Gina Destro, our Director of Retail, is a woman on a mission. After two years of transforming RTR Pilates’ retail across all five studios, she’s spearheaded efforts to open RTR Pilates’ online store. The goal? To increase access to fun, functional items for Pilates enthusiasts across the country looking for brands you won’t find every day.
We are absolutely thrilled to launch the RTR online store, and we know Gina is excited, too. We sat down with her to ask her about her journey, vision, and what’s to come.
How did you come to take on RTR Pilates’ retail efforts?
I joined RTR at the end of 2019 in an administrative role, but found myself drawn to the retail side of RTR. I have a background in corporate retail management and always loved the experience it can bring people, so it was a great fit. Then 2020 happened, and the pandemic hit a lot of businesses really hard, especially fitness studios.
During the pandemic, we looked for ways to support small and local businesses. We created an appointment-based holiday pop-up shop, and were absolutely blown away by the support and enthusiasm for the project. We found that people loved shopping from unique, small business, or local brands. That was kind of a lightbulb moment for me.
From there, I really started diving into a new vision for our studios’ retail spaces.
How do you create a sense of place for the RTR studio stores?
I love looking at how businesses create retail spaces, especially fitness studios. But for a lot of fitness studios and gyms, the retail space feels like an afterthought. That’s the opposite of what I wanted for our spaces.
At RTR, we focus on creating a welcoming community, and I wanted that to extend to our retail areas. I wanted to create a sense of excitement.
Today, each of our 5 studio locations cycles new products into the studio every single week. So every single week, clients can come into our studios and discover something new. Each studio carries different products. We take pride in creating a fun and exciting atmosphere! We make sure to stock full size runs of clothing and carry not just Pilates-specific clothing, but also practical athleisure for a studio-to-street style.
In addition, we also run an annual holiday pop-up store in our flagship Potomac studio which features a lot of local and small businesses.
How do you decide what brands to carry in the store and on your website?
Our studios and online store curate a mix of the name brands we love alongside new brands that inspire us to try something new. I go to the trade shows in New York City twice a year to connect with new brands we want to bring in each season. As a result, we have an exciting mix of products for a lot of our clients – and our team!
Our clients have busy lives, so it’s important to me that our store to carry items that support their lifestyle and bring them excitement at the same time.
What can we expect from RTR’s online website?
When you visit the RTR retail site, you’ll find many of the same products you can find in our studios. We focus on studio-to-street apparel, as well as Pilates props and equipment. You’ll find a mix of brand name favorites with more unique or up-and-coming brands you won’t find in other places, so it’s a fun and interesting way to find your new favorite pieces. We’ve also made an effort to accommodate different price ranges, so everyone can find something they’ll love.
Now, no matter where you are in the country, you can access the same amazing products we’ve come to love in our studios!
The brands we carry include old favorites and new finds, including:
- Beyond Yoga
- Tavi Noir Apparel
- Balance Body
- Strut This
- Free People Movement
I am so excited about this project and the opportunities we have moving forward to build our RTR community. A lot of people have been involved in creating our online store, so it’s fantastic to see it come to fruition, and I’m really proud of what we’ve created.
Stay tuned to see what else we have in store!