WomenVenture Entrepreneur of the Month for October
When Amber Eggert was looking for work in 2008, her real estate development experience propelled her to form a business partnership with her husband who was a contractor at the time. She was inspired by the introduction to entrepreneurship, and she enjoyed working with her husband, but Amber’s competitive swimming background and love for health and wellness made her yearn to open her own business in the fitness industry. She initially explored franchise opportunities, but eventually decided that she wanted to create her own brand.
Amber began working with a branding consultant and received additional support from her husband and friends in marketing and architecture. She studied competitors and various business models and researched fitness opportunities that would be fun, engaging, and high energy. That’s when she discovered and decided on barre fitness—a low-impact workout that fuses elements of ballet, modern dance and yoga, while emphasizing core abdominal strength.
As she was developing her business plan, Amber was introduced to WomenVenture. Though she and her husband lived in Arizona at the time, they planned to move back to Minnesota to be near family. She met with a WomenVenture business consultant during a visit home, and they continued to communicate electronically. The long distance planning was challenging—Amber needed to find the right location and hire staff, all before making the move to the Twin Cities.
Amber secured a loan from WomenVenture in March of 2013 and launched Haute Barre the following month. The one-of-a-kind boutique fitness studio is located in the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park. She and her staff of nine enjoy working with a wide range of clients at various skill levels. “It’s great to hear the impact Haute Barre has made on our clients,” Amber said. She plans to hire additional staff in the near future and hopes to expand to other locations as well.
Haute Barre also develops partnerships with Make-A-Wish and other nonprofit organizations, participating in a variety of events such as a family fitness day and an all-female football game to raise money for Alzheimers research. “Collaborating and building relationships in the community is very rewarding,” Amber said. This strategy has also been integral to building brand awareness for Haute Barre.
In May 2013, Amber participated in a WomenVenture Small Business Showcase event where she met a family who joined and continue to be Haute Barre members today. “WomenVenture has supported me in many ways—from the business planning stages through the development and implementation of my business plan,” Amber said. “I truly appreciate all of the continued support, including the ongoing workshops and educational opportunities.”
To learn more about Amber’s business, visit HauteBarreStudios.com .