By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Valley native Karie Johnson grew up working out at gyms that felt cliquey.
When she opened her two Barre3 franchises—including the location at Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads—she vowed her clubs wouldn’t be that way.
“It’s community over competition,” Johnson says. “It’s about bringing people together to move their body. It’s about having fun together and breathing together instead of being in competition to work out.”
Johnson, who owns another studio in Paradise Valley, says Barre3 was a natural fit for her. She enjoyed working out, as she’s an avid fan of yoga, hiking, Pilates and tennis. Once she married pilot Adam Johnson and became a mom, it became difficult to do so. Then her friend, Jackie Edlund, who owns Barre3 in Henderson, Nevada, encouraged her to try the studio’s online offerings. They were a godsend. She could squeeze in workouts when her girls were napping or at play dates.
“I also really fell in love with the online community and all the warmth and support I felt through the screen,” Johnson says. “I knew I needed this in my life and wanted to bring this amazing, supportive community to Scottsdale.”
A year and a half later, North Scottsdale opened. Johnson also subscribes to the Barre3 recipes, like the sweet potato turkey chili and ahi tuna summer salad.
Between the recipes, the online community and the friendly clientele, she was sold.
“I fell in love with the company,” Johnson says. “I have two girls of my own. We get enough images pressuring us to look a certain way and be a superwoman.
“Their focus is super refreshing. We move our body to feel good. It empowers our mind and body and we feel good the rest of the day. You get great benefits from it, too. I think that’s what brings people in. It’s so refreshing to have that focus. It’s functional fitness instead of getting bikini bodies ready.”
Barre3’s clientele is 95% women, but all the guests make it “absolutely amazing,” Johnson says.
“There are people who might leave us for numerous reasons,” she says. “But we will have people come back to us time and time again. They say they absolutely love our workout.”
Barre3 boasts a Play Lounge for kids under age 18. Minors 14 and older are also welcome to attend class with their parent or guardian. Clients 16 and 17 years old require new client waivers. Mothers can take part in pre- and postnatal low-impact workouts. Membership is $169 per month; and there are new client specials for $49, which includes two weeks unlimited classes.
Before she partnered with Barre3, Johnson was an elementary school teacher for 11 years, most recently at Rancho Solano Preparatory School.
“I loved it,” she says. “But I have three kids and I was looking for something where I could just have a little more time and something more flexible.”
Johnson—a Shadow Mountain High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s in business management and a master’s in education from ASU—appreciates the balance Barre3 brings to her life.
“It seems like a never-ending quest, but I’m learning how to balance work with exercise and being a wife and mother,” Johnson says.
“I’m more able to focus on what really matters, like putting the phone down and spending quality time with my family. I’m also a better role model for my girls. Thanks to Barre3, I’m showing them that a mom can be strong and active and have an exciting career she truly enjoys.”
13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 140, Scottsdale