Success Stories

Authenticity and Positivity Helped This Studio Thrive During COVID

Lindsay Mcclelland | September 24, 2020

Studio Spotlight: the studio (mdr)

When we asked this studio owner how she’s persevered through COVID-19, her answer was simple - by having a positive attitude.

Positivity isn’t just a buzzword for Lisa Hirsch-Solomon, the founder and owner of the studio (mdr), it’s a way of life. Her attitude comes through in conversation and through her instructors who inspire clients through Lagree Fitness classes on Zoom every day.

We sat down with Lisa to get her take on what it’s like being a studio owner right now and how she’s staying positive through it all. 

FitGrid: What has kept you motivated during the shutdown?
Lisa Hirsch-Solomon: At the end of the day, I want to do my part to make the world a better place. I see fitness as a way to improve mental health, something I so need these days. If I can help just one person, or better yet five people, I can go to sleep feeling good. By live-streaming, we’ve been able to reach and help people from all over. This is something that really matters to me.

[Related: Check out our Guide to Reopening Your Studio With Outdoor Classes]

FG: Why did you decide to start live-streaming?
LHS: I didn’t want to lose touch with anyone when we were closed, clients or staff. I’m such a people person and didn’t want to be shut away from the world. Thanks to FitGrid, we were able to go virtual soon after we had to close our physical door in March.  

FG: What’s your biggest live-streaming tip?
LHS: The most important thing is authenticity. Our teachers need to come through the screen and be themselves. When they allow their personalities to shine through, people really connect and you start to see retention. 

FG: Do you also offer on-demand classes?
LHS: For the time being we’ve decided not to offer on-demand classes. It just doesn’t feel as personal as live-streaming classes are. If we decide to offer them in the future, we need to make sure you feel like you are taking a live class. Peloton does a great job of this. 

the studio (mdr) microformersFG: Tell us about the outdoor classes.
How did those come together?
LHS: We recently launched our (MDR) OUTSIDE classes and they’ve been great! We partnered with the Platform, a shopping center in Culver City, to turn their empty valet parking lot into our outdoor studio. We invested in 10 Lagree microformers, which are smaller versions of the megaformers we have in the studio, so the experience is very similar to what our clients are used to. So far, our outdoor classes have been filling up, so we plan to continue monitoring and adding classes as needed.  

FG: What advice do you have for other studio owners?
LHS: You have to have fun with it! The most important thing right now is your community. Stay in touch with them however you can, whether in-studio, outdoors, or virtually and make them feel as safe as possible no matter where you are in terms of reopening.  

FG: You’re so passionate about what you do, where do you get your inspiration?
LHS: My inspiration comes from our clients. Anytime I hear stories of people who have changed their lives, it keeps me going. Even during COVID, our  clients have pushed themselves harder to overcome certain hardships, created new goals for themselves, and have surpassed them. All I want is for people to win. I absolutely love what I do.

FG: What does the future look like for the studio (mdr)?
LHS: Definitely more studios and partnerships! I would love to bring meditation into the mix somehow as well. The more we help each other and build each other up the more successful we’ll all be.

A connected community is a powerful community. Join the studio (mdr) in their success with live-streaming and community building by starting a 30-day free trial of FitGrid today.


Lindsay McClelland manages social media and influencer marketing for FitGrid. As a self-proclaimed "people person" who loves group fitness classes for the social aspect, she was immediately drawn to FitGrid for its innovation in keeping fitness communities together during a crisis. Her passion for fitness and wellness brands stems from her personal interests as a yoga teacher, competitive marathon runner, and former collegiate swimmer.

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