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“I see this throughout both of their lives every day and in every aspect,” Christal Golston said. “They’re literally loyal to a fault to each other, to where they would die for one another in a second.”

‘Not just a product’

The Studio MBS is more than the Pilates and dance studio it was 16 months ago. Studio 2, where TRX suspension training bands hung during the grand opening, now looks more like a kindergarten classroom.

A rainbow explosion of letters, numbers and shapes brightens the rug that covers the black rubbery floor. A wooden toy train track winds over a table near the wall. Tables and chairs are in place for children to do schoolwork as part of The Studio’s kids programs.

The almighty quest for profits fueled the evolution. How could the Alexanders and Golstons maximize the revenue their space could generate? By providing child care to mothers who work, exercise or run errands during the day. The Studio goes so far as to pick up children from school.

Alexander has mixed feelings. He often defers decisions to Manjanique because she is present more often at The Studio, especially during the season, when he and Golston stay away to focus on football. But when the families’ hard work and money go to a final product different from the original vision, acceptance isn’t necessarily easy.

“My initial idea was just a Pilates studio, but then it turned into: Let’s have dance, let’s have a day care school part all in one,” he said. “When you start doing all that, obviously you’ve got to pay people to run those different divisions, and that’s more that you have to coordinate around, so that’s a little bit more stress.

“I don’t know if I would have agreed to doing all that. I understand why we did it, but I don’t know if that’s what I got into it in the first place for.”

Next time, Alexander would attempt more market research to gauge demand for services. He considers it a learning experience, which, at this stage of his life, can be as valuable as profit.

Alexander also has realized business ownership might not be for him. He dislikes the stress and how the accountability to each detail requires time he could be spending with his three kids. Something attracts him to the clock-in, clock-out workday.

“I don’t really need control,” he said. “Some people don’t like working for other people. I’m used to working in a team environment, anyway, so I think that better suits me.”

Ultimately, though, Alexander supports the changes at The Studio.

“It’s not just a product,” he said. “Your bodies are better, healthier. And then it’s something for kids to do that’s constructive after school, helping them with their homework, but then they’re also dancing, exercising. It’s good because we’re helping people.”

There were no balloons or fanfare at The Studio at noon on a Saturday last month. Two Pilates classes concluded, and all was quiet. Business as usual.

The participants departed, leaving only Golston and an employee at the front desk.

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