How this Norwegian studio is realizing its potential in an up-and-coming Pilates market

“Pilates can be life-changing!”

The message is as straightforward as it is enthusiastic. For Aislinn Jensen and Kristina Cavanna of SPACE in Oslo, Norway, it’s the only reason necessary to explain why a career in Pilates is a worthy pursuit.

When they speak so passionately of the potential for Pilates, they’re referring to what can happen for their clients. However, Jensen and Cavanna’s origin story — for both their studio and friendship — proves Pilates can be life-altering in more ways than one.

After meeting in London, England, seven years ago, a conversation over lunch revealed the pair shared more than just a kindred spirit when it came to Pilates. “Both of us came from corporate backgrounds, and we were passionate about starting a business that was centered around something we love,” says Jensen. “We had been practicing Pilates for years at that point, and we knew it could bring huge benefits to others.”

Just three years later, Jensen and Cavanna had not only started their business, they had also become best friends. Focusing on client experience instead of volume, they began small. Calling a 25 square meter room in a shared block of flats on the West side of Oslo home, the pair may have lacked size, but they more than made up for it in reputation.

“We wanted to take the time to truly understand the market and the level of interest and engagement from clients,” explains Jensen. The strategy worked. Now, with two newly refurbished boutique studios in the Frogner and Skoyen neighborhoods of Oslo, SPACE has become a go-to Pilates destination, recognized throughout Norway.

Having already found a measure of success with their business strategy, Jensen and Cavanna decided their next step would be to partner with Merrithew, and continue to grow SPACE into something that could provide even more for their clients. “Having gained a deep insight into that since 2018, and having used the time to build our reputation, we felt that partnering with Merrithew would have a multitude of benefits and be very well received,” says Jensen.

The acumen the two gained from starting and building their Pilates business led them to Merrithew. According to Jensen, “Students are looking for multiple things: from a qualification that will set them apart from others to increased personal understanding of movement.”

A Pilates instructor practices an exercise on a Merrithew SPX Max Reformer at SPACE Pilates studio in Oslo, Norway

With that in mind, a partnership with Merrithew seemed like an obvious choice. “The level of knowledge that Merrithew students acquire, even in the early stages of their study, is the gold standard,” says Jensen.

The benefits of the partnership were almost immediate. Jensen says that they weren’t entirely sure how long it would take for “interest levels to reach a critical mass, but our first course was almost full, and we’ve had a high level of interest for additional courses that we’re planning on running.”

The instructor training program has brought in students from unexpected backgrounds, as well. “We’ve had interest from a variety of people which has somewhat surprised us,” explains Jensen. “From aspiring teachers, as you would expect, to clients who have developed a passion for Pilates and want to learn more for their own practice.”

A Pilates instructor practices an exercise on a Merrithew SPX Max Reformer with some additional accessories at SPACE Pilates studio in Oslo, Norway

Overall, the partnership with Merrithew has been great for Jensen and Cavanna: “We’re extremely happy to partner with such a trusted brand, and to work together to raise the bar in Norway.”

And raise it, they have. Over the course of the pandemic, SPACE has been there to provide comfort for its clients — something that gives Jensen and Cavanna no shortage of satisfaction: “Many of our clients commented that Pilates helped them cope during the more difficult times of the pandemic and, as a Pilates instructor, the ability to offer respite, health, community and happiness to others is genuinely rewarding.”

So, what’s next for SPACE OSLO? It doesn’t sound as if the two owners have any plans of slowing down. Jensen says “The Pilates landscape in Norway could best be described as fledgling, but it’s also full of potential. We’re seeing increasing numbers of clients who are completely new to Pilates.”

Let’s hope it continues, just as Pilates will continue to possess the potential to change lives — for both clients and studio owners.


Related Posts

April 27th, 2022

Is it worth buying reconditioned treadmill equipment?

Buying reconditioned fitness equipment may be a good investment for both your health and wallet if you know what to look for before purchasing. Think you are in the market for a treadmill, why not purchase reconditioned treadmill equipment? Are...

April 27th, 2022

How to make your gym business succeed?

There is a dramatic shifting landscape in the fitness industry. Working out at a gym is no longer about a long, silent, sweaty session for hard muscles and good health. Customers are transforming, and so are their requirements and aspirations. As...

April 25th, 2022

Merrithew Reformers receive special certification from EU

Last month, Merrithew™ received a special certification from the European Union to officially recognize three of the company’s Reformers as medical equipment. The company’s SPX® Max Plus, V2 Max™ Plus and Rehab V2...

April 21st, 2022

Breathing Techniques: How to Develop More Efficient Breathing Patterns

Breath has always been the first principle taught to students and clients learning and practicing the STOTT PILATES® Movement System. Efficient breathing, or lack thereof, can have a profound impact on the performance of an individual exercise...

April 7th, 2022

How this Pilates instructor built a successful studio in Europe’s largest fitness market

When Johanna Hwang speaks of her business — The Pilates Place Berlin — she says all the right things. While it’s not uncommon in the age of fast fitness trends trends to see more emphasis placed on words than action, what distinguishes Hwang...

March 24th, 2022

Ask The Expert: Is Matwork Just for Beginners?

It’s easy to think of Pilates Matwork as merely the starting point of a program. After all, there’s no fancy equipment, no springs, no straps. However, exercises performed on the mat allow you to focus on areas that are often overlooked: quality...

March 8th, 2022

How this Norwegian studio is realizing its potential in an up-and-coming Pilates market

“Pilates can be life-changing!” The message is as straightforward as it is enthusiastic. For Aislinn Jensen and Kristina Cavanna of SPACE in Oslo, Norway, it’s the only reason necessary to explain why a career in Pilates is a worthy...

February 21st, 2022

Ask The Expert: How Do I Best Help My Clients While Teaching Virtually?

One of the biggest challenges of teaching Pilates and fitness online is ensuring clients understand and perform the exercises correctly. It’s important for clients to pay attention to form and technique — especially while working out at home...

February 10th, 2022

Tips for sprucing up and bringing joy to your home gym or workout space

If you’re spending more time working out at home these days— and maybe enjoying it more than you thought— now might be the best time to invest in or spruce up your home gym or workout space to make it somewhere you really look forward to being...

January 19th, 2022

Ask the Expert: How Does a Mind-Body Practice Like Pilates Boost Overall Wellness?

How someone moves speaks volumes for how they live, age and navigate the world, says Sandra Stessun, an occupational therapist and owner of Fit 2 Function in Courtenay, a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. “We all move in...