Heart-rate monitored interval training studio franchise is brainchild of two local fitness industry veterans; initial franchisee is UGA football national champion whose millennial daughter’s knowledge of fitness trends inspired their decision to invest
The boutique fitness industry is booming and on the rise in Atlanta, and Solcioty fitness franchise is expanding with it. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017, wearable technology and high-intensity interval training are the number one and number two biggest trends. Enter Solcioty Fitness, which is a combination of both of these features and provides a strong community experience that is missing from other fitness studios and especially from outdated big box gyms.
Brand research showed target demographics align Solcioty with Atlanta’s population, including a growing number of 25–45-year-olds with an average household income of $75,000 or higher, and the city’s close proximity to the franchise’s corporate location has already bolstered brand recognition pre-launch.
Many Atlanta area residents may already be familiar with one of its owners, Charlie Lindsey, a veteran fitness industry veteran whose past experience includes multi-unit franchisee ownership of fitness centers as well as his own corporate fitness centers in the Southeast. Lindsey’s partner and Solcioty’s president, Justin Kanawyer, is also a former multi-unit franchisee of fitness and nutrition concepts and a Georgia resident.
What’s more, the brand’s first franchisees are UGA national champion Chris Welton and his daughter, India Welton, who ran track for and recently graduated from Ole Miss and was the initial advocate of Solcioty based on her intuitive and researched based knowledge of Millennial fitness trends.
“The Millennial mindset has bled over to older generations who are willing to pay more for something they see value in,” says Kanawyer. “People want direction and results and most people get neither wandering around a 50,000-square-foot health club. At Solcioty, our members get both. They get the direction they need in a fun, upbeat environment and results they can see.”
The Weltons’, who are set to open Solcioty’s first franchise location in early 2018 in Buckhead, have Atlanta presence that goes beyond their local recognition. After graduating from UGA, Chris practiced at one of the city’s most prominent law firms, helped lead sponsorship funding for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and operated two international sports marketing firms out of the city.
Solcioty describes its mission as cultivating a true sense of accomplishment and significance in a high tech and high energy environment where effort is rewarded, goals are reached and lives are changed.
“We chose the Atlanta market to start, and I believe we will grow in other surrounding markets quickly,” said David Wheeler , Socity’s chief development officer. “We are led by industry veterans, Justin Kanawyer and Charlie Lindsey, who are both former franchisees and best-in-class franchisor vendors. We will provide support to franchisees to grow and be successful.”
India, who had been shopping business ideas since she graduated with a degree in Integrated Marketing, saw a unique and high-upside selling point in the brand’s focus on community fitness and technology.
“I went to my dad and said, ‘this is a really exciting fitness concept,’ ” India said. “We met with Charlie and Justin. Over a few months, dad became convinced about what a great concept it was, and we decided to become their initial franchisees.”
As athletes, both India and Chris had partnered with and patronized any number of gyms and fitness programs before finding Solcioty, and they saw a major point of differentiation in the brand’s concept, which creates the communal experience of group workouts by gathering members for hour-long training sessions supported and tracked by wearable technology, including heart-rate monitors. Those communal training sessions promote repeat business by building a sense of team progress and encouragement, and the technological component offers a novel and effective way to track progress in real time.
For their part, the Weltons were more than happy to facilitate Solcioty’s debut into the city of Atlanta and into franchising.
“We are very comfortable being Solcioty’s first franchisees; somebody has to do it,” Chris said. “Charlie and Justin have been tremendous to work with. They give good information with a quick response time. We couldn’t ask for better partners.”
The brand has plans for an aggressive push in Atlanta and the surrounding area.
“There are many communities throughout the Atlanta area that can support our target demographics,” said Wheeler. “Wherever you are growing a franchise brand, you want to design a system that supports the franchisees and sets them up for success. My background is 25 years in the franchise industry, and Charlie and Justin are fitness industry veterans and former franchisees. The Atlanta community is going to respond very positively to the brand.
Investment in Solcioty franchise requires a three-unit minimum commitment. The net worth requirement is $1,500,000 with $600,000 liquid cash. The total investment range is between $489,000 and $770,000.