Stretch & Flex founders, Tim and Michael Sitwell-Mogridge, found themselves with a problem in early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses all over the world to shut their doors and go online. Before the pandemic, Michael taught Pilates privately and in gyms around London. “And then COVID-19 happened,” Tim says. “Michael lost all of his work in gyms because they closed down. And we panicked a little bit.”
But instead of letting a difficult situation get the best of them, Tim and Michael saw an opportunity to turn their circumstances into a positive. The pair had dreamed of opening a wellness center and studio together, and while the pandemic made it impossible to open a brick-and-mortar space, they realized they could make their dream a reality by taking their new business idea online.
The challenge: Getting started
Tim has a background in theater and arts, but quickly learned about marketing tools and techniques to help get Stretch & Flex off the ground. Within a matter of weeks, they launched a website and started offering virtual Pilates classes led by Michael.
Tim also set up a Mailchimp account to make it easier to stay in touch with their customers, and when it was time to encourage folks to enroll in classes, he tapped into the audience Michael had grown on Facebook over the years. It wasn’t long before the pair found success. “We started Stretch & Flex online, with just 4 classes,” says Tim. “And then we doubled in 2 days, and now we’re doing 16 classes a week.”