We talk with the Co-Founders of obé Fitness, Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills, about what powers them through their day and why bringing community together is more important than ever.
How was the transition from talent agents at CAA to launching your own fitness platform, and how did that actually go hand in hand?
Starting our own business together happened organically. As talent agents, it was rewarding work to help clients build and create their vision. And, in a way, obé is an extension of that.
Since we both spent a significant portion of our careers building and creating content, we knew we could develop a platform with compelling workouts and talent that would be impactful to a larger, at-home audience. To be honest, we still always have our talent agent hats on as we are constantly curating content, and an incredible group of talented and dynamic instructors that work well in a TV-setting. Our job is to find, build, and grow talent who can transcend any screen and enact real joy in our members’ lives.
Where did you see the void in the fitness industry, and how do you aim to grow what you have started?
We wanted to recreate the authentic connection and community that we found in the early days of New York City’s boutique fitness scene—but for people all over. When we started to conceptualize obé, at-home fitness content felt isolating and one dimensional. We knew great talent, live classes, an immersive environment, and a digital community could completely change that, and make it a better, more convenient experience than any in-person class. In terms of growth, we are growing in the same way that our members are. In order to keep everyone moving in the right direction, we are constantly adding new classes and instructors to our daily lineup, and we will never stop finding innovative ways to grow the obé fam and to keep them connected to themselves, and each other, on their respective fitness journeys.
With technology advancing, why is online fitness gaining more traction than in-person and what walls did you want to break down in the boutique fitness structure?
We live in a digitized-age, and as people are becoming more health-conscious there is a much larger demand for accessible and challenging workouts—especially from audiences who don’t live in New York or California. The power of inclusion and connection is immeasurable and is one of the cornerstones of what we are building. We want to make sure everyone sweating it out together with us, in real time, knows that they are seen and connected to the heart of our operation. Our classes and additional content are the glue that binds the obé fam, helping to facilitate limitless opportunity in each of our members’ lives
How does sleep play a vital role in your work day?
With a streaming fitness startup that airs 14 live classes a day, 7 days a week, getting eight hours of sleep is a rare luxury for both of us. Oh, and add young children and an office that opens at 5 A.M. to that mix. But we are both big believers that sleep is essential for boosting our mood and brain power to get us through the workday. It’s safe to say that we both use sleep as an opportunity to reset and recharge for the day, or week ahead. Add when we can’t sleep, we like to flip on one of Francesca’s restorative stretches to get us in the zone.
Do you have any evening rituals that help you sleep?
Showering at night to wash the day off, good air circulation, and quality bed linens are the name of the game!
How does sleep affect your workout performance?
Similar to how it plays a vital role in our work day, sleep is absolutely necessary in order to optimize our workouts. We both try to move six days a week and it’s not uncommon to find us doing one of our Express classes at 3 P.M. in the afternoon when we feel the desire to reach for another cup of coffee!
What is the best piece of advice you received in terms of business?
We’re first-time entrepreneurs so, naturally, there’s a lot we’ve had to learn along the way. We truly believe that “everything is figureoutable” as preached by business coach, Marie Forleo. We’re also firm believers that sometimes you need to unexpectedly pivot along the way; the path to reaching your vision is far from linear, and you cannot be afraid of hard work and change.
What is your favorite Brooklinen product?
Brooklittles is a definite favorite right now – especially with having a toddler at home and another little one on the way!