W(o)W: Nicole Cummins x barre3 Baton Rouge
Nicole Cummins is not your typical fitness enthusiast. And that’s a just our kind of girl! “I didn't start eating fruits and veggies until I was 29 years old, and my fitness background includes high school golf and adult beginner ballet.” Nicole is the owner of barre3 Baton Rouge, where she “get(s) to take care of people and make them feel good, one hour at a time.” Along with a few PPGs in October, we had a chance to workout with Nicole at her barre3 space. From the moment we walked in, we were impressed by the studio’s chic, modern design and welcoming atmosphere. Moreover, we were extremely impressed with Nicole’s kindness, professionalism and enthusiasm. If it weren’t for her amazing personality, the strenuous workout she put us through would have been a lot less fun to participate in!
When she’s not in studio, you can find Nicole at a saints game (she’s been a season ticket holder since 2006), walking the lakes, going to eat out with friends, or spending quiet time at home. After our first and incredibly enjoyable barre experience, we just had to take time to interview Nicole. We hope your enjoy learning more about her journey to owning her own studio and how she navigates the entrepreneurial territory of Baton Rouge!
I am originally from Mobile, Alabama. I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2005 and moved to New Orleans as an '05 Teach For America corps member and continued to work in education for the next decade. I started teaching barre3 classes in New Orleans when they opened there in 2013. The phrase 'side hustle' wasn't really around back then, but in retrospect that's what it was. I had no idea when I started teaching that I would ever go on to open a studio of my own, but the more time I spent at barre3, the more time I wanted to spend at barre3. One thing led to another, and here I am.
What is barre?
“Barre3 is a full-body workout designed with our signature approach of sustained holds, micro-movements, and cardio bursts that will leave you feeling balanced in body and empowered from within.” We have more deets on the benefits of barre and what to expect within a class in a previous blog, here.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Owning and teaching barre3 gives me the chance to live my purpose: I get to take care of people and make them feel good, one hour at a time. I think making people happy has a ripple effect, and the more happiness and joy and empowerment I can put in to barre3 and all the people who pass through our doors, the more they can pay it forward.
Speaking of purpose…what’s your definition?
For me, purpose is my reason for being, my contribution to the world to make it a better place. My purpose is to take care of people and make them feel good.
How do you face challenges?
I am a list maker. There is nothing that a good to-do list can't accomplish. Lists help me find order and structure in the sometimes-chaotic world of business ownership. Making a list forces me to pause and take the time to evaluate what small steps I need to do to make the bigger things happen. Once I have the list, then I can better manage my time. Sometimes the steps include reaching out to other people to ask for advice or help. Sometimes the steps are as small as eating lunch or washing my hair. Sometimes I put things on the list that I already accomplished that day to help me feel successful (because feeling successful is important when you are taking on challenges!). When I can start to see the tasks getting crossed off, it helps me build momentum. And if I can color code the list... then things get really exciting!
What is your proudest moment to date and what are your goals & dreams for the future?
My proudest accomplishment is opening barre3 in Baton Rouge. Or learning how to eat fruits and vegetables- that was a pretty big deal for me, too. I am currently living in my goals and dreams for the future! I haven't quite caught up to the fact that this is all really happening.
What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in the making?
Your voice matters. Your contribution matters. Make sure your faith (in whatever you have faith in) is always bigger than your doubts.
In typical PPG fashion, we have to ask. What are your fave pair of pumps & why?
Do Nike sneakers count as pumps? Putting on heels is the rare occasion these days (all activity clothes, all the time!), but my Nike's are my best friends right now because they carry me for miles and miles and they are always comfortable.