We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Oldefest and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, how does your business help the community?
I am so happy to announce that I have become an affiliate Pilates instructor and studio with Core Compassion Project. We are a 501(c)3 that provides Pilates scholarships for women and men in the Denver area who are recovering from breast cancer. I am the first Pilates studio in Denver to become an affiliate. This project is very near and dear to my heart because both my mother and grandmother are breast cancer survivors. Through my Pilates teaching I am able to help others regain their strength, flexibility and self esteem with the Pilates method. My studio provides a very safe and compassionate and nurturing space for breast cancer survivors to come and rehabilitate.
What should our readers know about your business?
What sets my studio apart from many others today is that I really specialise in helping others who have injuries maintain a healthy Pilates practice. My studio is small and designed to give clients individual attention. My group classes max out at 4 clients. I spent many years, early in my career, teaching crowded classes with up to 13 clients on Pilates equipment. I prefer smaller groups where I can really watch my clients form and make sure they are doing everything correctly and with proper alignment. I always wanted to create a very peaceful environment for others to learn and practice the Pilates Method and from the response of my clients, that is what Peace Of Mind Pilates is all about! I took a lot of time building my business, one client at a time through referrals. My family always comes first and being a mom is my number 1 priority! I have to give a huge shoutout to my husband who has always supported me and my business 100% over the years. Owning a Pilates studio can be hard at times, especially this past year with the pandemic, but if you can build a steady clientele it is so rewarding. Most of my clients have been with for over 20 years, through the births of both my kids and have been along for the ride in creating my studio.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love supporting my local business so I often hang out in the DU area, Old Pearl Street, South Gaylord and Cherry Creek. One of my favourite neighbourhoods right now is the RiNo district. I love all the cool local restaurants and boutiques and paintings on all the buildings and alleys. One of my favourite things to do is attend the Crushwalls event every year and watch the graffiti artists paining their work. One of my favourite restaurants is El Five, with their amazing view and I am a huge fan of Joy Hill, on South Broadway. They have the best gluten free pizza in town! I love heading to the mountains, especially in the summer! Breckenridge is a fave of mine along with Keystone Lake.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My introduction to Pilates began years ago, in 1997, when I was being treated for a whiplash injury at Colorado Center For Physical Therapy in Littleton Co . Irma Pacheco, who I believe is the owner, was my massage therapist at the time and suggested I try a Pilates session in their PT clinic to help with my neck pain. 30 minutes into the session I began to feel relief in my neck pain and asked the Pilates teacher where she learned to teach Pilates. She sent me to Sabra Blacklock, the owner of Pilates Essentia, formerly Pilates Plus in Denver. Sabra trained me and I worked as an employee for her for 5 years until I left to raise my children and see private Pilates clients from my home during my kids nap times and when they were at school. After 15 years of running a successful home Pilates studio and working with private Pilates clients I went back to Sabras Pilates studio in Denver to rent space for a few years before opening my own location. I am so grateful to her for teaching and mentoring me throughout the years and always being supportive of my business.