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A Broadway dancer and fitness enthusiast, Ashley Verma decided she wanted something more. Define London has been providing an empowering community and fitness experience across the UK since 2016, and we just had to hear all about it. We asked Ashley all about her inspiration, the success of her studio, and her personal wellness. Here's what she had to say.
My Broadway dance career came first, and I found myself working in the fitness industry along the way. My Broadway career and fitness went hand in hand. I fell in love teaching barre at Physique 57 in New York City. I met and became inspired by some of the most powerful ladies in all of NYC. My classes were filled with a melting pot of personalities and strong women. At the time, I had a platform to inspire, but I wanted more. I wanted a real supportive platform to create. Discussions with my partner began. I wanted to build my own business my way, with inspired barre class concepts. We moved over to London in Jan. 2016, I hit the ground running, looking to partner with brands to do pop-ups and simply meet people. Through a lot of hustle and determination, I got the green light to find a space and open my very own studio. Define London is celebrating its 2nd Birthday this month, and I couldn't be more proud of the brand and the team I have created.
A first-time client will find a warm welcome to the Define studio, followed by a killer session. I want the Define client to feel confident in the room even though they are new. The classes are capped at 14 clients per session so the instructor can safely get to each and every client, give corrections, and help motivate them to give their best. Music drives the room, and our attention to form is like no other. We will get your "Best 10" your "Best Push" within that workout, even if your day hasn't been great, we "Aspire to Inspire" your best.
I love taking classes at my Define London studio, and I also love heading out to other boutique studios for class. I find huge inspiration and motivation by taking classes around London. Firstly, it's a great opportunity to support other fitness brands, and secondly, it keeps my mind open to other types of workouts. It drives me bananas when I see folks preaching about one workout and making fun of folks that don't work out the way that they do. Fitness is about empowering the mind and body for EveryBody.
Things are weird. Times are changing. It seems like just when we’re starting to get a grip, there’s another surprise. When it comes to beauty, we've had to adapt on our own due to salon closures, keep an eye on preparations and protocol changes during those closures, try to know what we’re doing before booking an appointment once they reopened, and maybe even brave the journey back to the salon. Whether you live in a place where salons are open, you’ve experienced a second shutdown, or you straight up haven’t had a haircut since March, we can all probably agree that we’re expecting some differences in the salon and spa world thanks to COVID.
We wanted to gauge how everyone is thinking and feeling about all this, so we put out a poll on our Instagram, asking you all what you expect from beauty salons right now.
Here’s what you had to say...
53% of you have returned to the hair salon by now, while 47% of you have not. This makes sense, because every area of the country is different when it comes to cases, closures, and mandates, and every person is different when it comes to risk and safety.
While many hair salons have begun operating outdoors due to government regulations, 58% of you said you’re fine with getting your haircut indoors, while the other 42% are more comfortable keeping it outside.
58% of you said you’d rather go to your hair salon than have your stylist come to you. I get it, home is a safe space, probably shouldn’t let any outsiders in.
69% of you said you’re “totally!” going to tip more for services once you start receiving them again. During this time without our stylists and aestheticians, I think we all realized how much we need them and appreciate them, and many of us are willing to show them a little extra gratitude to make up for the time we spent apart.
But, most of you aren’t. 56% of you said you have not cut or colored your own or a friend’s hair, because it was too risky, while the other 44% just “had to!”
Only 29% of you have returned to nail salons, while the rest are sticking to at-home manicures. Maybe we’re all just getting really good at it? But probably, it’s because a lot of them are still closed down, or because it’s a little more difficult to get a pedicure outdoors (we need our massage chairs!).
Our last poll question asked about what differences you’ve all noticed when heading back to the salon, and you all had a lot to say...
It’s a beautiful thing to see how the salon and spa community has come together, taken precautions, and adjustments, all so they can continue to help us look and feel our best. If you haven’t spoken to your stylist lately (or even if you have), don’t forget to shoot them a thank you and let them know you appreciate them.