Perhaps it was fitness fate that brought Olga Metzler and Lenka Valigurska together. Both moved to the US in the early 2000s (Olga from Honduras; Lenka from Slovakia with $400 in her pocket) and found themselves working as stylists at the iconic Marissa Collections on Third Street South. But it wasn’t until more recently when the two learned of a ballet-inspired workout craze called Pure Barre that they decided to road trip to the then-nearest studio in Sarasota. After one session, they were hooked—and they knew Naples would be, too.
Since opening their own Pure Barre studio on Pine Ridge Road in late September 2013, their client list has grown steadily; now, about 150 people hit the bar to LTB (that’s lift, tone, burn) each day. Here, the two share their favorite local hotspots, what the American dream means to them and a few items they can’t live without.
What did you think after the first time you tried Pure Barre?
OM: I just said, “wow. This is the best workout I have ever tried in my whole life.” My entire body was shaking, and I felt muscles that I’d never felt before. I was sold after my first class.
What’s your favorite thing about Pure Barre?
OM: The technique is designed for everyone to be able to do this exercise. It’s not like you have to be fit, or you have to be a runner. Everyone who can come and handle that bar can do the technique.
LV: It’s really about a community. It’s not a mass production where nobody knows anyone. We all know each other; we call the clients by their first names. And a lot of people met here for the first time. After class, they go for drinks or dinners. Their spouses met already. We’re really proud of what we were able to create, especially in such a short time.
What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs?
LV: Just go for it. Take chances and take risk.
OM: Of course, make a plan. Know where you want to go. Set a goal, strive for it and do it.
What’s your favorite Southwest Florida restaurant?
LV: BrickTop’s is our go-to lunch spot. (Her recommendations: the Palm Beach salad or Crab Cake salad.)
OM: I love Chops City Grill for a good steak.
What item can’t you live without?
OM: My life has changed so much from wearing high heels all the time that now I can say I cannot live without my Toms. I have three pairs.
LV: I discovered these Splits59 sports bras, which we sell ($44), and now I have them in every color. I just can’t get enough, both for working out or everyday.
Where can we find you in Naples on the weekend?
LV: I go to the Naples Beach Hotel every Sunday afternoon if I have the time.
OM: I am addicted to movies, so I love going to Silverspot. I also go to Fresh Market a lot for fresh apples and flowers.
Where’s your favorite travel destination?
OM: I have a goal to have been in at least 40 countries by the time I’m 60. I’ve been to around 25 so far. My favorites have been Venice and Bora Bora.
LV: We just went to New Zealand and Bora Bora together last month—it was as amazing as it looks in pictures.
What has been your greatest achievement?
OM: Even as someone who is not American, I think we really took the American dream—when you work hard, you have your goals and you’re honest, you can really make things happen. It’s really hard to leave your family, come here and start a brand new life. And in owning our own business, we employ people. We’re helping our community to be a better place. Overall, that’s a big accomplishment.
What’s your “must-do” in Naples when you have guests visiting?
OM: Go to Gumbo Limbo for drinks and to watch the sunset.
LV: Boating to Marco Island for the day to explore a bit.
What’s your signature summer style?
LV: My signature has been shorts, especially denim. I can live in those. In the climate we live in, you can dress them up or dress them down. I wear denim during the day with flip flops, or I just put a fancy top and jewelry and high heels with a black or white pair, and it’s wearable for evening.
OM: You’ll always see me in dresses. I’ve seen a lot of A-line full skirts lately, even in denim. I love that.
1410 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 10
Naples, FL 34108
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