Anne Mahlum, the founder of Solidcore, has always had ambitious plans for growing her boutique fitness brand. Just two months after opening her first studio, she was already looking for a space to open her second. Since launching, Solidcore has grown to 25 studios across eight states and the District. But Mahlum plans to see that number explode in the coming months.
On Wednesday, Solidcore announced a big step forward in making those plans a reality: a strategic investment from Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City-based private equity and venture capital firm. With the help of Peterson capital, Mahlum says Solidcore is looking to open 15 additional studios over the next six months, with the goal of 50 studios up and running by the end of next year.
When it came to picking an investment partner, Mahlum—who has dealt with sticky partnerships in the past—didn’t take the decision lightly: “I met with more than ten [private equity] and venture firms in the last 12 months in search of the right partner for both me and Solidcore,” she says. “We wanted a team that was passionate about our company, could infuse the right amount of capital, and had the experience and talent to help us achieve our growth goals—which are lofty.”
Up first in the expansion is their 26th location, which opens in Navy Yard on November 4. As the brand looks to grow in markets outside of DC, Mahlum says that Austin, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago; Baltimore; and Connecticut are all on the list. Thought you could just leave DC to avoid the thigh-shaking, ab-ripping, workout that turns grown men into wimps? Think again.