Functional Movement Brand P.volve Looks for Growth in Franchising

You may not have heard of P.volve, but that may change as the functional movement studio brand seeks to expand from its existing three corporate-owned studios in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles to franchising around the country—and potentially internationally. P.volve’s leadership is eyeing 300 markets for growth, aided by data on where its tens of thousands of digital streaming fans—built since the brand started streaming in November 2017—are located and asking for a brick-and-mortar location.

P.volve’s origin story began in 2017 when Rachel Katzman, who despite living in New York City where gyms and studios of all types are abundant, couldn’t find what she was looking for. She was struggling with weight gain, a lack of self-confidence and then a scoliosis diagnosis. She began working out with trainer Stephen Pasterino, who showed her a functional movement-designed method that strengthened her core, improved her mobility and posture, and reduced her pain. Sold on the method, she co-founded P.volve — which stands for “personal evolution” — with Pasterino.

The duo started with a lab-like studio in New York City and built a cult following of women who were getting results that included lean muscles and the ability to do functional movements—such as picking up their children—that allowed them to live their lives more fully, according to Julie Cartwright, who was hired as P.volve president in early 2017 and spoke to Club Industry in October about the brand’s plans. (Watch the video above for the full interview.)  

P.volve added a digital streaming service in November 2017, which helped it build an audience around the world, Cartwright said. That helped the company, which is now expanding through franchising, identify 300 markets for growth. Four franchised locations are already in the works, and the first markets for franchises are Nashville and San Diego, she said.

Other hot markets for the brand include Miami, Dallas and Denver, as well as its existing markets of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Despite having corporate-owned location in the existing markets, expansion in these three cities will be through franchising because the company doesn’t plan to expand its corporate locations at this time, Cartwright said. The company’s two biggest markets outside of the United States are Canada and the United Kingdom.

The brand offers franchisees multiple revenue streams through a variety of membership options, including class packs, hybrid memberships, and digital memberships, as well as in-studio equipment and retail sales.

The footprint required for the studios is minimal as P.volve’s functional movement workouts use its small and portable patented equipment line of bands and balls rather than large equipment.

Watch the full video above for more details about the brand, including results members are getting from the workouts, the brand’s target demographic and target franchisee as well as franchisee requirements.