It’s been unequivocally established that we are COLLECTIVELY enamored with all things delectable-design and small, salty business. So, when aesthetic-excellence was paired with a locally owned exercise mecca, whose owners are on a mission to empower and enliven both our city and its inhabitants, we had to start sharing. Meet, Maven Strong, a local fitness studio that offers up a cohesive selection of classes including Pilates, Barre, TRX, and circuits, galore, meaning oh-so-many ways to “get your sweat on”.
Even better, owners Tessa Arneson and Tim Watcke have crafted a community in Maven that is as tight as TRX toned traps, all in an environment that is equal parts supportive and chic. More than just a fitness studio, Tessa and Tim have also created a wellness haven, of sorts, dubbed the Maven District, which is home to over 18 (and counting) local spots, all in the business of well-being. A place where “whether you need to unwind, kick ass, or find inspiration to be a braver human” you’re sure to succeed at your intended goal.
From fitness to facials, the Maven District is well and truly self-care central.
We sat down with Tessa and Tim to chat about the Maven movement, and its underlying mantra...
Let’s start off with owner-intent, what does Maven mean to you? Maven STRONG is a place we created for people to lift themselves up, and to inspire them to be braver humans and create the lives they really want. Now that it's open, it's taken on a life of it's own beyond anything I even could imagine. I never knew how much a safe space could mean for people to share, grow and get stronger.
The combination of deep devotion to well-being and design prowess that is Maven is undoubtedly innovative, what was your inspiration for this project? It's been in the making for 4 plus years. When I first took over 9th and 9th Pilates I realized people were constantly asking us for recommendations on our favorites around town. I starting thinking, how cool would it be if they were all housed in the same building? We could work together and create a like-minded community of people I already love that expands exponentially; everyone involved wins.
Time to talk dogma, what is the “Maven experience?” A warm hug. A place we celebrate the ways you are different, whether you are just getting started or a seasoned vet, we have a spot for you to learn and push your boundaries.
Self-care and exercise aside, the space you have created is stunning. Tell us a little bit about that process. It was a long one because we’ve been thinking about it for 4 years. I was probably the worst client because I have a design background so I’m picky. There are also a ton of great architects in SLC so we took a while to make a decision. We used Nathan Webster and fell in love with his passion for design. We gathered all sorts of materials and things that we loved before we designed anything, including a giant dream catcher that hangs in the Strength room of the studio. Inspo trips to Portland, SF, Sayulita, and Lisbon played a big role. Then we decided early on to push the limits, go bold or go home. Black, gold, big and different than anything else SLC has seen.
What is the defining purpose of the Maven District? Seeking those who push the limits, we are building a community of walkable shops, eateries, and offices that color outside the lines. Together we will develop a block of cohesive, curated businesses that create something SLC has never seen.
Follow up, what is your vision for the neighborhood? With Arctic Circle closing and Maven Townhomes starting this spring, we are stoked to see the living portion of the block come together.
Sweat and sore muscles seem pretty fundamental to Maven Strong. Tell us a little about the fitness options and programs you offer. We believe your body doesn’t need to do the same thing every single day. So we have a mix of pilates, velo (our version of spin), barre, TRX, yoga, and circuit to keep your body guessing and out of injury zone. We focus on 4 main areas and ask that you get a mix of them each week when you build your workouts: strength, sweat, balance, and core. We don’t tell you what’s best for you, but instead, offer the resources on how to get there.
Starting a business is never easy, especially one as expansive and multi-faceted as Maven. So, what is it that you are most proud of? The fact that we have 18 businesses housed on our block and 28 when the next building is done. 18 local businesses that have been brave enough to leave their corporate jobs for something that means more. That makes us the most stoked about what we’ve done.