How Vegas helped shape Citizen Pilates
People often ask me why I chose the name Citizen for my Pilates studio.
As hard as I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to condense that story down into a 30-second elevator pitch.
Naming a company you’ve poured your heart and soul into should feel personal, but so much about that process has to be intentional and practical. I found myself having to think about things like domain name availability. Can I get the .com or do I have to settle for the less desirable .net or .co? Is it too kitschy? Is it scalable? Are all the social media handles available? Could I open this studio in another state, in another country and the name still make sense?
In truth, I have always thought of it as a global company. Long before I had my first location, way before there was a business plan, and even before the name, I had a vision for the kind of workout people would feel comfortable walking into. Movement comes in all shapes and sizes and speaks every language, and I wanted my studio to be inclusive of all of that. I wanted everything about it from the logo on the front door, to the check in desk, to the variety of people who work there to say,
“Whoever you are, you are welcome here.”
It took a solid year to land on a name. “What’s the name of your business this week?” became the family joke because I was exploring every possibility, but hadn’t found the right expression of inclusivity I was looking for.
Then I found myself at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for a three-day conference. At the very end of the Las Vegas strip far away from everything else and with lots of conference sessions to attend, I never left the hotel. A foodie person, in a foodie city, I was bummed I didn’t get to explore more restaurants. I ended up eating every single meal at the same place – and absolutely loved it. The food was wonderful. The menu was diverse. People were speaking different languages, dressed in ways to express their different cultures and all seemed happy to be in the same place. Every time I walked through the doors, I just felt good about myself. I loved the vibe of this place and this was exactly how I wanted my studio to feel. So, I walked outside and took a glance at the sign above the door. In that moment I knew I had finally found my name.
But let’s be clear – the name of our studio is Citizen not Citizens ? #petpeeve
Since then, we’ve opened three locations in Houston. Our community is as diverse and welcoming as I ever hoped it would be. Our ethos is inclusivity and our mission is to create space and time for people to feel really good about themselves, and all of that is reflected in our name.
We are Citizen and we are all in this together.?