The Franchisee: Jamie and Marilee Rusch

Jamie and Marilee Rusch
Jamie and Marilee Rusch

The Franchise: Irvine, California-based Pure Barre was founded in 2001 by dancer and choreographer Carrie Rezabek Dorr. Since then, the franchise has expanded to 500 studios throughout the U.S. and Canada. Pure Barre studios offer workouts focused on low-impact, high-intensity isometric movements that lift and tone muscles.

“I have always been an athlete, whether it be dancing or CrossFit, and my mom did not want to be in a class surrounded by 20-somethings who looked like they just walked out of ballet practice,” Jamie said. “But our experience couldn’t have been more opposite. Everyone was excited and supportive of us. The instructors were invested in our success.”

January 2017: A cancer survivor of five-and-a-half years, Marilee Rusch was looking for a new fitness routine after trying many large fitness chains and gyms. Her daughter, Jamie Rusch, convinces her to take a class at Pure Barre in Elm Grove. Marilee signs up for a membership that same day. About a month later, Marilee approaches her daughter about opening a studio of their own.       

“It’s just amazing, the workout that you get from this and the friends you make from it. I’m over 60 and I go six days a week,” Marilee said.

Spring 2017: Jamie and Marilee submit an online inquiry about opening a studio. They undergo a thorough interview process, including a review of their financial statements.

“There’s continual training backed by awesome knowledgeable people who have helped us with any questions we can’t figure out on our own,” Marilee said.

Spring 2018: Marilee and Jamie sign a franchisee agreement.  

“People my age often think about retirement and going off into the sunset,” Marilee said. “That’s not my plan.”

October 2018:The duo travels to Irvine, California for four days of owners training.

August 2019: Construction is completed on the new Pure Barre studio at 120 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, in time for the Aug. 1 opening date.  

The franchise fee: The franchisee fee to open the new Pure Barre studio in Oak Creek was $49,500.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.