With a celebrity following that includes Busy Philipps and Jen Atkin, dance-inspired workout method Lekfit is taking the fitness world by storm — and making a strong case for “slow and steady wins the race.”
Except, there’s nothing slow about Lekfit.
This high-impact workout involves muscle sculpting, trampoline bouncing and fun fitness experience, the perfect storm of elements that ensures classes are regularly sold-out and waitlisted. Here’s the unique twist: Lekfit’s A-list regulars flock to the studio, which is located in the garage of founder Lauren Kleban’s Los Angeles home. Those who can’t make it to the actual studio gym can subscribe to and stream the fitness program in their homes and follow along to Kleban’s infectious, heart-pumping routines. Lekfit is part of the growing fitness boutique craze, which is proving that for every spin studio or gym club, there are other options to suit different needs.
Originally working as a professional dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor, Kleban decided to launch her own business once she became a mom.
“I had taught dance-inspired fitness since college and I anticipated that one day, I would re-enter this world as a natural transition. I had my first child in 2013 while I was still working as a professional dancer and quickly realized that this was not a sustainable routine for me. I wanted to work for myself while being a hands-on mom. Through much trial and error, I began to focus on creating and perfecting what is now known today as the Lekfit method,” Kleban explained.
She officially opened the Lekfit studio in 2016 (the business is 100% self-funded) and launched Lekfit on demand a year later. Part of the magic is the sense of inclusivity and community that Kleban cultivated, whether training in the garage studio or streaming online in homes worldwide (Lekfit followers post the hashtag #getlekfit to Instagram). Between the dialogue that Kleban has created with her fans, the perfectly curated music playlist to match the fitness content, and the celebrity buzz via social media, Lekfit has experienced 10 times growth in subscribers over the last two years.
Find out how Kleban grew from her garage to an Instagram sensation, how she uses social media to create a personable brand, and how Lekfit sets itself apart in the today’s new fitness movement.
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Karin Eldor: Your IRL location is super unique (being in your home!) and Lekfit fans worldwide can enjoy your workouts in their own homes via streaming. Was this all step one of scaling and growth?
Lauren Kleban: It is definitely unique. When my husband and I made the decision to open a fitness studio in our Hancock Park garage and guest house, I don’t think either of us knew exactly what would become of it. As we prepare to move into our new 6,000 square foot studio space just a few blocks away this spring, I’m super proud of how we got a jumpstart to building our brand. Not only did it allow me to be very close to my kids while they were babies, it allowed our extensive Lekfit community, both in studio and online, to get to know me in the most authentic way possible. Launching Lekfit on demand was definitely step one in scaling Lekfit.
Eldor: Instagram has been a major key to your growth. How did it all come about? Was it organic?
Kleban: Majorly key to our growth and completely organic! At times, it has felt like a tedious and impossible battle to grow our following. When the gram first launched, I was still working as a professional dancer and I definitely didn’t see it as a free marketing tool for my emerging fitness method. Shortly after launching Lekfit, I had actually experimented with hiring social media content creators, but quickly eliminated them as it never felt authentically me. Plus, my number one supporter, Busy Philipps, is the queen of Instagram stories! I’ve taken major cues from her and I’m eternally grateful for her inclusion of Lekfit in her fearless ability to share her life in the most genuine way via IG.
Eldor: Speaking of authenticity, I love that your Lekfit Instagram account and you are one in the same. Was this decision intentional? Why is this important to you, in terms of the brand voice?
Kleban: As we have grown, we’ve had a lot of discussions as to what we should do with the Lekfit branded page and ultimately, it made the most sense to keep my personal content and business content the same. I think the Lekfit streamers and in-studio clients enjoy the ability to relate to me on a personal level and I, too, love getting to know them. Instagram is an excellent tool to learn what our followers are seeking in a fitness concept. It’s pretty incredible that we can be in a team meeting discussing new products or content, get stuck and reach out to our followers to inquire about what they actually want. I truly look forward to chatting with our followers during our weekly Live Instagram chats. We answer questions in real time, talk about our favorite beauty products and current binge-worthy shows. My kids, husband or nanny will often pop in, plus Lekfit team members.
Eldor: I love the boutique fitness movement currently taking place, which is offering people so many workout options. How do you ensure to keep Lekfit different and unique?
Kleban: We know who we are as a brand, we listen to client feedback, and we adjust accordingly. We consistently deliver on our promise of a valued product, and we genuinely thrive on open communication between our team and community of streamers and in-studio clientele. Consumers are incredibly intelligent with endless options available to them, so remaining transparent and consistent as a brand and team is crucial to the longevity in our client retention. Fitness can be a deeply personal experience for many people (not to mention, expensive). We recognize that and strive to provide a stellar Lekfit experience each and every time a client steps into the studio or gets online.
Eldor: What are your 3 biggest tips for female entrepreneurs looking to launch their own ventures?
Kleban: 1- Find your crew of other female entrepreneurs and lean on them. Two of my best friends are also business owners and I talk to them daily.
2- Stay true to your brand authenticity and remain consistent in the value of your product.
3- Enjoy and embrace competition. Don’t fear it, welcome it.
Eldor: What is your mantra?
Kleban: “It’s not that deep.” As a perfectionist, I can get caught up and stressed to the point where I am no longer my most productive self. I remind myself to champion the tasks one at a time and move forward.
Eldor: Do you have any tips for achieving work/life balance and avoiding founder burnout?
Kleban: Stop trying to find “perfect” balance because it’s impossible. Do what you can, be your best self, show up, follow through, recognize where you can improve and move forward. Take care of you, because if you don’t, you can’t care for anyone else. It took me a long time to get to this place, but there is no such thing as perfect balance.
Eldor: What’s coming up next for Lekfit, in 2019 and beyond?
Kleban: The launch of our official L.A. flagship is up next this spring and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It took my husband and I almost a year to find the perfect place and I am so excited to share this next chapter with the Lekfit community. We plan to continue to grow our extensive library of online workouts and launch official Lekfit fitness equipment, supplements, apparel, and more. Of course, we’ll be sharing it all on our Lekfit IG so follow along and keep in touch!