We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Hirsch-Solomon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
My life today…My dogs, my family, friends and The Studio (MDR) …the inner rewards that I reap in my role of making people healthy, happy and feeling loved, which in turn, makes me live a better, more fulfilling life. Happiness is what most people strive for in life and what I realize is I thrive on other people’s happiness. One of my life’s goal is to help people, no matter who they are or where they are from, to feel good about themselves. If one concentrates on feeling meaningful and beautiful on the inside, then that positive feeling will transmit itself to their exterior, thereby creating a more beautiful, happy self. I believe in concentrating on achieving a feeling of safety, health, love and happiness. We have been trying hard to make this happen on a daily basis at The Studio (MDR), one client at a time for over ten years now. This is what helps to keep my life truly fulfilled and I hope many others.
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’m the Founder and CEO of an incredible boutique fitness community called The Studio (MDR). This is what I am most proud of today. Is owning a business easy? Absolutely not. Especially now. Would I do this all again? 100% YES! Why? Because we help others get healthy in mind, body and spirit each and every day for the past 10 years and will continue to do so until it’s my time to leave the party. I LOVE what I do even on days that are challenging. How lucky am I! Growing up, I envisioned my career to be in medicine and having a family. I always loved music, and when I went to school in New Orleans, it only further enhanced my interest. After college, while deciding on life’s next steps, I was sitting on the beach one day and struck up a conversation with a girl who asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Out of nowhere, while telling her about my med school aspirations, I confided that I also wanted to get into the music industry. She remarked with “that’s great! I just got promoted at RCA, so why don’t you come in to interview for my job! “ I went in on a Tuesday, started on Thursday and the rest was history. I spent about 15 years in music at RCA, Universal, Virgin and SIRIUS working with incredible musicians and talent from all over the world. Then about 13 years ago, I was ready for a big change in my life. I had recently moved back to Los Angeles, still working in entertainment, but I knew it was time for me to move on. So, I wrote a business plan to open up a clothing store and then quickly realized, after crunching numbers and living in a recession at that time… the clothing business was not a practical idea. I was working out several days a week at a local Lagree Method studio and found myself observing the love and attention people expressed for health and wellness during a time of economic struggle and uncertainty. I had this background in branding, talent, relationships and music and started thinking about how I could manifest and merge my skill set into something fitness and community related. Drawing on my love of Lagree, I opened my first studio in Marina Del Rey with no real background in business or fitness (other than being a passionate client) and from the first day, our classes were sold out and the rest was history. The Studio (MDR), when not mandated closed by the government during Covid times, is a vibrant boutique studio with 4 locations on the westside of LA. We are a class-based fitness studio that focuses on The Lagree Method workout. This is an intense total-body program that melds together elements of Pilates, cardio training and weight-bearing activity to create a one of-a-kind exercise program. The workout is done on a machine called a Megaformer which provide constant resistance and infinitely more exercise options than a traditional reformer. The Megaformer allows the body to shift quickly and smoothly from one exercise to another while increasing the heart rate and getting the blood pumping. The Studio (MDR) workout attacks each and every muscle in a concentrated and focused manner to sculpt strong, powerful and lean bodies in a safe and measured way. The Studio (MDR) commits to ensuring that each client is the priority and feel this way from the moment that they walk in the door to the moment that they exit. This same commitment extends to our virtual classes as well. Dedication and commitment must come from the heart. Having confidence in a client’s ability to grow and rise to the challenge of the workout, is part of this obsessed culture. The teachers must be able to work with and be considerate of all levels of clients in each class. Every client needs to feel as though they are the most special person in the room and given the intensity of the workout, they must feel safe and have fun at the same time. In addition to our powerful workouts, I believe the atmosphere and environment in our studios is what really separates us from the rest and provides something unique for every person. People achieve the transformation they are seeking without the impact and pounding of so many other workout styles. Our goal since day one has been to create a peaceful haven for people looking to make a positive change in their lives and feel comfortable while doing so. Class sizes are kept small so that clients feel as though they are getting personal training in a group setting. Customer service is number one, along with providing a great workout. We also have to mention the enormous pride we have for our incredible instructors. The stories of weight loss, the testimonials of improved mental health, of cancer patients feeling safe enough to work with us, of pregnant women striving to stay healthy and toned as they prepare to welcome new life into this world, of athletes seeking additional core intensity are ongoing and never-ending. What I love the most is that this studio is for EVERYone. During the past 10 months of this pandemic, we moved our studios outside (we have 1 in Culver City and 1 in Playa Vista) and online and, while this time has been extremely challenging, we have learned to adapt to change. It has shown us what an incredible community we truly have and how resilient we are in light of what has transpired. Change is inevitable so let’s learn how to embrace and roll with the peaks and valleys so the future can be promising and bright!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we are post Covid and about a week long – oh there is so much to do and see (and EAT!)… One day we would start at Eggslut for breakfast at Grand Central Market. This would be followed by a tour of The Broad and Hauser & Wirth. Then lunch at Trejo’s Tacos or Dave’s Hot Chicken. Another day, hike Los Liones and then grab lunch at John’s Garden in Malibu and then a walk around Lake Shrine at the Self Realization Center. Later, have a drink at the Bel Air Hotel Bar and then the Hollywood Bowl is always a must! You could also rent bikes and visit the Venice Canals, the Santa Monica beach bike path and ride all the way down on the path to Manhattan Beach, relax on the beach, eat at Love & Salt (must get the chicken – trust me) and walk in and out of the stores on Manhattan Beach Blvd. Visit the LACMA and then have Korean BBQ at Chosun Galbi or Soowon Galbi in Koreatown. We could also check out the Griffith Park Observatory and then have dinner downtown at either 71Above for the amazing view or Bestia just because I love the food and atmosphere. And this is just scratching the surface but a good start! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, my mom and my late grandmother are the two women most instrumental in the development of my success. Without my mom and grandma consistently cheerleading over the years and encouraging me by telling me “yes you can” no matter what I believed, I am quite sure my journey would have been quite different and I would not be where I am today. This experience is why I am such a big believer in the adage that people can do just about anything if they put their mind to it. You do not need to go to business school (not that this is a bad thing!) to be a successful business owner. Perseverance and determination are key, along with belief in yourself and the encouragement of others to push forward to achieve one’s goal. Thank you, Mom and I miss you, Nanny. I’ve always admired strong, powerful and determined women. Whether famous like Rosa Parks, Jane Fonda, Michelle Obama or RBG or just great, successful women in my peer group, so many have played a large roll by inspiring my career and in life in general. Success is realized when you surround yourself with wisdom for guidance, grace and support through good and bad times. And of course, a BIG shoutout to my husband and the rest of my family for always being so supportive no matter what.
Makeup credit: Nina Davis