In the wake of a health scare that catalyzed her commitment to physical and mental well-being, Marisa Fuller, a former advertising professional of over 20 years, has not only found personal solace in Pilates but has also successfully expanded her venture with the opening of a second studio in Brooklyn this year.
Pilates, a mind-body exercise method from the early 1900s and influenced by yoga and ballet, has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade, with studios dotting the New York City landscape.
For Fuller, the journey began two decades ago when a friend suggested Pilates, and she quickly fell in love with its unique blend of physical challenge and low-impact fluid movements.
The significance of Pilates became even more profound for Fuller as it emerged as a source of joy, community, and wellness during challenging times. Motivated by a desire to share this positive experience, she decided to transition from a long career in advertising to open her own studio. The turning point came when she received a BRCA1 gene diagnosis, indicating a high predisposition to breast cancer.
Opting for preventative surgery, including a double mastectomy, Fuller emerged from the experience with a renewed determination to pursue her passion for wellness and help others on their fitness journeys.
Despite initial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fuller’s South Slope studio opened in 2021 and has become a thriving hub with over 700 clients weekly. In June of the same year, she successfully launched her second studio in Cobble Hill, marking another milestone in her journey.
Fuller acknowledges the daily challenges of being a small business owner, from technical difficulties to unexpected hiccups, but the positive impact on her clients overshadows these obstacles.
The reviews and feedback about clients no longer needing chiropractic visits or physical therapy testify to the profound difference Fuller’s Pilates studios have made in people’s lives.
As she reflects on her entrepreneurial venture, Fuller notes, “It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made,” emphasizing the transformative power of Pilates and the resilience of pursuing one’s passion in the face of adversity.