Lose weight, build muscle, freshen breath. Check.
On the second level of Pavilions Marketplace, fitness studio Burn 60 maximizes the space it has. There’s a small naturally lit reception area with shelves offering branded t-shirts and caps. There’s also an open-air patio for al fresco stretch sessions on red AstroTurf. Inside there is a polished wood floor exercise studio with treadmills, free weights, CrossCore suspension systems mounted to the ceiling and mirrored walls to check your form (as well as how you look). Yet the coup de grâce may be Burn’s “five-star bathrooms” stocked with “pre-moistened toothbrushes.”
“We’ve got something we believe is lightning in a bottle, and we want to let it out,” said Janet Crown, a Chicago native, Westwood resident, mother of five kids (ages 12 to 26) and the founder of Burn 60.
The name, as you might imagine refers to “burning as much as you can” in 60 minutes. Not membership based, customers sign up for one class at a time, but specials and packages are offered as incentives.
Had no idea Burn 60 sat atop one of your favorite grocery stores? “We’re still kind of hidden,” admitted Crown. “We wanted to come to WeHo for a long time and finally we got the opportunity. The space is very crowded with fitness businesses.” Their Brentwood location opened in 2005, but the WeHo spot, which is at 8969 Santa Monica Blvd. at Robertson, celebrated its first year in business this past October.
Convenience as a competitive edge was a major attraction factor for her. There is “parking, parking, parking,” Crown said. “Once someone finds us, then they’re hooked.”
Crown moved to Los Angeles to work for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) after graduating from Northwestern with a master’s degree in marketing. But parenthood became her motivational force. “I started as the client. I was a mother with very young kids and I wanted to get a 60-minute workout in.” Using her own money to get her business going, she did not seek investors or a Small Business Administration or bank loan.
Results and expertise were what she sought. “I wanted the most knowledgeable trainers, whether I was pregnant, or post-pregnancy, whatever. I went at it to build a business based upon what I would want.” With 20 trainers, 35 additional staff, two locations, and a corporate office in Westwood, Burn 60 has become a sizeable brand.
Crown executes her business philosophy in two main ways. The first is how regular exercise has an effect on how we live. The second is essentially cause marketing.
“It is all about positivity,” Crown said. “We believe in helping the world around us. Otherwise, what is the point?”
For this gym queen, fitness comes first, as in first thing in the morning. “I just know that when I work out, I feel better,” Crown said. “If someone comes in at 7 a.m., pushes themselves to reach fitness goals, and then reaches them, that has an effect on their day.”
That effect is about “paying it forward,” said Crown, who selects a different charity to benefit each month. “We have ‘Burn for Good’. This month is American Heart Month. Burn 60 is donating 50 cents to the American Heart Association for every client that takes a class.“
South Central Los Angeles non-profits have benefitted from Crown’s enterprise, too. Operation Progress, the Watts Bears football team, and A Place Called Home – all youth organizations – have visited Burn 60 for workouts, yoga and classes.
What does the future hold? Expansion. Not only is a third location is planned, but also national growth. Crown smiled. “We’re fully-baked. We believe Burn 60 has a place in other states.” Like many entrepreneurs with a vision, Crown is confident: “Functional training will never ever go out of style.”