Kerry Koble, leader of the Alberta region of Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, discovered the OYF brand in 2016 and delved into building up the company in Alberta soon thereafter. But Kerry’s passion for the fitness industry started much earlier.
“I used to teach step aerobics to my friends in the basement” Kerry explains. That is, until Kerry’s dad found a listing for a job teaching at a gym and Kerry thought “ok, well I like teaching people and I like doing it myself […]. And then ended up managing the stores and ended up having a full career from that”.
Kerry then transitioned from teaching fitness classes to dancing professionally. Like becoming a teacher at the gym, Kerry explains this opportunity “ kind of fell into [her] lap”. Kerry expands, “I really enjoyed the fitness thing, I competed, I got my pro card. I did all, like I was miss fitness I did all of the fitness stuff. And then it turned out I had a talent for dance and I just kind of got hired randomly and then that career just took off”.
Kerry still enjoys taking and teaching dance classes, but explains that because of the toll this job takes on your body “you can’t be a professional dancer forever. My body was super beat up, you know. The whole thing so, I needed to transition into something more business related and that was gentler on my body. Yoga is very therapeutic and I can still get out my teaching bug without the intensity of dance”.
Kerry found this opportunity on a trip to Vancouver, walking by the Yaletown Oxygen Yoga & Fitness.
“I saw the concept of the floors and the infrared and the variety and I thought nothing like this” Kerry shares. Kerry ended up buying the franchise before even trying a class. Soon after, Kerry negotiated the rights to Oxygen Yoga & Fitness in Alberta, and became the first master franchisor.
It’s clear from talking to Kerry that what started as a smart business opportunity quickly evolved into an incredible opportunity to change lives in the community.
“For me, that’s the biggest thing” Kerry shares. “Running the business is great because it’s a career for me, but it’s really about helping franchisees to be successful, own a business, do something that they love, have control of their lives, […] and teach people how to be their own boss”.
Kerry’s day-to-day consists of responsibilities like visiting studios, offering support to franchisees, and teaching classes. While many of these are skills that Kerry was already adept at before joining Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, what stands out about this role is the impact the studios have on their members.
“I’ve got a million stories” Kerry explains. “I’m sure every franchise owner does, about how we would say ‘I love my life’ and people didn’t believe it. They didn’t love their life. Six months later, they’ll cry it; ‘I love my life’. They’ve found gratitude”.
These stories align well with what Kerry hopes members get out of their time at the studio.
“I hope they learn to love themselves more” Kerry answers. “I hope they learn that even though there’s going to be a lot of storms in life, right, and problems, that they can always find something to be grateful for and that grounds them and that they love about their life. And to really remember that in spite of the problems we’re okay”. Kerry also hopes members get into a consistent routine at the studios so that their time in the studio can have as big an effect on their health, mental and physical, as possible. Kerry shares “Health is the greatest wealth. There’s nothing more important. And I’ve been a big believer of that for years which is why I’ve been in the industry for so long”.
Kerry is looking forward to expanding this impact by continuing to grow the Oxygen Yoga & Fitness brand in Alberta.
“We’re at eight studios right now and we could double that in Alberta, as far as studios we could have out here. It’s exciting that we can help change a lot of lives”.
Kerry hopes to be able to sell three of those studios in the next year, and to have them opened within the next two to three years. To anyone considering investing in one of these franchises, Kerry’s advice is to get in the studio.
“Join a location, take as many classes as you can. Really understand the culture of Oxygen. We’re not a food service industry. It’s not a Subway. Part of what makes it so special is the culture that we create. That’s a big part of the brand. And if the franchisees have a grasp on that, then they’ll do really well”. And for members who’ve already experienced all Oxygen Yoga & Fitness has to offer, Kerry says “Just plug in, follow the system, everything is set up for you. If you understand the culture and the brand, the operations are very simple”.
Kerry’s favorite part of the job is still teaching, because of the opportunity to connect with members. You can try Kerry’s favorite classes to teach, Fast and Furious and 20/20/20, or Kerry’s favorite class to take, Deep Stretch and Relaxation, at a studio near you. Keep up with Kerry and all of OYF’s Alberta locations on Instagram, and find a studio near you to check out Oxygen Yoga & Fitness for yourself.