In our discovery of what we don’t want, we often stumble upon what we do. Such was the case for Alexandra Bonetti, a former consultant, Wharton grad and exercise fanatic, who sampled every workout possible during her years traveling as a consultant. Limited by exercise myths and methods that didn’t offer Alexandra the experience and results she craved, she took matters into her own hands. In pursuit of a workout unicorn — you know, one that was too good to exist — Alexandra committed herself to researching and developing a fun, addictive and effective workout, one she’d want to return to again and again. Eager to share her findings with like-minded fitness enthusiasts, bari was born.
Her entrepreneurial mind coupled with her passion and lifetime involvement with fitness cajoled Alexandra to leave consulting and dedicate herself to develop and share what she really loved. Eager to share her findings with like-minded fitness enthusiasts, bari was born. Alexandra’s vision of the fitness industry is revolutionary and driven by her customer experience over the years. She knew fitness could be – and should be – a lifestyle brand; this vision for an inclusive space for nutrition, culture, art and a true community is the backbone of bari.
Since then, Alexandra has set out on other business ventures. She’s expanded the bari brand and has studios in New York, New Jersey and the Dominican Republic. She’s also launching an online platform so tribers from afar can do her addictive formula.
I own Bari Studio, a fitness company based in New York City. I love fitness and health, but struggle in prioritizing it like anybody else — which is a big part of why I love my job; I can really relate to our clients and most of the time feel like a client myself. My job changes every day — I wear many hats, but in broad terms my main job is directing our company’s strategy. I live in New York with my husband and my two month old son, Joaquin.
How did you get onto this career path?
While working in consulting, I found myself balancing a million different workouts in order to look and feel the way I wanted. I would go for a run one day, do a weights class another day, do pilates the next day, try to hit the elliptical when I could — the list goes on. The thing is, I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted. I wasn’t getting enough cardio or muscle sculpting because I couldn’t find a method that offered the right recipe, especially since, like many people, I only had a limited amount of time each week to dedicate to my workouts. I decided to take my fitness plan and my body into my own hands and little by little started crafting what Bari’s method would become.
As I started putting the pieces of the puzzle (that would later become Bari) together, I felt a shift from dreading my workouts combined with constantly trying to figure out how to do it all to effortless motivation and excitement. As soon as I figured out this formula that felt right, I really fell in love with the feel-good power of a consistent workout practice.
I knew I was onto something, and I couldn’t shake the opportunity to see it through. I was good at consulting, but I was invigorated by Bari. So I left my job in consulting and followed an idea I had. I thought, “If I want a more efficient, fun workout, other people must be craving the same.”
Have there been any obstacles you’ve faced in this industry and if so, what are they?
I think most business obstacles are universal, regardless of what industry you’re in. For me, I constantly struggle with staying true to my vision. Sometimes we have this amazing idea, but once we’re executing we run into reality, bills, laws and everyday problems — so many elements of the day to day that take up a lot of your time and energy. I feel a lot of businesses lose their drive because they’re so overwhelmed by their day to day. It’s important to never forget why you started and always work with that goal or vision in mind.
What advice would you give other women who want to get into your industry?
Lead with your instinct. Women have an extraordinary sense of intuition and too often we don’t feel confident enough to believe in ourselves. Follow your gut! When we’re leading with passion and love, the answer to whatever we’re trying to solve is always within us.
Where do you gain inspiration from?
The person that inspires me the most is my mom. She worked her whole life and managed to be the best mom anyone could ask for. She’s successful yet down to earth, clear and demanding but kind and light-hearted. I always aspire to be a little more like her.
What does it mean to you to be a strong woman?
Being a strong woman means choosing your happiness. You have to be real with yourself and decide what really makes you happy. Is it climbing to the top of a corporation? Being an entrepreneur? Being a mom? Having a hobby? Whatever it is, get clear and go after that — no matter what other people want or expect from you.
What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
I have a two-month-old baby boy, Joaquin, and I don’t think there’s any “accomplishment” in my life that brings me more genuine happiness than him.
Since we’re a beauty company, we have to ask: what are 3 things you never leave home without?
Sunblock, lip moisturizer and a water bottle. I love always trying new products. I’ve been using Herbivore products for some months now and really love them. I try and keep my beauty routine as natural as possible.