Support Clifford Studios to survive Covid-19

by Clifford Studios in London, England, United Kingdom

£15,125

raised in 85 days

119

supporters

I am crowdfunding to expand the existing space and improve our booking system to better serve the needs of our Clifford Studios community.

by Clifford Studios in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Anything further than our original target will mean we are able to afford a higher spec on our refurb and will allow us to invest in even better technology for our streamed classes from the studio.


Based in Barnes, Clifford Studios has sat on the corner of Church Road and Ferry Road since March 2018. Before that we were spread across the various halls and community centres of SW13 and 14; delivering dance, Pilates and Barre classes. I (Jo) started the school with 2 classes in September 2012 and now boast over 80 per week.

Opening the high street location was a dream come true, realised through a lot of hard work but also through a Crowdfunder like this one. 

So here I am again, asking for your help with the added bonus that, if we reach our target, the Mayor of London will match the amount up to a maximum of £5k.

I am full of passion, ideas and ambition - the only things that stop me being time and money. During the last 11 months I've feared that the pandemic might, but as you'll see if you read on, I, along with my team, have found ways to adapt and thrive. With your help, we hope to keep doing so for a long time yet.

WHAT IS CLIFFORD STUDIOS?

A one stop shop for you and your family's movement needs: offering Pilates, Barre, Yoga, Cardio, Boxing, TRX, Springboard and Strength training classes, alongside Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Street and Performance sessions. 

We also provide all the leggings, leotards and kit you need to feel great while doing so.

Above all, we pride ourselves on combining community vibes with boutique fitness in an affordable and inclusive environment. 

Just after celebrating our 2nd birthday on Church Road, I was thrilled that we were serving our highest number of clients (both adults and children) as well as adorning even more people of Barnes with our activewear ranges. I met with a social media expert in early 2020 with a view to hiring their services to help us grow even more. 

Sadly, the pandemic hit and we were forced to close our doors on March 23rd.

WHAT DID WE DO?

Turned to Zoom of course! 

Over the past 11 months we have adapted and innovated, resulting in a studio that now has streamed, online + on demand classes, a video library, an online shop for our retail side as well as a totally different layout of our space. 

For more details, check out the timeline video or, if you’ve lived it along with us, move on to WHAT NEXT?

WHAT NEXT?

All the above has kept us going but, with each successive lockdown, we are more and more concerned about long term survival. 

Many of our running costs (largely the studio lease) remain at the same level, despite our income having been more than halved. We have applied for as much help as is available.

Furthermore, we are competing in what is now a very crowded market. Online fitness is ubiquitous and our USP’s - the studio location, our Springboards/equipment and our ‘one stop shop’ - are not as powerful during a lockdown.

Our plan, should we reach our target, is to use this funding to:

  • Further expand the space beyond our August refurb
  • Bring all operations onto our website rather than using the MindBody booking system.

FURTHER DETAILS

REFURB

I have already begun making plans with an interior designer to build on the hasty (yet effective) refurb that took place in August 2020.

We plan to expand right up to the window on Ferry Road, adding a proper sprung floor at the same height as the one in the ‘studio’ space.

There are also some supporting walls between the two spaces that we would look to alter to open the space up even further.

All of this will allow for greater class capacity in ‘normal’ times as well as even more space between clients/students whilst social distancing is still in place. 

We can't wait to get our friendly fitness community back together and want to offer even higher standards of safety and hygiene than before which this expansion would allow.

It would also mean we would not need to rent as much exterior hall space for our older dance students - saving us up to £2k per month long term. 

We have not increased our dance class fees for over 3 years however, as hall rent continues to rise, it may have to happen soon. 

Having all our dancers at the studio will allow us to maintain our current pricing for longer, as well as gives us a greater degree of flexibility over timetabling, security and cleanliness - something some of you will appreciate when you no longer have to wash glitter off leotards on a weekly basis!

To keep our adult clients getting fitter and healthier, if we have more space we can add more top-of-the-range equipment, such as TRX’s and Springboards as well as introduce the RIP trainer.

OPERATIONS

We have used a third party booking system since 2014, adding our own branded app in 2017 and a marketing emails service in 2020.

However, as these are not bespoke to our business, there are some limitations which are frustrating considering the monthly and transaction fees they demand.

Bringing everything in house will allow us more control over emails, reducing the number of auto messages and system based errors that add unnecessary stress to your already busy lives!

Employing the designer and developer I have contacted to create a system that meets the needs of the one and only Clifford Studios, will not only save on fees but also leave staff more time to focus on our clients and their fitness.

SO…

Having got this far, please take a look at the rewards we are offering in return for a pledge of financial support especially as, as a result of the pandemic, now literally everyone can take part in our classes.

And, if you’ve ever taken part in an Instagram live, done a YouTube class or enjoyed one of the many free sessions we’ve put on over Zoom this past year, maybe consider a pledge as payment for that.

We know everyone is finding things difficult so if you can’t spare any cash that’s of course fine. Perhaps you could share this Crowdfunder on your social media channels or like some of our posts to help raise awareness instead.

Thanks for reading,

Jo x

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see our Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.

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