Founders of Physique 57 talk creating your own destiny and brand
What happens when your favorite workout spot closes its doors?
According to Columbia MBA grad and former Wall Street professional Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi, you quit your banking job, hunt down the best instructor and build your own place. And that’s exactly what Jennifer and Tanya Becker did when they opened Physique 57.
The two joined forces in 2006 after Lotte Berk, where Tanya was a favorite instructor, shuttered. Since then, Physique 57 has expanded to the Hamptons, L.A. and Dubai, in addition to its three NYC locations. If that isn’t enough, the ladies also published a book: “The Physique 57 Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body” (packed with exercises and a meal plan to shed unwanted pounds before summer) and off-the-charts DVDs.
According to Jennifer, “2010 was a banner year capped by the inclusion of Physique 57 as No. 377 in Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America, was marked by growth in all aspects of the company, including partnerships with One and Only Resorts, QVC and Plus One Health Management.”
I sat down with the two hot mamas at the Trump SoHo for no more than a glass of water — and got a whole lot of inspiration. Both start their days with oatmeal and walnuts and green juice from Organic Avenue in SoHo.
Tanya, where do you live and what do you crave in that neighborhood? I live in Hoboken with my husband and two babies. I crave Carlo’s Bakery cannolis, and roasted-pepper sandwiches and $3 pizza from Tudino’s.
Jennifer? I live uptown and eat at Printon56. I love their salmon, and have an all-green juice at Mangia daily. I also love Agata & Valentina for market goods and rotisserie chicken.
Where do you take your children for activities? I love Ballet Academy East and Kidville. (Tanya smiles; her twins are young and it takes a lot to even get them dressed in the morning she says, but they love Frank Sinatra Park.)
Tanya, what’s the best beauty find? Dr. Dennis Gross for exfoliating tanning pads with vitamins.
What do you wear to work out? Tanya: lululemon and Splits59, and our socks.
What’s the best advice you can give? Tanya: Do what you love and be inspired by how you live. For us, its sculpting bodies and changing lives and creating good habits. We are proud that our staff is teaching packed classes, and getting their own clients. Jennifer: Don’t be afraid to pass the torch and help others. We’re happiest when the idea isn’t ours.