Many of us as business owners, writers, volunteers; we are doing work to help make connections, to build community, to engage our community.  Our motivation is to inspire passion and enthusiasm in others. With my personal connection to our businesses – it is specifically the efforts of business owners partnering to impact our community that I get a bit geeky about.  The following post about the Barre Code is part of a series of blogs over the next months where I hope to show the contagious efforts of our business community to get out, connect, engage and share their own enthusiasm and passion with others.  It is bridge building. It is what makes us a great community. 

Meet Ali Haynes.  Ali is the owner of The Barre Code in Oak Park. The Barre Code is a newer fitness studio that specializes in high energy, barre type classes and it is located right next to Red Mango in Downtown Oak Park.  Ali herself is a high energy spark of new biz owner enthusiasm.  She’s generous, loves fitness and is interested in becoming a bigger part of our Oak Park community. She likes to be engaged with others. I may be speaking from small observances, but Ali is not new to volunteer service.

Around the time that Ali opened her doors one of her team members (Client Relations) Keely Baldwin suggested that Ali invite the Opportunity Knocks students “warriors”  in for some fun fitness experiences.  Ali was all for it. After connecting with Jeni Pierce, the Health & Wellness director at Opportunity Knocks – everything was scheduled and the warriors were set for a 6 week Barre Code experience.

This week will mark the third week that students from Opportunity Knocks are getting over to The Barre Code for some fun music and fitness. Ali says, “It is so much fun – it might be 30 minutes of serious hard work and exercise, but everyone is so happy to be here. I love hearing that my time has motivated them to be active.”

The thing that I love about it: the adults (warriors) at Opportunity Knocks feel a little more ownership about an area business. Of course, Ali Hayes and her team members got to know a little bit more about us as a community. The result is that folks that might not ever have walked in her door are now fans of Ali . In turn, Ali and her staff are fans of Opportunity Knocks.   

That is community buildling. 

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Sarah Corbin

Sarah, a life long Oak Parker, enjoys supporting local small business as much as possible.  With over 20 years in big box and little box retail, she brings a unique perspective to our local business community. ...