From working at Nike to creating inner balance with two of her own businesses, Rashanna Moss is the perfect role model for fitness, guidance, and enthusiasm. She’s the owner of both Pure Barre studios in Austin as well as the founder of Moderna Muse. Both Pure Barre and Moderna Muse encourage and inspire people to become a better person inside and out.
Moss started working at Nike right after grad school and says it was one of the most valuable experiences of her life. “Still today the smartest people I’ve ever been around I met at Nike. I started in the sports research lab because I studied kinesiology in grad school at Penn State. Going from that program to the sports research lab at Nike made a lot of sense because it translated over. After the lab I did sales and sports marketing. Seeing how much science and effort goes into a product was a phenomenal experience.” After a global lay off, Moss decided to open up to different possibilities and immediately came across Pure Barre. “I knew this was something that’s completely different than what’s out there and it was kicking my butt on a whole other level. There were only 17 locations nationally at the time so I instantly got into it and pursued the business. Approval for the franchise came pretty quickly. I knew there was something to it and knew that I was going to be able to help people change their lives, so I was all about the business.”
Pure Barre in Westlake was the first location opened by Moss in August of 2010. Seven months later, she opened her second location at the Arboretum. A year after that, she opened another Pure Barre in Houston, TX.
What is Pure Barre? It’s a 55-60 minute barre fitness class that consistently keeps you challenged. Every single class is different. “First of all, what’s so different about Pure Barre is the technique itself, it’s highly scientific. It’s very gentle yet effective. It’s one of those workouts where the movements are very small, but then the results are really big. You’re using your own body weight. I describe it as a fusion between dance, pilates and yoga. We utilize dance positions to actually get in position and then the pilates element is thinking about working from the core. There’s so many contractions that we do within a 55 to 60 minute period that your body is constantly responding. Then the better you get at the technique the harder the workout gets. I think most workouts work in the opposite direction where the better you get, the less effective it is, so we are really unique in the sense that we’ve got an effective workout. You can do it often because it’s gentle and not high impact. It’s killer, it works the areas women really want to work.”
“You are who you are” is the concept behind Moss’ new side project, Moderna Muse. “What happened was, I have this small studio and an amazing community, so you become one in a lot of ways. The conversations start to get more profound. You start to watch people’s lives, you see women come in here who lets say they get engaged, they get married, they have kids and then they are bouncing back from pregnancies. You also see women on the flip side where they are going through a divorce and then we have women who have been diagnosed with cancer. It’s incredible to watch the things that our community goes through. When they’re experiencing life changes the conversations do get deeper. So yes we provide a workout, which is awesome, but in terms of those conversations that’s a little different.”
At that point, Moss was inspired to start an online presence with blogging where she could have deeper conversations. “Moderna Muse was born out of the concept of you are who you are, but you have this ideal self that’s kind of always tapping you. The person that you dream about, think about being without limitations and judgments, that’s your muse. The entire point of Moderna Muse is to inspire people towards their muse. We take them from where they are to where they want to be and bridge the gap between it. Now we’re doing personal coaching for women who are starting businesses and then also for women who don’t know where their inner voice is.”
Recently, Rashanna combined both of her businesses, Pure Barre and Moderna Muse, to form the event “Together We Thrive.” All proceeds benefitted the Flatwater Foundation, which supports cancer survivors and their families during the difficult process. The event started with a Pure Barre class and then moved into a musing session, “which is a fusion between meditation and visualization. It was all around gratitude and then opening a space of light.”
Moss’ passion and dedication to not only her business, but to the Austin community is impressive. “As a business owner in Austin, you’re almost in some ways automatically a part of the community because Austin is that way. Austin is a city that gets behind local business owners and is always about different organizations that then can promote the city as a whole.” Rashanna and I first met through Citizen Generation and then again through the Andy Roddick Foundation. “With Citizen Generation you got to touch so many organizations, and then once I was approached by the Andy Roddick Foundation, I was like this makes a lot of sense for me. Number one because I used to play tennis and number two because my passion really is kids: the kids on the East Side who are underserved. What’s cool is we use this platform and bring awareness. For example, with Amplify Austin (insert link), on that day we [at Pure Barre] made sure we were talking to the Pure Barre clientele and saying, ‘hey, this is the company or organization that we want to support and drive traffic that way.’ It’s been great and fulfilling.”
One might be curious as to how Rashanna runs two businesses and manages to stay in shape. “I feel as a fitness business owner I’m in one of those unique positions where it’s not someone else owning the company and then me being the personality of the brand. By doing both I feel it’s really difficult to stay in shape. If people are trying to stay healthy and fit it’s all about figuring what your balance is. It’s hard to keep that balance. A lot of times I’m like, ‘oh, it’s time to go for a run on Town Lake.’ I will incorporate running into my routine because it’s just me and nature. Sometimes I need that to clear my mind. But then there’s almost a trade off that happens internally. I’m going for a run, I know it’s healthy and good for me, but it’s also taking away from work. So for me, I run, I do Pure Barre, and I do get yoga in as well. I love the mind and body connection of yoga. I think that once you hit the age of 30, you need to be worried about your flexibility. A lot of people get injured because they don’t realize how tight and misaligned they are.”
Rashanna says to expect more diversity in the Pure Barre program in the near future. “We’ve got a lot of new exciting stuff where the class itself will offer more diversity.” Personal coaching has taken off with Moderna Muse. We’ve got some partnerships so keep a lookout so that we can continue to follow along and live your true expression of self.”
Photography by Marisa Valente
Additional photos provided by Pure Barre