I had wanted to convert my storage shed into a working studio for my Pilates students and also envisioned passing on the Pilates lineage to another generation of teachers. However, without capital or skills I was unable to see how I was going to transform a Cinderella into a beautiful Princess. But when Sally C., my assistant and first official apprentice, suggested a crowdsource funding opportunity, I realized that my goal was indeed possible! Of course, I had no idea what to expect, never being part of an online campaign before, let alone my very own, and the Go Fund Me business model was a simple one. Enter the amount of money needed and why.

The explanation was just as simple. Last summer, a Pilates instructor from Switzerland came to study with me for two weeks. She told me that she learned more in our two weeks together than from the Pilates instructors who would eventually certify her. That experience increased my drive to impart the traditional work to the next generation. The Pilates method is so huge in scope, and though the studio would be small, I knew I’d be able to help many who were seeking to learn the original repertoire as taught to me by Romana Kryzanowska, one of Joseph H. Pilates’ main disciples. To my stunned delight I didn’t have to wait long before my first $100 donation came in; a day later another $100; and then the next day a $50 donation. Soon I was receiving donations from family, friends and even people who preferred anonymity – my email account was filled with not only donations but encouraging wishes as well.

Then the real work began. Each and every clumsy step I took emphasized my inexperience as a builder. But Sally kept me sane as we put on the various hats we needed since we found out early that contractors weren’t always reliable. We insulated, sheet rocked, taped, mudded, sanded, textured and finally primed and painted. Neither one of us will ever look at a wall or ceiling the same way. When the time comes to build my school, I’m confident that with my new skills I’ll be my own project manager!

My once shed is no longer a shed, and both Sally and I are very grateful for the generosity of our donors who helped to make this project a reality. All forty of their names adorn a wall of Le Petit Studio Darien as a constant reminder of how dreams can come true with a little or a lot of help from our family, friends, and even the anonymous.

Click here to view the shed before, during and after!

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