Business Spotlight: Artgym, Hobart

 In Business Spotlight, Interviews, Uncategorized

This week, our Business Spotlight is focusing on “Artgym“, a boutique gym in Hobart, Tasmania. Eilish Kidd is the owner of Artgym and we took some time to find out from Eilish what makes Artgym such a special place to come and train. Enjoy!

“Artgym started unexpectedly, in 2015, with a fleeting opportunity. I returned to an idea I’d had 15 years earlier, when I was at art school, of a gym that was aesthetically cool, with simple, versatile tools like boxing bags and kettlebells, artwork and quality training.

The idea didn’t make much sense to people when we first opened because we didn’t have the gear to flesh it out. We had a carpeted office space, a couple of secondhand bikes and our home kettlebell collection.

Eilish and Miskad Kidd

[bctt tweet=”People would ask “what is Artgym?” “What do you do there, life drawing?”” username=””]

It was just me there most days. My husband, Miskad had a full-time job at another gym and we opened only from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. We got a lot out of attending Dan John’s Art of Coaching workshop in 2015 and the Strength Matters Summit in Melbourne, which affirmed our direction for the gym. Miskad resigned from his job in 2016 and we purchased some more equipment.

Our membership has grown to more than 130, in addition to PT clients and multisession pass holders. We no longer do drop-ins. We were featured in Women’s Health Australia magazine this year, which said we prided ourselves on diversity and being inclusive.

[bctt tweet=”So “you’ll be working out alongside young, old, fit and unfit people.”” username=””]

We have some of the best coaches in Hobart. Priscus Fogagnolo appeared out of nowhere one afternoon when we were closed. He used to hold my baby for me when I did his Olympic weightlifting class five years earlier, so it was easy to bring him into the team.

[bctt tweet=”Sometimes it’s the small gestures that matter.” username=””]

Priscus is a professional MMA competitor, and a national champion in Judo and jiu-jitsu, wrestling and weightlifting. He has made a big contribution to the exciting atmosphere at Artgym. We have an excellent boxing coach, Joe Gadon, who I must say took a while to convince to come on board, however, the persuading was all worth it and he is a well loved coach within the gym.

Artgym, Hobart

We are big on collaboration and have been working with a hip-hop studio, Eternal Dance Studio, which has been incredible fun. They teach hip-hop classes for us and have influenced our creative direction. We also collaborate with the Weightlifting Academy of Tasmania and South Hobart Football Club, where we sponsor a team of young women.

These friendships are meaningful to us and bring us a lot of everyday joy. They also give us the ability to be creative with our programs. We might start the day with a challenge class, then use resistance bands, then kettlebells, and end with hip-hop, or start the day with yoga and end with boxing.

[bctt tweet=”One of the best things we did last year was a superhero fundraiser workout.” username=””]

One of our members created a character, Artgym Girl, “whose power is to protect those who want to work out but don’t fit in at a typical gym by introducing them to the fabulous Artgym where everyone is made to feel welcome.” The positive feedback that we recieved from our members blew us away, and this was the most rewarding part of the fundraiser.

[bctt tweet=”We were also gifted the hashtag #hobart’s most beautiful gym by Aimee, a visitor to the gym last year.” username=””]

We’ve taken that up because it’s true and describes the friendships and people that attend the gym – their kindness and courage – as much as it does the physical environment.

Design and artwork are very important to us at Artgym and we’ve come a lot closer to the look that we were hoping to achieve. We have a lot of indoor plants amid our ever- growing kettlebell collection as well as contemporary paintings by Australian artists.

We want people to step into our gym – creative people, sportspeople, people who have never done gym, people of all ages and cultures and genders – and for them to feel welcome. 

There’s table tennis in the gym and we are hoping to put in a piano and some MMA caging this year. One of the bodybuilders that works out at Artgym is a brilliant classical pianist. We love these alleged contradictions, which are in fact harmonies.

This year is a year of consolidation for us. It’s reassuring being part of the Strength Matters community, there’s a lot to be inspired by. We’ve reached a lovely place. There was a moment last week Gina from the downstairs studio had come up to hang some artwork for us and there was someone weightlifting and Priscus had the mats out and there were four men wrestling surrounded by plants and paintings and shell chandeliers, which might have looked ridiculous had it not been “just right” “

From all of us here at Strength Matters, we wish Eilish and Miskad the best of luck with Artgym as it continues to grow and change the lives of many!


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