Mother-daughter fitness entrepreneurs Liz Hilliard and Clary Hilliard Gray are taking their proprietary workout north to Davidson.
Beginning September 6, they’ll offer Hilliard Studio Method classes in Davidson on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m.
They’re starting out slow with just two classes a week and a plan to add more according to client demand. “We’ll increase classes the same way I did at Park Road—as they’re needed,” said owner and founder Liz Hilliard. “I’m starting exactly the same way I did it before but this time I have more of a client base. They know who we are and the buzz is strong.”
Hilliard says clients have been requesting an HSM location on the north side of Charlotte for two to three years. She says a handful of clients already make the commute down from the lake to the Myers Park studio and others travel from as far away as Hickory and Waxhaw.
Growth isn’t new to HSM.
Hilliard launched the HSM brand in 2008 in a small studio in the back lot at Park Road Shopping Center. By 2013, they had grown into a beautiful 2,400-square-foot space in Myers Park, and just last year they opened a second Charlotte location for their Pilates-inspired Megaformer concept, HSM Core.
Hilliard and Gray also produce and sell their own workout DVDs and online classes that are delivered and downloaded across the country and overseas. Demand is high for the Hilliards.
Still, this new presence in Davidson will mark their first physical geographic footprint outside Charlotte, a move that could foreshadow significantly greater future expansion.
Could out-of-state expansion be on the horizon for Hilliard Studio Method?
“We’re looking at that every single day,” said Hilliard. “Nothing like that is off the table.”
Still, she says, they want to do it right and doing it right will take time. “Our biggest important factor in growing our brand is keeping the quality that we have,” Hilliard said. “As far as going to other markets, all of that is on our radar but we’re doing it very carefully and considerately to make sure that the quality of the brand isn’t lost or diluted by franchising.”
It’s worth noting that the duo is in New York City today scouting locations for a pop-up HSM event in January. The driver, Hilliard says, was demand from locals who want to see them up there.
Still, expansion remains slow and deliberate with the new Davidson classes being taught in a shared dance studio space.
“Instead of going up there and brick-and-mortaring in the first week, we had this perfect opportunity to partner with Dance Davidson,” said Hilliard.
The Davidson classes will add a new northside option to the nearly 40 Hilliard Studio Method classes already offered at their flagship studio in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood.
As for when they’ll commit to their own physical space in Davidson, Hilliard says there is no firm timeline. Instead, client attendance will dictate the next move. “We will meet their demand,” she said.
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