Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I’m not from around here originally. In fact, I’m not really from anywhere. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved 10 times before I graduated from high school (and I went to 3 high schools in 3 totally different states). I was always the new kid!
After college, I moved to NYC, where I met my husband. He’s from Long Grove and we knew that Chicago would be an amazing place to settle down and raise a family. We moved here in 2006 and it’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place, by far! We lived downtown for 7 years and have been in Lake Forest for the past 6.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
We have two. We have a 9 year-old daughter who is just the sweetest soul on the planet. She has a real talent for singing and she can make friends with anyone. We also have a 5 year-old son who is precious and funny, and all the rough-and-tumble things you’d expect of a little boy. I swear I’m buying him new pants every week because his constantly have holes in the knees. They keep me busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I own The Dailey Method Barre + Cycle studios in Vernon Hills and Lake Forest. We are a boutique fitness studio with the best barre and cycle classes that will change your life (and your body). Plus we offer childcare during class, which is how I was able to take class before my kids were in school.
I came to the Lake Forest studio as a student, 5 months after my little guy was born, and with severe postpartum depression. I walked into the studio without knowing anyone, left my baby in the childcare room and I took a barre class that helped me find my strength, balance, courage and, ultimately, my best self. After only a month of taking class, I was toned and fit without injury or aches in my ankles and knees. As a former runner, this was remarkable!
I loved The Dailey Method so much that I trained to teach barre and then eventually took over the Lake Forest studio in 2015. Now that we have opened in Vernon Hills, I am honored to bring The Dailey Method classes to a whole new community.
And that’s what we are – a community. We are a community of women and men, parents, students, grandparents, children. I think the defining part of my journey is that I understand the concept of being a new kid. I understand how challenging it can be to try something brand new and that scary feeling walking into an unfamiliar place for the first time. Now my job is to make people feel welcome when they walk through our doors. My job is to make people happy and help them find their best (and strongest) self. It’s a job I take very seriously.
For someone who never had a hometown, or always felt like the new kid, I’ve purposefully created a place where everyone is welcome, encouraged, supported. I’ve created a little hometown community within the studio walls!
We are expanding our Vernon Hills class schedule in May, with more class times and more formats. It’s exciting!
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
My family loves to eat – and our favorite weekend activity is going out to dinner together. One of our favorite spots is Main Street Social…their brussel sprout salad is unreal! We had our holiday team dinner there and had so much fun.
Now that the Vernon Hills studio is open in Mellody Farm, and I’m there nearly every day, I eat Roti for lunch a lot (I pre-order with the app and I just walk in and grab my salad – so easy!), and I’m at Whole Foods almost every week for groceries or to grab a kombucha or a coffee. Kumas Corner is SO good and the patio at Lazy Dog is going to be amazing this summer! I hear that Buttermilk is coming soon for breakfast / brunch and a coffee shop is coming soon too!
We were one of the first businesses open in Mellody Farm and it’s been really interesting to watch all the other stores start to open too. I’m grateful to be here and know that amazing things are ahead!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
If I didn’t own fitness studios, I would open a dress shop. Only dresses. Because outside of my workout clothes, that’s all I like to wear! I just can’t figure out how to wear a dress and teach cycle!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
Just do it. You never know what you are capable of until you really try to make it happen. And I don’t mean just visualize it happening. I mean, get on the phone, talk to people, ask questions, make mistakes, push yourself to get it together, and launch a business or a blog or whatever. Don’t wait until you think the timing is perfect or until your plan is flawless. Sometimes you just have to leap and you will figure out the rest.
I was a stay-at-home mom for 5 years before I went back to work. And I took a hard look at my life and what I wanted before I bought the Lake Forest Dailey Method. I dug deep you guys – I really thought about what was going to fill my life in a positive way, but I was realistic about what I could do with 2 little kids at home. Owning a studio was that thing for me, and it’s brought me so much joy. I encourage everyone thinking about going back to work to really sit down and make a list of what you want, and take real steps to make that happen. In my case I sent a letter to the owner of the Lake Forest studio and asked her if I could buy the studio. I was shocked when she said yes! But I would never have had this experience if I hadn’t asked.
So my advice is to figure out what you want, and go get it. If I can do it, so can you!
What is next for you?
In the short term – continuing to build and grow our Dailey community! We are expanding our class schedule starting May 1stand adding new class formats (interval, fusion, stretch)! I’m also going to teach our combination cycle + barre class because it’s just SO FUN!
We are also excited to bring special Mother + Child classes to the schedule next month! I always have tears in my eyes during the part where the moms and kids look at each other and tell them what they love about each other. Follow us on Instagram to get all the details of these classes – they will fill quickly.
In the long term – maybe I’ll open more studios? Building and opening this one has been a challenge but also a really rewarding experience. It’s given me the confidence that I can do anything I put my mind to! And honestly, so can you!