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The Boss: Lauren Kleban Bounced to the Top of the Boutique Fitness Boom

5 minute read

In The Boss, women share how they became successful and the lessons they learned along the way.

In many ways, I’ve always been working on the concept of LEKfit. At a very early age, I choreographed easy-to-learn dances for my friends and took on leadership roles with my school’s dance team and musical theater department. I was acutely aware that women could maintain a healthy lifestyle through movement and dance, and love their bodies. I began teaching dance inspired fitness while in college after meeting two women who were pioneering the female-focused fitness movement in St. Louis, where I grew up. I spent as much time as I could in their dance studio — located in the basement of a medical building — soaking up their extensive knowledge of the business before moving to Los Angeles to work as a professional dancer.

In California, I studied under impressive yogis, old school gym rats and taught at multiple professional dance and boutique fitness studios. I also worked in retail during my late teens and early 20s, which I believe honed by sale skills. From professional dancer and fitness instructor to being a brand representative at Abercrombie & Fitch, I learned valuable lessons that played major roles in the creation of the LEKfit method and experience.

Lindsay Rosenberg Photography

When my husband and I bought our home in Hancock Park, I was teaching my signature BOUNCE class — which utilizes a trampoline — at a nearby pilates studio, running a ballet inspired fitness class at a professional dance studio and training private clients. We had a 1-year-old, so it was hard for me to be away from home and difficult to make my own schedule. Our new house came with a fabulous garage and guest room, and I decided to turn it into a studio to see what could happen. Honestly, my husband and I thought, I would teach friends and neighborhood moms, drop our kids off at school and that would be that. Fast forward to three years later, and there are now three to four classes a day, seven days a week — almost always with a waiting list — and a rapidly growing online business with thousands of subscribers, the vast majority of which live outside of Los Angeles. We now have four instructors, an operations assistant, production manager and my husband, a tech entrepreneur, is the CEO. We’re moving into our official flagship studio in Hollywood this spring.

The business has grown organically. We’re 100% self-funded, and have been fortunate enough not to need any outside capital. We also haven’t spent any money on traditional marketing, and have been growing mostly through word of mouth and very engaged social media followers.

There are many reasons for the success of LEKfit, but it hasn’t come without a lot of trial and error and consistent tweaking. It’s the quality of the product that’s resonating with our customers. LEKfit clients are driven, successful, working women (and men) who don’t have the time or energy to workout for two hours every day. So I set out to create something attainable, affordable, safe, effective and fun. The LEKfit workout concepts are carefully curated and updated weekly to keep our clients’ minds and bodies engaged. The class structure and playlist are never done on the spot, and are always meticulously prepared. Delivering a stellar workout every time someone takes one of our a classes is a top priority.

Another priority? The experience. We provide an inclusive, welcoming and fun environment. The friendships and partnerships formed both in studio and online are truly incredible. The support our clients provide each other through the knowledge of being in a trusted space among likeminded people is really powerful. We welcome all fitness levels, provide modifications when necessary and encourage our clients to listen to their bodies and enjoy their workout without stress or injury. We also provide a safe and effective workout for new and expecting mommies. LEKfit is not a regiment that promotes “unless you faint, puke or die.” If a workout plan is too rigorous and structured, you’re likely to burnout and give up. Our mission is to help clients enjoy getting fit, and stress that their goal should be achieving and maintaining their healthiest self. We’re aware of the enormous amount of options out there, and strive to deliver a first-rate experience each time a clients walks through the door or logs in online.

Surrounding myself with other successful females and building a strong team has also been key. Simultaenously running a fast-growing business and raising a family is no easy task. So, hiring smart people, delegating tasks, asking for help and seeking advice are critical.

LEKfit is a family business, and as a mom to a son, Miles, 4, and a daughter, Romy, 3, that feels pretty awesome. My husband happens to be a successful, sought after pioneer in the technology and e-commerce industry and I was lucky enough to have him take an interest, and now, active role in LEKfit. We both bring something entirely different to the table and on most days collaborate incredibly well. Working together had been extremely rewarding, and I love that our kids get to see us both so passionate about what we do. If you follow LEKfit on instagram or subscribe to LEKfit on demand, you’ve seen our kids hanging around and helping out. Who knows, maybe one day Miles or Romy will take over what we’ve started.

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