-square-foot Pilates studio on Fay Avenue. Two years later, her client base reached 200.
“That’s when I decided to teach cross- training as well, so I opened Armone’s Core Connection, a 2,200–square-foot facility on Girard Avenue with a full gym and a Pilates studio,” Sullivan said.
Besides Pilates, the studio offers indoor cycling, boxing and circuit training (weights, resistance training, cardio) taught by her staff of 16 — including top trainers in each specialty, as well as personal trainers and an in-house nutritionist. Sullivan also teaches a six-month class providing 100 hours of training to become a Pilates trainer.
“I love motivating people to be the best they can be,” Sullivan said. “I see them do things they never thought were possible. Last year, one woman lost 126 pounds by doing the programs.”
Armone’s workouts become a lifestyle for clients and they stay with her studio for years. She reports a client retention rate of 90 percent. “This is not a 30-day program,” Sullivan said. “If you’re going to work at Armone’s, you’re serious about your fitness as a lifestyle. We developed a community like a family. Our instructors know our clients by first name and we try to do something collectively as a gym every month — like hiking or mixers — to give clients a sense of belonging. That’s another big reason why most clients stay with us.”
A special for new clients (see the ad in La Jolla Light’s Professional Services Directory in the Classifieds section) offers one month of unlimited classes for $129. That includes all Pilates, boxing, indoor cycling, circuit training and barre.
■ Armone’s Core Connection. Armone Sullivan, ACC, owner/Pilates instructor, 7438 Girard Ave., La Jolla. (858) 255-8609.
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