The Evolution of BT

Evolve: to develop gradually:

Origin 1635-45;< Latin ēvolvereto unroll, open, unfold, equivalent to ē-e-1+ volvereto roll, turn

15 years. It started with me and two other women. The two others fell off to the side and I was the one left standing….the world’s most reluctant boss. Many teachers, receptionists and students have moved BodyTonic forward; some have held it back. Over the decade and a half, BodyTonic has unrolled, opened, unfolded and this year, I have to say, its blossom is the richest I have ever seen.

There are so many people that have made a positive impact on the studio that I would like to thank. Clients, Jill Herzig, Marla Kochman, Julie Lipsius, Lori Karoff and SJ Avery have been with us since the doors opened. They are loyal, supportive and discerning, which reassures me that we are working hard to bring the best to them and to the public at large. There were the studio managers who pushed us to new levels, o-Sel Nyima, Stephanie Mirabelli Edwards, Jennifer Dohn, and Janine Mercandetti who each contributed years of fantastic and functional ideas while greeting the public with a smile. There have been many inspiring and intelligent teachers over the years, this year being a particularly strong staff. I would like to make a special note of three of our Senior staff, Emily Gayeski, Hristoula Harakas, and Peggy Gallagher who have been with BodyTonic for over a decade. Their talents are enormous in the truest sense of the word and their dedication to their work and clients goes well beyond the call of duty. Sam Potts, our first graphic designer and the genius behind our logo elevated BodyTonic to the level it deserved visually, something I could never have understood until he came along, and now Elissa Josse has taken the visage and evolved it without dissolving it, in the most beautiful way. Donna Rini has contributed her artistic skills to our interior design, when I wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Candice Thompson, who found me hanging from my fingertips, once literally and another time figuratively, saved my perky Pilates ass both times. Thank you, Candice for your intelligence, uniqueness, grace and humor. Chris Houghton, owner of Trailer Park, surely has a set of wings under his BodyTonic T-shirt and has put his talent, care and friendship into every stroke of paint, and drill bit. If I had another child, I would name it Chris. I would like to thank Benjamin Stuber, Chris Niles, Rhea Patterson, and Claire Bernardo for jumping in to do our makeover in 2014, in one day without interrupting sessions! I am grateful to our landlord for keeping us warm and allowing us to stay all these 15 years.

We had a bash last Sunday to celebrate our 15th Anniversary and the theme was BodyTonic LOVE. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed. I felt the love and my fellow shop owners, Olive Brooklyn, A. Cheng, Bhoomki, Bark, Diana Kane, Slope Suds, Pink Olive, Los Pollitos, D’mai Urban Spa, all gifted us for the occasion. It’s not easy running a local business so please spread the love to them, too. Additional gifters included Lolewomen and Shivura. And the entire group of staff, apprentices, clients and friends contributed in food, drink and spirit. I took in every drop. It warmed my heart to see our community, to hear your kind words, taste your food, and feel your hugs. Of all the things I heard, the thing I love the most is hearing, “you have an amazing community here.” I went to sleep with a profound gratitude for all of the things I have absolutely no control over that allowed BodyTonic to evolve to this place in 15 short, and long, years. And I see that love and evolve share the same letters.

Heading into this holiday season, with profound gratitude and love,


Jennifer DeLuca