Even though I’ve known Amber Joliat–the owner and founder of MISFITSTUDIO in Toronto–for years, I’d never actually been to a class at her dance-inspired fitness studio. It’s not that I didn’t want to, after all, her studio is well-known for its cult-like fan following, but, for whatever reason, I felt it was too far; that maybe the studio wasn’t worth the travel time it would take me to cross the city. If you know me, you know I love efficiency and convenience, so despite its attractive promise, the time commitment never won me over. That is until a few weeks ago when I finally ventured that couple blocks west of Bathurst Street to attend a ‘Get Shifted’ class at MISFITSTUDIO’s Queen Street location to celebrate the launch of the MISFITSTUDIO x Fortnight Lingerie capsule collection. In just one class, I was hooked. I understood what it was all about. I quickly found myself a part of their ‘cult’. You really can’t compare the experience inside MISFITSTUDIO to any other studio in the city because it’s truly unlike anywhere else; it’s magical, it’s powerful and the posivibes are real. Since I’ve had Amber on my interview wish list for this Founder Files series from Day 1, I thought there was no better time to feature her than with the launch of her latest local collaboration, and to kick-off my first ever 30-day studio challenge, which just so happens to be with MISFITSTUDIO. Keep reading to meet Amber, and her impressive business.
Business Name: MISFITSTUDIO
Name & Title: Amber Joliat, Creator.
Education: LIFE (including OCAD & Dance & Endless Movement Training)
Edit Seven: Tell us about your business, what do you do?
Amber Joliat: To capture it into one phrase, MISFITSTUDIO is a movement studio blending Pilates, dance and yoga to untangle the soul, however
MISFITSTUDIO isn’t a business,
it’s a way of life
A curious look inward at what is holding one back from experiencing freedom
body, mind soul
and, then, through work, recognition, awareness, dance, sweat, tears, laughter, release, remembering who you are
comfortable in your own skin
E7: How did you start your business? What inspired you to start?
in retrospect I see that this has always been my purpose
but, in 2010 I chose to build a home for movement to begin the healing path for myself and others
I was working for studios who were unequipped to support my message
so, I danced into the fear and opened my own studio
E7: Why do you love what you do?
AJ: What I do is sacred
I feel like a conduit
that feeds my body, mind and soul
nothing is more satisfying than living with passion!!
E7: What makes your business special?
AJ: The magnetic draw that pulls the most magnificent women in
open-minded, curious, conscious-seeking humans living with desire for more!
We are tribe
we are powerful
and, I’m fortunate enough to call some family
E7: What makes your classes special?
AJ: Oh, so many magical elements!
When a room full of beating hearts syncs up,
when movement and breath slide into unison, a palpable energetic shift occurs in the room.
It’s a primal, connection, a deeper connection to self, to others, to the source of being.
E7: What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from running your business?
AJ: TO TRUST INTUITION
Every time I’ve gotten lost in the sea of thoughts that deter me from my inner wisdom, I’ve paid the price
in massive ways.
Here’s the thing, the wise woman inside us ALWAYS knows.
E7: What is your favourite part about running your business in Toronto?
AJ: I’m grateful for the open minded people who make this city diverse, rich, colourful, delicious and intriguing. Constantly pressing boundaries on what “normal” is.
This city has opened its arms to my philosophy and, for the most part I have been graciously supported by many circles
E7: What is you #1 piece of advice to keep in mind when starting your own business?
AJ: Creation comes from within
Find your voice
Do what you do because you can’t imagine NOT DOING IT
And trust (in yourself and the universe)
E7:Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting your business?
AJ: No, the lessons, as challenging and painful as they’ve been,
have helped me grow and evolve.
That is priceless.
E7: What advice would you give to others who are trying to get into the same industry, or trying to open their own studio?
AJ: Be ready to LIVE IT
This shit never ends, it’s constant, it’s endless, it’s 24/7, you must WANT to breathe it, live it, sleep it, be willing to do anything for it.
E7: You recently opened your second studio, what advice would you give to someone looking to expand their small business?
mentally, emotionally, financially.
Accept that things may not go your way.
Be ok with failing
and, know that your life will dramatically change.
If you think one is a lot of effort and energy,
two requires your life force to thrive.
Friends, family, haters will show their truths
E7: You recently launched a new collaboration with Fortnight Lingerie. This isn’t your first collab with a local company, tell us more about your collaboration process and who you look for to work with?
AJ: FIERCE AND POWERFUL FEMALES
Toronto is incredibly vibrant with female entrepreneurs. Aligning with others who live similar philosophies is wonderfully natural and close.
E7: Tell us more about your collab with Fortnight, what was that process like? What was your design inspiration?
AJ: It has taken a long time.
What I’ve learned through Christina Remenyi (founder/designer of Fortnight) is attention to detail
I’m very much IN THE MOMENT
when inspiration strikes
this was a whole new process
slow, careful, calculated.
The collection was an exciting opportunity to create dancewear that I would wear EVERY DAY.
Lines, shapes, and forms that I could get behind in design and function.
Sensual, not binding
Beautiful, not constricting
Old dancewear and ripped up tights has been my signature for decades now, always black, always feminine which isn’t always easy to pull off.
This collection has satisfied my soul on a profound level, and to see the reaction from others has landed as the ultimate support.
I feel this is just the beginning……
E7: What do you love most about your collab with Fortnight and what you’ve created together?
AJ: Celebrating women’s bodies
curves, real life, tits n’ ass
These pieces hug and contour in all the right places
and bonus, they are multifunctional.
Wear them in class
Wear them in the bedroom
Wear them out for dinner.
E7: Where will the pieces be available for purchase?
AJ: At both MISFITSTUDIO locations (761 Queen St. West and 88 Ossington) and online at Fortnightlingerie.com
E7: How do you stay organized, balanced and motivated?
AJ: Organizing is not my strongest attribute.
I delegate and rely on others who thrive in organization land.
Balance is a dance, drinking a ton of water, eating clean, moving my body, quieting my mind, sleeping well
All that said, I STILL need to calendar in dates with my husband.
Motivation comes in many forms
from observing how fucked up the world is, how desperate we are to FEEL and CONNECT as a society.
Inspiration from the moon and stars to help shed light on just WHAT is happening in this world
My mantra as of late is
“May this dark time be not the darkness of a tomb
but of a womb
where we must breathe and push and gather force
to create rebirth”
E7: Who are some of you mentors/role models?
First-evers, the real Misfits in this life who despite fear and challenge shared their truth
People who listen
who give eye contact
who are willing to live with feeling
the ones who are willing to do the hard work to really get to know themselves
E7: Do you have a daily or regular ritual you practice that you love?
AJ: I do
I burn palo santo each morning cleansing the new day
I give thanks to my ancestors for setting me on this path
I water my plants
then my day begins
E7: Where do you go or what do you do to look for inspiration?
AJ: Nature and travel
I marvel at mother nature, and travelling always feeds my soul
To participate in how the world exists
E7: Who is theMISFITSTUDIO client and why should they try out your studios?
AJ: A Misfit is
Unafraid to feel uncomfortable just long enough to learn something from it.
We are products of our choices
I do my best to honour everyBODY who chooses to show up for themselves
It is my greatest honour.
For more info on MISFITSTUDIO, click HERE!
(Story by Editor-in-Chief, Gracie Carroll)