Health and Wellbeing Hub Opens in KirriemuirNeil Hardie
Fitness instructor and mum-of-four Helen Stott started teaching Pilates eight years ago from home. But she always dreamed of creating a wellbeing hub to bring people together.
She wanted to build a community, bringing facilities under one roof, welcoming other teachers and creating a place where health and wellbeing was for everyone – no matter their age or ability.
Helen, 55, from Kirriemuir said: “Back then I had a dream of it being a place with wellness, a gym and treatments all under one roof, like what’s available in other countries.
“I didn’t think it would ever happen.”
Then this year, her vision became a reality as she opened the doors to The Studio in the town’s Logie Business Park.
The new state-of-the-art facility includes a purpose-built business fitness studio and four treatment rooms while, next door is Cargill’s Gym.
“The idea grew when Mike Cargill approached my husband Bruce to build him a gym,” said Helen.
“And at that point we had the idea to amalgamate, add treatment rooms too and create The Studio. A hub of services under one roof.”
Working from home suited Helen while she juggled her home classes with bringing up her family – Rachel, now 29, twins Rebecca and Jenny, 27, and Jack, 23.
Building a new business in the middle of a pandemic was a different kind of challenge.
It took two years from design to build, with the pandemic putting the brakes on plans to open until May this year.
“When I opened there was a bit of apprehension because I wanted to make people feel safe and at the time we opened, we were still under restrictions.
“But it was still exciting,” said Helen.
“I’ve noticed that since people have been vaccinated it’s given them more confidence, along with all the cleaning measures we’ve put in place too.”
The business is now running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Regular classes include dance, yoga, Pilates and classes for those returning to exercise following health conditions.
There’s also a mum and baby fitness class – perfect for Helen’s grandchild Joy who is aged nine months.
As well as local beauticians and therapists, there is also a podiatrist.
Helen added: “There’s a real sense of community now – some of the folk who come along are my original clients and some are new. I have people of all ages from 86 down – the best thing for me is often after their class they go for coffee.
“I don’t want it to be intimidating for people and want it to be for everyone.
“It’s about focusing on your body for that hour and getting the mental health benefits exercise can bring.
“I came to the fitness industry later in life, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and it’s so rewarding. Now I’m getting the chance to pass that on to others.”