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JETSET Pilates Founder Tamara Galinsky on Wellness, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Resilience

As we enter a new year with new goals and positive changes, Miami Living Magazine sat down with fitness entrepreneur and founder of JETSET Pilates, Tamara Galinsky.

Since launching her pilates studio in Miami in 2010, JETSET has rapidly expanded, launching its Franchising business in the summer of 2022 and is now slated to open over 20 new locations across the US and Australia with studios soon to open in New York, Texas and North Carolina. 

Her success and recognition of her brand has been shaped by her life story and determination. As we delve into her story, Galinsky shares her dedication to wellness, the role of Miami's dynamic culture in shaping JETSET, and her vision for the brand's relentless expansion.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to founding JETSET?

When I began my journey with JETSET, I never imagined it would evolve into my career. My family and I immigrated from the former Soviet Union during the wave of Jewish Diaspora in 1989, arriving in the US with humble beginnings. I take immense pride in my Jewish heritage today and am deeply grateful for the opportunities America has provided us.

My high school days in Stamford, CT were challenging—I relied on food stamps, worked part-time at a chiropractor's office, all while doing my best to excel in school.  In Russia I graduated from a Music school and continued my passion for music by practicing on the piano my parents had shipped from Russia. This love for music merged into JETSET quite naturally as the company grew. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and started my career in New York. 

The idea for JETSET Pilates emerged from a pressing need for an immersive Pilates experience in Miami. Initially following a career path that allowed me to reside in NYC—first in technology, then in commercial real estate—JETSET represents the fusion of my career and my passion. My journey into Pilates coincided with my time living in London, where I also welcomed my first daughter and gained 60 pounds postpartum. Today she is 16, and one of her favorite pastimes is taking classes at JETSET with her friends, in addition to working behind the scenes with our client care team. It was through Pilates that I not only shed the weight gained during pregnancy, but also transformed my body and found solace for my mind after every session.

Upon relocating to Miami, I searched for Pilates studios that offered more than just classes—an incredible community, curated music, and affordability. Finding none from Miami Beach to Palm Beach, I took the leap. Just six months after moving, I signed my first lease and launched JETSET Pilates in 2010.

Since then, the growth has been remarkable. What started as a single studio has expanded to five corporate locations and 24 franchised ones in development, with plans to extend to over 800 franchised studios. This journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Miami has been a significant part of JETSET Pilates' journey. How has the city's energy and culture influenced the growth and development of your brand?

Reflecting on my journey and that of my fellow entrepreneurs, the landscape of opportunities seemed boundless.  Sensing the heartbeat of a rapidly growing city, I recognized the perfect timing to grow JETSET alongside Miami into an international destination. 

What sets us apart is our client management system, enabling us to meticulously map every individual who has visited JETSET even once. This visual representation offers a striking panorama of the JETSET brand's influence, reaching far beyond Miami and extending its presence into numerous cities across the United States and internationally.

While the transient nature of Miami's population poses challenges for many businesses throughout the year, it became a catalyst for JETSET's expansion. The pandemic and influx of people from all over the U.S.  from 2020 to 2022 provided the final spark. This migration not only allowed us to thrive locally but also propelled us toward establishing a strong presence in the domestic and international franchising arena. The transience that can be a hurdle for some has, in fact, been the wind beneath our wings, enabling JETSET to soar beyond Miami's borders.

When you step into our Miami Beach flagship studio, often affectionately referred to as a 'spaceship’ you immerse yourself in an unparalleled experience where creative lighting, pulsating JETSET-specific music, and a top-tier sound system converge to redefine Pilates classes. Each session at JETSET is not just a pilates class; it's a meticulously curated journey.

Inspired by my love for the Coconut Grove community where I live, and my admiration for how Mr. C is redefining the Coconut Grove skyline and its center, we're thrilled to announce the launch of our new flagship studio at Mr. C Residences in Coconut Grove. This marks not only a significant milestone for JETSET, but also a testament to our commitment to continual growth where other dynamic brands make their mark and define the new landscape in Miami.

As we step into the new year, what are some tips for achieving a more balanced and healthier lifestyle and maintaining motivation throughout the year?

The  idea of sitting idly feels unfamiliar to me. Balancing the demands of building a business and being a single parent to two daughters, whose father resides abroad, has become a deeply personal journey. It's a delicate dance between professional aspirations and the responsibilities of parenthood.

In this intricate web of commitments, I've unearthed a valuable lesson: the key to maintaining a consistent workout routine lies in genuine enjoyment. For me, the revelation came about a year ago when I discovered Padel. The fusion of Pilates' deliberate movements with the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the Padel courts struck a chord. It became my perfect blend of physical activity, intertwining the serenity of Pilates with the exhilaration of rapid court reactions.

The takeaway is clear: find what you genuinely love and find an activity that resonates with your soul, embracing what brings you joy is the secret to sustained motivation. In the whirlwind of work and parenting, carving out time for activities you love not only fuels your well-being but also makes the journey towards fitness an enjoyable and fulfilling one.

Music plays a pivotal role in the JETSET Pilates experience. How can incorporating music into wellness routines positively impact mental and physical well-being?

In the realm of JETSET Playlists, I take on the role of curator, infusing each selection with my own touch and often creating most of the playlists. Thanks to my background in classical piano and music theory, I've developed a sensitivity and natural intuition for how music enhances the JETSET class experience. I firmly believe that clients might not always know their musical preferences until they experience the curated playlists at JETSET. The slow movements of Pilates flow well only with a certain beat and in a specific key, creating a perfect energy and flow that is what defines JETSET. 

Miami's cultural tapestry, woven with diverse musical influences, further inspires my playlist curation. Some of my closest friends are skilled DJs and I am also inspired by ones I don’t know personally such as LP Giobbi. I vividly remember experiencing Giobbi's melodic remixes of The Grateful Dead for the first time at last year's New Orleans Jazz Fest—a moment that left me captivated.

Surprisingly, the only time I can work out without music is on the Padel court. However, even in those moments at Reserve Padel in Miami, the rhythmic beats of background music often echo, enhancing the energy of the game. Whether on the court or within the dynamic ambiance of JETSET, music remains an integral part of my world.

With the incredible success of JETSET Pilates and the ongoing expansion across the US and in Australia, what's the vision or next milestone you aim to achieve in the near future, both personally and for the brand?

In the strategic evolution of JETSET Pilates, the launch of franchising coincided with JETSET’s 10 year anniversary.  It was a pivotal move, extending the reach of our brand through the entrepreneurial spirit of others. The corporate team behind JETSET Franchising is undeniably the bedrock of our success. Together they span 40 years of experience in Franchising, Pilates and Operations.

As the Brand President of our dynamic and growing Franchise organization, my role has shifted from the realm of Pilates to the broader landscape of franchising and brand preservation. Over the past 16 months, our growth trajectory has been impressive, with the addition of 24 franchised locations currently in development and those numbers doubling every year. This surge underscores our commitment to expanding JETSET's footprint and influence in the fitness and wellness industry.

My professional commitment is twofold: to ensure the preservation of the quintessential JETSET experience as it spans across states and international borders, and to help foster the creation of enduring brands outside of fitness.

Beyond the professional sphere, my personal goal is grounded in the pursuit of being the best mom I can be. Balancing the demands of business with the complexities of parenthood is a challenge that shapes both my identity and aspirations. To sum it up, I do it for my daughter's legacy, for my clients who come to the studio and my clients who buy into JETSET legacy via our Franchise offering. I love JETSET and our communities of entrepreneurs.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of JETSET

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