The Robina/Varsity area is home to an ever-increasing number of business operators attracted to the central location and growing population. Local business owner Sylvie Roberts, owner operator of Vie Pilates, specifically chose the area to maximum her potential catchment and make it as easy as possible for her clients to get to her classes. Sylvie has gone on to forge a thriving business with clientele ranging in age from 12 to 87 and comprising all fitness levels from elite athletes to first time exercisers and a few famous faces for good measure.
Vie Pilates is located in a light-filled townhouse overlooking Lake Orr and the fully equipped studio is operated by Sylvie and her husband Breaker. Former professional ballet dancer Sylvie and Breaker are both passionate advocates of Pilates and are dedicated to educating their loyal customer base about the extensive benefits of regular practice. Sylivie has found a legion of loyal fans on social media and has amassed over a hundred thousand followers in just a few years with regular posts shot in the idyllic waterfront location.
We caught up with Sylvie to find out more about her business journey and why she chose to build her brand in the business hub of Robina.
When did you move to the Gold Coast?
I grew up just over the border in Tweed Heads. I started my Pilates business there but decided to move to a central location to target a new, dynamic demographic and the Robina area seemed like the perfect fit.
I was able to offer a niche Pilates service and the location wasn’t tapped into at the time. It’s really exploded since then; we didn’t realise how much it would grow when we started.
Please tell us about your journey into Pilates..
I started ballet quite late – at the age of 14. A local studio opened in Tweed Heads and I followed some friends to classes. I moved to Brisbane to complete my last two years of schooling whilst training with the Queensland Ballet. Dancing allowed me to travel; I was a member of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, before joining the Singapore Dance Theatre.
I retired after injuring my foot. Whilst Pilates appeared to be an obvious career move after ballet, I quickly developed a passion for the foundations of Pilates and the physicality of it.
My husband started teaching several years ago too, and it is so important that we maintain self-practice. We commit to at least an hour most days to make sure we stay fresh and motivated for our lovely clients; some of whom have been with us for 12 years.
You have built an impressive following on social media too. How did that develop?
We started on Instagram in 2014 to develop an online presence, after relying predominantly on word-of-mouth and other organic ways to grow our business.
It became a bit of a hobby and passion to make interesting videos and stay fit and motivated. Breaker purchased some beautiful photography equipment; it’s helped us produce quality content which we post most days.
What are some of the benefits of Pilates?
We’re quite clearly big advocates for Pilates, as the benefits are endless and you can start (and continue) at any age. It’s a lovely form of exercise; a bridge of sorts between strength, stretching and mobility training, and we believe everyone needs to be conditioning to stay mobile.
Our youngest client is 12 and our oldest is 87. We cater to everybody – our customers include athletes, clients in rehabilitation from injury and women wanting prenatal or postnatal Pilates care. We’ve even instructed Margot Robbie, who visited us on a trip to the Gold Coast a few years ago.
We offer private or small group classes, providing clients with a full body workout using the reformer and other apparatus. We’re usually teaching on weekdays from about 6am until 11am, before operating again from around 4pm until 7pm. We also run sessions on Saturday morning.
What do you love about the Robina area?
We love the convenience of the location – which is ideal for our lifestyle. It’s close to Robina Town Centre, Robina and Varsity Lakes train stations and childcare facilities. Plus, the view we have here is amazing. One of our favourite local venues is Blackboard Cafe at Varsity Lakes.
Try it out today!
If you are a local resident who would love to increase your flexibility and strength give Vie Pilates a try, find a class by visiting the website here. You can follow the inspirational Vie Pilates Instagram feed here and Facebook page here.