We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenn Lacy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenn, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The ever elusive work life balance, it feels like it is a constant work in process. As most small business owners know, you’re never really off. Just because I’m not physically in the space, doesn’t mean that I’m not working from home, answering emails or texts in the middle of the night, or frantically driving into work to put out a figurative and thankfully not literal (yet) fire. That being said, when we transitioned in 2021 from owning our franchise to starting our own company, we made non-negotiable’s that included having real time off each week. My long time partner, Kelsey, and I made three crucial decisions that have allowed us to actually find some semblance of a work life balance.
The first was that we hired a manager, Leah. Leah is a rare species, she’s hard working, diligent and autonomous but also caring, compassionate and empathetic. We’re well aware that finding Leah was like finding an endangered species, we tried for 10 years prior with no luck. But my advice is that if you do find yourself a Leah, do everything you can to keep her.
Secondly, find a communication app or software that allows you to turn it off, when you’re off. Previously, we had done most of our communication with our staff through text or email. It just wasn’t convenient and it didn’t make financial sense to have a personal phone and a work phone. This meant that there were regular “Should I answer this now? But I’m off right now… Ugh, I’ll just answer so I don’t forget” moments. Those “moments” were never just moments, texts would turn into long chains or phone calls dwindling away any time off that had been scheduled. This is not an ad for this app, however, it’s what we’ve found that works best for us. We started using Connecteam, it is a scheduling, messaging, time clock, and communication all-in-one app. The best part is, you can set it to have timed do not disturb hours. This has allowed us to enforce a “Text or Call only in Emergency” policy with our staff. They know that they can always get ahold of us if they need to, but it’s cut down significantly on the stress we had put on ourselves to be “on” all the time.
Lastly, we set boundaries. We started our first business when I was 26 and Kelsey was 27. It was our first time starting a business, we were learning as we went and we’re very afraid that people wouldn’t like us. That meant that boundaries… didn’t really exist. As a small business owner there are so many moving parts to consider, you have to be able to see the big picture. But make sure that YOU are included in that big picture. My partner and I put ourselves last for years because it’s what we thought was necessary for success. We finally decided that in the end, success or not, we had to take care of ourselves.
What should our readers know about your business?
Chrysalis Fitness + Wellness came to fruition during the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020. While this past year has been one of the hardest, most confusing, and draining years of our lives, it has also brought so much growth. My partner, Kelsey and I owned a franchise for ten years and while we loved the community we had built in Silver Lake we had outgrown confines of the franchise. We were ready to create something that was truly our own. With our manager Leah, we built four unique pillars that make up our holistic approach to fitness. Not every day is the same, your workout shouldn’t be either.
We provide a variety of different workouts and techniques so you can decide what’s best for you every day. Sculpt is our barre inspired pillar, using small, targeted movements we tone and simultaneously lengthen. Sweat is our cardio based pillar, using large, full range, dance inspired movements we break a sweat, raise our heart rates, and get the endorphins pumping. Strength is our power pillar designed to challenge every muscle group by using focused movements and simple props to reach a point of complete muscle exhaustion. Our Stretch pillar is your chance to slow down and reconnect with your mind, body & breathe. Our goal was to create a variety of classes in both 30 and 50 minute formats so that our clients could create a schedule that would encompass all aspects of healthy, holistic movement.
Back in 2012 when we were first opening our original fitness studio, we did everything ourselves. We painted the walls, built all the furniture, even laid some tile and did some plumbing but we were still restrained to the framework that had been provided to us. We are forever grateful for the guidance we received because it has allowed us to grow and create something that feels 100% us. But also something that can adapt over time, a studio that can shift as we learn.
Chrysalis celebrates each small victory because that is where the real growth begins. Stretch your boundaries and believe that anything is possible. At Chrysalis we hope to create space to tap into our strength, courage and vulnerability. Let go of the past, honor the present, and grow stronger for the future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being a Los Angeles native I have seen the city change so much over the years. I love the diversity of our city and would encourage them to see the widest variety of experiences as possible. Here are some of my favorites:
– See a live music show at the Palladium or the Hollywood Bowl. Some of my most memorable concerts have been at these venues. The intimacy of the Palladium allowed me to see huge bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nine Inch Nails from the pit. But also, nothing beats seeing one of your favorite acts like Florence and the Machine under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl.
– Eat at all of the best restaurant’s. Unfortunately, some of my favorites didn’t make it through the pandemic (RIP Here’s Looking at You, you can still get a version of their delicious fare at All Day Baby in Silver Lake). But, there’s still plenty of amazing food in LA. Handmade pastas at Union in Pasadena. The freshest seafood at Found Oyster in east Hollywood. Delicious Taiwanese food at either Joy in Highland Park or Pine & Crane in Silver Lake. A modern take on Mediterranean food housed in the most gorgeously renovated historic Mason lodge, Checker Hall in Highland Park.
– Bar hop and drink the tastiest cocktails. Listen to a DJ play their favorite mixes while sipping a draft Toki highball at Goldline Bar in Highland Park. Enjoy the back patio and a spicy Mezcal margarita at Everson Royce in DTLA. Make your own bloody mary at the DTLA La Cita Sunday bloody mary bar. Have a glass of wine at Semi Tropic in Silver Lake.
– We’d have to take advantage of the weather (assuming it’s not one of the 14 days of rain we get each year). We’d skip the uber crowded Runyon Canyon and go on some of my favorite hikes, the Wisdom Tree trail, Eaton Canyon, and Switzer Falls. In the evening, I’d take my friend to Neptune’s Net in Malibu to pick up fritto misto and beers to watch the sunset at the beach.
– And then there’s the museums, landmarks, and historical sites of the city. You can’t miss the LACMA, the broad, and the Getty museums. I’d take them to go see the Hollyhock house, Angel’s Flight, and Barnsdall Art park.
There’s just so much more I love about this city. When people think of LA they tend to focus on celebrities, so I’d try to show them the other side of Los Angeles. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shoutout to my mother. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known and I hope to be a fraction of the human she was. My mom passed away very unexpectedly February 17th, 2020 just 32 days short of her 65th birthday. Her journey was never easy. she was told that as a female in China she would never be able to become a doctor and that she had to settle for being a nurse. A woman never to be told “no”, she saved her Chinese lucky money for years in secret to save for an English tutor so that she could go to school in the United States. At just 17 years old, she found a way to make her way alone to the US. She finished up her necessary high school credits, got into college, and earned her medical degree, all while experiencing racism, discrimination, and anti-Asian sentiment. During this time she also met my father, fell in love, and had me, their only daughter, at age 29. She was an amazing physician, wife, daughter, friend, activist, and of course, mother. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for her.
Additionally, I have to mention my amazing father who has always been my biggest cheerleader, my wonderful husband who always inspires me to trust in myself, and our ever loving dog Fox.