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#UpWithHer: Dallas gym owner finds success focusing on fitness, customer service

Katherine Mason's success stems from more than offering a good workout, she says you need to zero-in on customer service.

DALLAS — Mood-lighting, heart-pumping music, and the vibe at SculptHouse Dallas will all motivate you to sweat.

"I knew that I wanted to start my own business since I was 14 years old, but I was trying to figure out what that looked like," says Katherine Mason. 

Dedicated to transforming the gym experience, Mason's success stems from more than offering a good workout, she says you need to zero-in on customer service. 

Mason had no idea her business what her business would look like until she moved to New York City after college.  

As a lifelong athlete, she immersed herself in the fitness world. The trainer and model regularly hit up multiple studios to get a complete workout.  

"One day it was like a light bulb went off," says Mason. 

Combine the best interval and strength training in one class.  

"I quickly realized that nowhere else in the world had put these machines together before," she says. 

Mason is referring to the curve treadmill and the Megaformer, which is a souped-up pilate’s machine. Bingo! That's how SculptHouse Dallas was born, sort of.  

"I didn’t go to business school so I went to a Barnes & Noble and picked out a bunch of 'How to Write a Business Plan' books and put my business plan together," she says. 

Creating a plan and designing a brand-new workout took nearly two years to complete.  

"In some ways, ignorance is bliss because you don’t know all of the crazy things that might end up happening as part of that process. And there are a lot of road bumps and there still are today," says Mason.

Bumps can make you a better business owner. Mason hired a company to help her know her brand on a customers' level.  

"It’s important to know your customers and their name and to use their name in class," says Mason. 

She says a personalized experience is the key to improving customer service.  

"One thing that we started to do was writing personalized handwritten notes for first-timers," she says. 

Mason dubbed SculptHouse a social sweat, but goals are customizable. It’s all about your effort, while instructors are meant to motivate. 

And if you can’t afford to pay for a deep dive into your business, Mason suggests taking customer feedback seriously.  

"Every quarter we send out a customer feedback survey and I read every single one of those and then I create a master plan with my team," says Mason. 

Part of her plan includes fashion because it’s half her business. Diversify or disappear. 

"We try to have a lot of different price points and styles. Not only is our workout individualized and curated for you but so is the fashion part," she says.

Maybe that’s why her e-commerce grew 230% last year. 

"It’s not a franchise. I own 100% of the company. We don’t have this huge team behind me that’s just pulling all these levers making things work. The team works very hard but it’s a handful of individuals," Mason says. 

That's why SculptHouse Dallas has the intent of making anyone who walks through the door feel their best.  

Mason also has a second location in Atlanta. You can download the SculptHouse app to sign up for a class or shop.