Opening Sculpt Studio puts Nahed in a bit of uncharted territory.
The Rochester resident said her family tended to prioritize careers in the corporate world over other possibly more-fulfilling pursuits, she said. In addition, she said there are few, if any, gyms run by Lebanese American women.The idea of starting her business became easier as fitness became more acceptable in her culture, Nahed said
“I think career-wise, our culture still values that (corporate) stability. So, I think being able to kind of prove to people that it’s going to work is really the only way that you’re able to break that barrier,” she said.
Sculpt Studio is wide open and colorful, with large windows and bright pink and orange hues sprinkled with hints of gold. Members can find 45-pound pick weight plates, dumbbells, step equipment, bikes and a versa climber.
Since opening, Nahed has signed about 60 members, many of whom followed her from the Ferndale space. Sculpt Studios offers “semi-private” training for up to six women per session. Rates, which require a three-month commitment, range from $149 to $329 a month. A 10-pack of sessions is available for $349. One-on-one personal training ranges from $288 to $768 a month. Sessions are one to three times a week.
Nahed would not disclose exact revenue figures, but said she expects an increase of 30 percent this year over 2021.
As a women-focused facility, Nahed also educates clients about their bodies and works to dispel weightlifting myths, such as the misconception that it makes women “bulky.”
“A lot of times, we’ll sit down with them as coaches. We’ll come up with a nutrition plan, and we’ll come up with a training plan for when they’re not here. So the next time they come in, we ask them, ‘Hey, did you do these things? Did we hit these goals?’ and just kind of like create a better routine for them,” Nahed said.
Her methods seem to be working.
Sculpt Studio has helped member Katie Beasley-Sriro approach health and fitness in an empowering, sustainable way, “which is something I know that I and many other women struggle with,” Beasley-Sriro said in an email. “I have loved seeing and feeling myself becoming strong and toned, and I’ve learned a lot from them about mobility and nutrition, too. Those gals are the best, and in working with them, I can definitely say that I’ve made a worthwhile investment in my overall well-being.”
Nahed seems to be on her way to breaking the barriers in her culture.
“I would just love to touch as many women’s lives as possible and help them on their fitness journeys,” Nahed said. “I’m still figuring out what that means for the future, but I definitely want to grow this space. We still have room to grow, and I’m excited to see what the new year is gonna bring.”