We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilary Opheim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hilary, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is not something that is in my DNA. I am a planner, I am not good with change and I like to know what is going to happen. Yet, in my career it seems to be a different DNA I have. I have been teaching Pilates for over 25 years and owned my own studio and run my Teacher Training Program for over 15 years. Every aspect of getting me to where I am now has been a risk. A risk to me is that moment when you are standing at the edge of that road, cliff, mountain and you look out and don’t know what is “over there”. You could stay on that road, bridge or mountain and continue, it is safe, the known, it is comfortable or you can take that leap to the other side. It is scary, the unknown but you do it! My whole career has been those moments where I decide to turn that path or go through that window that just appeared. It is how I got here to LA. It would have been easy to stay in Houston where I had been teaching my whole career, had my studio established and a full clientele. When the door opened for me to step through to California I took that risk. Closed my eyes and just stepped on through the door. Risk in my personal life doesn’t happen and those that know me are amazed that in my career I have taken those chances, believed that all would be ok and just kept going for it. Whatever “it” was for me in those moments. It has led to a fulfilling, exciting journey with wonderful people and experiences I never would have gotten to experience. it is sometimes hard work and scary but, in the end it takes you to a place that you never may have thought about.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have been teaching Pilates for almost 30 years and opened up my first studio almost 16 years ago. I have always had the mission of teaching Traditional Pilates and keeping the focus on the individual. A small boutique feel with that one on one Pilates work that is geared to each client and what they want or need. I have always kept my vision clear and moving forward, learning lessons of not letting others tell me what I should or shouldn’t do but, listening to my own voice. I am a positive person and it reflects in my teaching and guiding clients to where they are challenged in a way that is not “correcting” or “telling what is wrong”. They always feel accomplished and less stressed when they leave. That philosophy and way of teaching carries into my Teacher Training school for those that I teach to be Pilates teachers. I think that in Pilates, business and life we are on a journey and seeing where we can go, exploring and learning. It is what I love most about Pilates!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am new to LA in terms of living here but, my husband and I have come to LA for years for vacations! So, I would want to show them PCH and the beautiful drive along from Santa Monica to Malibu. We would maybe get some breakfast up in Malibu at Duke’s and look at the view. We would hit Beverly Hills, rodeo drive and then book a cabana by the pool and have some lunch and lounge at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Hitting the studio’s such as Paramount to do some tours and then of course head to West Hollywood and explore Melrose as well. Dinner at the Ivy is a must to enjoy the people watching. A hike up to the Hollywood Sign or a bike ride on Marvin Braude Beach Trail with a stop for lunch along the way maybe in Manhattan Beach would be on the list as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is to all the Pilates community here in LA. When I opened up my studio here everyone was supportive, helpful and making me feel welcome as if I had always been here. When the pandemic hit I had only been opened a little over a month and the community kept checking in with me, offering an ear and support. Having other studio owner’s and teachers be there and for each other was something I did not expect. My husband came later so being here, my business opening up and dealing with all that 2020 has dealt us it was beyond amazing to immediately feel the support and friendship that came from this community!