Q&A 4Her – Kerry De Vivo, Owner of Excel Pilates Annapolis

Kerry De Vivo began studying Pilates in 1986 with Steve Giordano at SUNY Purchase. She received her Pilates certification in 1995 and went on to co-found Excel Movement Studios in Washington DC. In 2002, she co-founded Excel Pilates Annapolis.

In November, Excel Pilates Annapolis will hold its “Return To Life” Pilates retreat in Cambridge, Maryland. Attendees can expect Pilates workouts, workshops, a nature walk, tapas/wine pairing reception and more. Registration ends on September 22, 2012.

In the midst of preparing for this major event, MyCity4Her caught up with Kerry to talk about her idea of success, why she became an entrepreneur and more. Read on for the full interview!

Why did I decide to become a business owner?

I had an opportunity to partner with someone I had been working with for years and shared identical work ethics and passion for Pilates. It was an opportunity to do our craft at a level of integrity that we desired.

What in hindsight would I say I underestimated about your industry or running a business?

At the time that I co-founded my studio, Pilates was trademarked and had some quality control. A few years later, the trademark was lost and there was no longer quality control over preserving the Classical Pilates Method. As a result, there was a big infusion of competition that was not well educated in the method. I always say, good competition is a good thing, bad competition is another story.

What is the best business related advise you have ever been given?

Interesting that this advice was not given to me directly, I received it indirectly, yet it rings very strong for me. That is, if I can no longer do my job with integrity, then I will no longer do my job or work in my field.

What do you love most about what you do?

What I love most about what I do is helping people feel good within and about their bodies. Watching people reach potential that they did not even realize they had is highly rewarding.

What if you knew then what you know now – would you do anything differently, and why?

Being a business owner for 14 years has actually allowed me to apply some of what I’ve learned to current experiences. Whether in working with employees or clients, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to practice what I’ve learned. There is an abundance of lessons.

When you are not working, how do you like to spend your time?

With my family, on the water boating, and exercising outside.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is being able to live in the moment. Not in the moment that I impose on myself or allow others to impose on me. If I am able to fulfill my role as a business owner, mother, spouse, friend, etc. AND can still “live in the moment”, then I am successful.

If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business – what would it be?

It would be one of my favorite quotes from Joseph Pilates (the founder of the Pilates Method), “Time and progress are synonymous terms, nothing can stop either”. It’s good to keep that perspective during challenging times.

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