Susan and I have been self-proclaimed “barre junkies” for a long time now. After all, we did become fast friends after standing next to each other at our favorite barre studio one day. With over 1000 combined classes under our belts (but who’s counting?), we are certifiable barre flies, barre belles, or yes, barre addicts. When we discovered E&J Barre boutique and their adorable selection of barre-inspired tops, we knew we had to have them in our Shoppe. We loved getting the full scoop from the adorable and funny Elizabeth and Jackie, the founders of E & J:
How did the two of you meet?
Jackie: While living in Chicago back in 2007, I heard about these mysterious barre classes and found out a barre studio was opening. I was the first one at the door when they opened. I couldn’t wait to try this new trendy workout and 8 years later, I am still obsessed! My husband and I relocated to Austin, Texas in 2009 and for an entire year, Austin didn’t have any barre studios. I was living off DVDs and drowning my sorrows in bowls of ice cream. When I heard a barre studio was opening in Austin, again, I was the first one to raise my hand to interview as a teacher. I’ve been teaching since 2010 and have loved every minute of it! Then Elizabeth walks in one September day to take her first barre class in Austin, and guess who was teaching?!
Elizabeth: Yeah, the hardest barre teacher ever! I hated her for a little bit! Just kidding. I was a little bit later to the barre game but while I was living in Phoenix, a girlfriend of mine asked me to take a bare class with her. 55 minutes later, I could hardly walk and I immediately signed up for an unlimited month! I was hooked! In 2013, my husband and I moved to Austin where we had no friends or family. Luckily there was a barre studio down the street from us and something told me that it would change my life! Barre has given me not only an amazing workout and healthy outlook on life, but also a family here in Austin.
J: We needed more teachers so I tossed Elizabeth’s name in the hat because I knew she would be an amazing teacher. Almost one year in, she still loves me for it!
E: In addition to our boutique and teaching barre, we both work in corporate America too! I have a job in Human Resources and Jackie in Marketing. We like to stay busy!!
What makes barre different to you?
E: I will say, I have tried a ton of different workouts and have never done something that is consistently challenging and motivating. Each class is different and it keeps you on your toes and always wanting more!
J: You’d think after 8 years, I’d be bored with barre, but I tell ya, each class kicks my seat! If I leave with my hair still looking good, I only have myself to blame! You get out what you put in!
How did you come up with your dedicated barre apparel line?
E: One day after class, last fall, we were talking about how there were very few options when it came to cute apparel specific to barre.
J: So we decided to start our own line. How hard could it really be?
E: Our husbands kept telling us that we were addicted to barre as that is all we talked about. And that’s where the inspiration came for our first design “Barre Addict!”
J: And the rest is history! We wanted to promote the passion so many have for barre in feminine designs and styles that make us feel pretty while working out. You know it’s a scientific fact; the cuter you dress when you work out, the harder you work!
How do you prioritize fitness/health as busy working moms?
E: Fitness is a way of life. It not only makes you physically stronger but keeps your mind sharp and promotes healthier choices.
J: Except for our weakness for pizza and queso! But yes, it all comes down to finding something that you love. Once you find that, it doesn’t feel like a have to but becomes a want to. I know we both plan our days around working out and spending time at the barre and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
E: It is not only our network of friends but luckily for us it is now our business too! We also know that if we don’t make time to be healthy ourselves, we won’t be able to be successful in everything else we do as wives, friends, business partners and Moms!
How do you define your own workout style?
J: We both own WAY too much Lululemon for our own good. But we just can’t stop. When one of us finds something cute, the next hour the other one is there!
E: Regardless of the workout we are doing, we are pretty much always in lulu tights, an E & J top and our favorite Sticky Be Socks. Half the time we accidentally show up as twins! People have stopped believing that it isn’t planned!
Strong female role models are hard to come by. Who in the public eye inspires you?
E: We are inspired by a few different people for different reasons. I just love Mindy Kaling. She doesn’t apologize for who she is and is totally comfortable in her own skin. I also have a slight obsession with Kristen Bell; great husband, career and two adorable children, all with amazing style and attitude!
J: I really admire Jennifer Garner for being such a wonderful role model for working moms. She found a way to balance having a family, a successful career and to look cute while doing it! And of course Jennifer Aniston will always have a special place in my heart. We would totally be best friends if we met, right?
Special thanks to E&J Barre Boutique.