20 / matters magazine / fall 2018 A Proven Partnership A successful fitness studio expands its footprint BY ELLEN DONKER PHOTOS BY DUNCAN PETTIGREW T he women at Studio 509 – Guada Bas, Holly Benge and Bethany Pettigrew – have good instincts for opportunity. As owners of a successful fitness stu- dio, they formed their partnership very quickly about five years ago. The owner of the studio where they were working as personal trainers was closing the business and they had the chance to take over the lease, with five days to ready the site and open. The decision to become business partners was easy. They’d been kicking the idea around for a while and knew this was the next step in their collabora- tion. But creating a new business in such a short time was daunting. Yet in those five days, they managed to rebrand under the Studio 509 name, renovate the space, put together an online booking system, cre- ate signage, advertise classes, announce their open- ing and complete the many administrative tasks. As Benge says, “We just got it done.” Now the trio has seized another opportunity: to expand by taking over the newly vacant space next door. Given their feeling that they were outgrowing their area, the timing couldn’t be better. “We were always thinking once that space became available we would want it,” Benge said. Studio 509 currently offers private and group training in GYROTONIC® method, Pilates, TRX, Movement and Dance. If some of those terms are new to you, suffice it to say that they are movement- based training to improve strength, flexibility, pos- ture and mobility. Their new space, which opened October 1, will evolve, but they anticipate adding body work, such as massage therapy, reflexology and assisted stretching – under the banner of Therapy 509 – and expanding personal training. The 509 owners have an easy way of working to- gether. It helps that they have a shared background in creative pursuits. Bas started her career as a bal- lerina; Pettigrew was a Broadway performer; and Benge was a technical writer. All three became per- sonal trainers as second careers. When it comes to fitness they also share the same ideology: of provid- ing training to make a body – any size or shape, in fact – that moves well. And it works. They have a steady clientele that is loyal and pas- sionate about the “509 culture”. As client Judith Wolochow attests, “Studio 509 is a wonderful stu- dio. The workouts are hard but safe and fun. And the dance classes fully engage my mind and body and, even without a dance background, I feel ca- pable of learning routines and always feel supported in the process. I never leave there without a smile!” From a practical standpoint, the trio divides The Studio 509 partners L-R: Holly Benge, Guada Bas and Bethany Pettigrew.