For our latest Meet a Mom, we spoke with Heather Rhyu, owner of the Club Pilates in Ardsley, Scarsdale and Quaker Ridge. This mom of three left a job in corporate finance in New York City to open not one, but 3 studios in Westchester County! We spoke to Heather about a wide range of topics including family and life in the Rivertowns, her involvement in the community through the Rivertowns Chamber of Commerce and what she learned about running an exercise and fitness business during a pandemic.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children, Hayden is 7, Kieran is 4 and Ava is 2.
What do you love about living in the Rivertowns?
I love that each town has its own identity but they are all so close to each other and easily accessible. I love the laid back vibe of the Rivertowns, the great restaurants and the beautiful river views!
What is your favorite thing to do/place to shop and dine in the Rivertowns?
Our favorite restaurants in the Rivertowns are the Cookery for a date night and Hudson Social for a family dinner. We love Lombardo’s and Sam’s Italian Restaurant for pizza delivery. Pre-covid, we loved all the family-friendly events in the Rivertowns and are excited that so many are starting to happen again!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
When I graduated college, I tried out for American Idol. Needless to say, I didn’t make the cut!
Tell us about your career and background, how did it bring you to Club Pilates?
I was working in Finance as a Credit Analyst in the city when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I had been commuting for a few years and was really ready for a change and wanted more flexibility and time at home with my kids. I’ve always been a fitness-enthusiast and wanted to own my own business, so when I found Club Pilates it seemed like the perfect fit. I took a leap of faith and haven’t looked back since!
How has your job and Club Pilates changed as a result of COVID?
Our studios were shut down for over 5 months so 2020 was a very challenging year for the studios. We had to get creative with offering virtual and outdoor classes. When we reopened, there were so many additional protocols that we implemented to make sure we were following the NY state guidance and to help keep people safe. Now that things are starting to normalize, the studios are doing better and we are excited to see so many familiar and new faces again!
You are also active on the Rivertowns Chamber of Commerce, can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, I’m on the Board of the Rivertowns Chamber as one of the Ardsley village representatives. Since one of my studios is in Ardsley, I wanted to represent the town from a small business perspective. I enjoy working with the other Chamber reps and hope to add value to the Chamber.
How do you balance your career and family life? Any favorite tips you’ve received from a mentor or fellow mom?
I don’t! Ha – when you have 3 kids and 3 businesses, it’s busy all the time. But, I try to at least take a couple hours at night when I’m with my kids for dinner and bedtime to unplug from the studios. Owning your own business comes with its share of challenges and you have to have a high threshold for stress because you’re constantly dealing with little (or big) fires here and there. But, it also gives me so much joy, fulfillment and flexibility that I wouldn’t give it up for anything!
What are you looking forward to as we move into summer and (hopefully!) past COVID?
I’m really looking forward to traveling again and seeing friends who we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s so nice to see things start to get back to normal after such a long time!
Where can we go to get more information about Club Pilates?
You can go to our website here