We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniela Malkowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniela, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own business has always been my long-term goal and dream but the pandemic is what gave me the push I needed to jump-start my business and build-out my website, pilateswithd.com. I always imagined starting my business later in life, when my children were older and in school. With that said, I am so happy I didn’t wait and went for it. At the start of COVID, I was about 3 months postpartum with my second daughter and very nervous about starting my own business or committing to more than I could. I started slowly by offering my clients virtual private sessions, which they were extremely happy about! Once I became comfortable adding those sessions, I started offering community classes (outside while the weather was nice) and I donated the proceeds to various organizations suffering due to COVID. Over time, I added in more small group classes such as prenatal and postnatal pilates, which I offered twice a week. I was so proud of the community I built, and was so encouraged by having a regular “following” that would show up to move with me on Zoom week after week. This was all the encouragement I needed to keep going. Fast forward to today, I am proud to say I am offering virtual sessions (both private and small group), in-person group class outside, as well as in-home private sessions and couple sessions (following all CDC guidelines of course). I am excited for the future and have exciting things planned for 2021 to continue to grow my business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hi, I am Daniela Malkowski, the founder of Pilates with D, I am a certified STOTT Pilates instructor and personal trainer. My practice is centered around a holistic approach to mindful movement, breathing, correct form & muscle engagement. I am a strong believer that good movement & nutrition are an integral part of a happy, healthy life. I am a stickler for good form and that is what attracted me to the STOTT Pilates method. While Classical pilates is great, STOTT is a contemporary version which was refined to incorporate modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation. STOTT was developed by experts in physical therapy, sports medicine and other fitness professions, which is something I love about the method. STOTT Pilates is regularly used for rehab clients which is why you often find STOTT instructors working in physical therapy practices and other studios like Stability Pilates & Physical Therapy. Once clients have finished their rehabilitation, they regularly come to me to learn how to exercise again without getting injured, as well as exercises that will help prevent injury in the future. Many of my clients are recovering from an injury or working towards a goal like improving their golf swing. Some come with the goal of becoming stronger, while others are recovering from childbirth or are preparing to give birth. I love helping my clients reach their goals and feel their best. One thing that “sets me apart” from others is the way I teach during a session or class. I never come to class with a set plan as I like to improvise or make changes as I watch my clients. I love “mixing things ups” and keeping clients on their toes. If I am bored, my client is bored as well, and that is not enjoyable for anyone! For example I love adding in arm work by using dumbbells during Pilates footwork or sneaking in fun, functional exercises along the way. I look at what my clients want and need, and program around them. I am proud of myself and where Pilates With D is today, but know there is room for growth. I hope you follow along with my journey and reach out if you want to chat!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I can not wait for visitors and to show my friends around Atlanta once we get through this pandemic. Atlanta has so much to offer! We would start the day by taking a walk around the big loop at Chastain Park (probably sneaking in some glutes and arm exercises). While we are walking, my husband will take the girls to the playground. After the walk, we would all meet up and stop by our favorite new coffee shop/bakery, The Chastain, and enjoy an oat milk latte and avocado toast by the fire. Elle and Mila love their hot chocolate too. After that, we might stop by Piedmont Park to stroll through the Saturday farmers market or bike on the belt-line and get some lunch at Rina’s. After a little rest time at home, we would get cocktails on the roof at Ponce and play some miniature golf before dinner at Superica. After dinner, we could take a post-dinner stroll and pick up some Jeni’s ice cream to end the day right!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people to thank for their support. First off is my husband, Simon. He is and will always be my number one supporter, from helping me figure out technology issues like recording on Zoom, figuring out how to process refunds when a group class was rained out, and of course re-arranging his schedule to watch our two daughters when I have clients. Most important is his support for my dreams, I could not do this without him. My next “shout-out” goes to my friends for being the best cheerleaders, always encouraging me, pushing me and supporting me. There were times when I would be discouraged, but my friends were always there to keep me going. A special thanks goes to my bestie Rachel, who has taken my classes from Day 1 and still shows up every week over Zoom for my 7 AM class. Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy is the studio I taught at before and during my most recent pregnancy. They supported me teaching independently, which I knew was rare. I occasionally teach for Stability virtually and love my relationship with owners and their clients. If you are in Atlanta, you need to visit them! Last but not least would be my mentor and teacher, Elizebeth Ellison. She taught me everything I know and is everything I strive to be as an instructor. She has always supported and encouraged me. I am so lucky to have her. She is the BEST!
Ashley Park Photography