Jacqui Kingswell and Tash Oakley on Business, Friendship and All Things TPC

Jacqui Kingswell and Tash Oakley on Business, Friendship and All Things TPC
For Jacqui Kingswell and Natasha Oakley, joining forces to launch a health and wellness platform was written in the stars. With Jacqui’s lifelong expertise in dance, Pilates and all things fitness, along with Tash’s invaluable business knowledge and social media savvy, partnering was a no-brainer.

Jacqui began privately training Tash in person in 2019 and from here a close friendship was born. In 2020 when the pandemic hit, in person sessions were no longer an option and Jacqui began training Tash online. Having had Jacqui previously train her in person, Tash was unsure whether the online classes would impact her as positively, but after one session Tash called Jacqui and told her that she needed to start her own online fitness platform as her presence was just as powerful on camera as it was in person. They quickly noticed that, in a time where being outside and community interaction were not possible, having access to classes that still felt like private training sessions within the comfort of your own home was something that was needed more than ever. So, the girls put on their business caps, and thus, ‘The Pilates Class’, or, ‘TPC’, was born.

To celebrate the launch of the TPC Wellness Society, we took to Instagram to find out exactly what you, the TPC members, want to know from The Pilates Class co-founders. From sharing some behind-the-scenes tricks of the trade, to chatting all things friendship, read on for our conversation with Jacqui and Tash.
1. What do you think is the one key to success when starting a business?

Establish an in-depth business plan and ensure you are offering high-quality services. We did so much researching, forecasting and strategising when starting The Pilates Class, without which we wouldn’t be where we are today! In saying this, you can create the most incredible business plan with large, astronomical goals, but at the end of the day, if your services are sub-par and your customers are unhappy, no amount of research can prepare you for failure. Essentially, no matter whether you’re just starting or well established, an in-depth business plan and high quality services will always go hand-in-hand!

2. What was the basis of your initial marketing strategy?

Initially, we were solely based on content and organic social media marketing. We knew that our marketing would be the most important part of our business plan, so we brainstormed and narrowed in on a few very important strategies; constantly create new content, post frequently on Instagram, release new videos weekly and create challenges and live events that you, our subscribers, can join in on. Engaging with a diverse group of influencers and celebrities from around the world was also important to us, although we only ask that they promote the classes if they genuinely love them and we do not pay for endorsements of our subscription - genuine and organic testimonials are very important to us! Anyone can have a good marketing plan but the most important part is to have a good quality product, and that’s where TPC thrives.

3. Is the weekly schedule enough to stay in shape and be healthy?

Absolutely! The main thing is to listen to your body and how it’s feeling - everyday is different and every body is different. If you’re feeling energised and ready to sweat, we recommend following the ‘Satisfying to Intense’ weekly schedule, whereas if you’re feeling tired or run down, follow the ‘Chill to Satisfying’ program. Each schedule is filled with a range of different activities to get your body moving in a nourishing and restorative way that will keep you feeling your best. From intense HIIT classes to meditative stretching sessions, outdoor running to indoor barre, the weekly schedule’s benefits are unmatched! Finding a sustainable fitness routine is key. Anyone can do a 6 week challenge but TPC is all about creating habits that you can incorporate into your life both on and off the mat, it’s about finding a fitness routine that you enjoy and look forward to, that’s the key to feeling good for the rest of your life.

4. How long did it take to kick off TPC and make it as successful as it is?

As you know, we first launched The Pilates Class during the pandemic. However, a few weeks before TPC, I (Jacqui) had ‘Jacqui Kingswell Classes’, which was a blueprint for what would become TPC. After Tash had taken her first online class with me, she called and told me to start my own online platform. Overnight, I created a website, then a private Instagram account which only subscribed members gained access to. When I first launched I hoped to have 5 people sign up, but to my surprise, on the first night alone I had 50 new subscribers. Once Tash was on board, we immediately realized we needed to up our game to compete in what is a heavily saturated market. We brainstormed about how we could share my particular Pilates teaching techniques with our subscribers in the most user friendly way, we rebranded from, ‘Jacqui Kingswell Classes’, to, ‘The Pilates Class’, produced more polished and professional quality content and videos and fine-tuned our marketing and business plans to ensure our business had legs and longevity. We worked night and day for an entire month before we launched TPC and we’re so proud to have released what we feel is a truly inspiring, positive and helpful platform. We are now over two and a half years old and cannot wait for what the future holds!

5. Is Pilates alone a well rounded way of exercising?

Pilates is a mind-body practice with benefits that extend far beyond the physical, and that is something I (Jacqui) always wanted to share with as many people as possible! It caters to all ages and fitness levels and allows you to tune into that beautiful connection between your body and mind, not only on the mat, but off the mat too. You become aware of your posture, emotions, breath, strength and functionality within yourself. Because of the varying difficulty levels and differing activity based classes, Pilates can be practiced your whole life! I remember going to the gym for the first time when I was about 18 years old and I was working out in a way that felt like I was punishing myself to achieve a particular body. I learnt to love movement and my body through my dance practice, however, I realized this was not the case for so many and it was common to be in a routine that felt like punishment. I lasted about a week at the gym and then I turned to creating my own style of workouts which is what I teach today on TPC. I wanted to inspire others to enjoy their workouts and to love and appreciate their bodies. I’m so grateful that today I have impacted and changed so many members' perspectives on working out. It truly is a dream come true to hear our members say they love working out and look forward to stepping on the mat. TPC is so much more than just a workout, it’s about understanding your body on a deeper level, when to push and when to rest and above all, to enjoy and be kind to yourself in the process. 

6. Will you ever add workouts with the Pilates Ball?

We may be working on introducing a little something special for you guys… Stay tuned! Haha.

7. How do you manage running a business and staying good friends?

From the moment we met each other we were instantly friends. We ended up chatting for an hour after our first session together and basically haven’t stopped talking since! Our like-mindedness fuels the magnetic energy between us, which is also what makes us good business partners. We are totally on the same page in understanding both the importance of hard work and value of balance, but most importantly, we respect each other and our opinions.

8. Did you think the company would grow into what it has?

From the beginning, our goal has always been to create the best possible platform for our members. Our team is always striving to level up, however, we never could have imagined the sheer momentum we gained within our first two years. We’ve grown so much in such a short amount of time that we can only hope for the same success with our expansion in the coming years!

9. Absolutely obsessed with the Nourish Me food guide! Can we expect another one? 

We’re so happy you love Nourish Me! It brings a smile to our faces every time we see our members recreate our recipes and fills us with so much joy and warmth, how could we not create another?! ;)

10. Would you ever open a studio in Sydney?

It has always been a dream of mine (Jacqui) to open a brick and mortar studio in the heart of Sydney! There’s nothing I love more than connecting with my students in a beautiful, calming space and watching as the movements connect their bodies and minds. Hopefully one day we can make this dream a reality!

11. How long do you think you'll keep the platform going?

As long as you’ll have us! We are here to serve you on your wellness journeys - whether you have specific goals or just love the practice, we are here for YOU. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you guys and, without you, we can’t go any further, either!

12. How did you have confidence to make the leap and start from scratch?

Having full confidence in one another as business partners and friends was the driving force behind making the leap. With Jacqui’s niche expertise in dance and Pilates, and my (Tash) experience in business management and marketing, we are practically the perfect duo for the task.

13. How do you know each other? 

As we mentioned earlier, Jacqui used to train me (Tash) online during lockdown. We quickly became friends, and then business partners, and the rest is history!

14. Can Pilates tighten/ prevent loose skin from weight loss?

Aerobic exercises like Pilates are well-known for strengthening the muscles underneath the skin, which in turn, tightens its outward appearance, giving a toned and defined look. No exercise can actually tighten skin itself, so strengthening the muscles with kind, restorative exercise is the best option for a ‘tighter’ look. Just remember, all bodies are different and different is beautiful!

15. Tips for work life balance?

We would recommend following a morning and night time routine on the daily. It’s the easiest way to structure your day and ensure you’re prioritizing your health and wellbeing in your precious time outside of the workplace. When at work, try to be as organized and efficient as possible so as to reduce stress and finish on time!

We hope you enjoyed reading this little Q&A as much as we enjoyed answering it! We are so excited to have launched our new Wellness Blog and can’t wait for you to explore the incredible content that will be launching very soon! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more!

Jacqui and Tash xx

The Pilates Class’ Wellness Society will be releasing new posts on a weekly basis. Covering topics across fitness, wellness, recipes, women’s health and more, be sure to check back in for more interviews, articles, tips and tricks from your favorite industry experts.

For more information regarding The Pilates Class services, head to www.thepilatesclass.com/about. If you are new to the platform, try our 7 Day Free Trial now! 
  1. The Pilates Class co-founders, Jacqui and Tash, were first introduced on an instructor/client basis then soon became friends, and business partners quickly afterwards.
  2. For anyone looking to start their own business, ensure to establish an in-depth business plan and offer high-quality services.
  3. The Pilates Class is an extremely well rounded and restorative way of exercising that can be carried out through all walks of life.
  4. The platform was launched throughout the pandemic and the brand credit their astronomical growth to social media marketing and Jacqui and Tash’s likemindedness.
  5. Jacqui, Tash and the team have some incredible plans in the works for the future of TPC, so stay tuned!