14 09 2017

In Conversation
Pip Black
Joan Murphy

We talk to Frame Founders Pip Black and Joan Murphy about changing the face of the British gym industry.

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Pip and Joan are enjoying a lot of media exposure at the moment and rightly so. They have grown their ground breaking fitness business to five London Studios in under 8 years and have another 2 about to open. They have also recently launched a massively successful partnership with clothing retailer Whistles and a new brand Mumhood.

Meeting back in 2007 on a surfing weekend in Cornwall they realised they were both equally demotivated by the gym offers available, they started discussing the possibility of setting up a dynamic female friendly fitness studio and in 2009 Frame Shoreditch was born.

Both come from a competitive sporting background and enjoy the same work hard, play hard approach to life. Clearly both on the same page from day one they based their business on the ethos ‘fitness shouldn’t be a chore’. Their pay as you go business model provided a commitment-free flexibly that just wasn’t available at the time. This approach changed the face of the gym industry, focussing on how you feel rather than how you look, the classes on offer are designed to make fitness fun.

Offering advice to others, Joan is quick to point out that this is not something you should go into for the money, it has to be something you love and are passionate about otherwise the hard work will destroy you. Long hours and no time off was something both Pip and Joan had to deal with. When they started out they divided their time equally, one on reception and one running classes, swapping after lunch and working into the evening.

Staying true to the company ethos and values has helped Frame develop over the years. It has provided a template for recruitment and training and when they’re ever in doubt about a decision or direction it’s something they will always refer back to. Both Black and Murphy acknowledge understanding the customer is key to their success, this understanding let them to develop the new brand Mumhood. Building Mumhood into the Frame brand didn’t make sense and by keeping it separate they are able to focus classes and business activities more successfully.
Pip and Joan’s passion is unwavering and they remain committed to growing their brands, with ambitious plans to roll out at least 2 new sites every year.


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