Keep it tight, keep it light. Tight Club is an active lifestyle brand for those who value creativity, health, and fun. Keighty Gallagher, founder of Tight Club, told us about her secret fitness moves, dream life, and collaborations with heavyweights like Nike and the lululemon lab.
I care about more than just perfect squats – what’s tight in your life? What’s good? We always do questions at the start, we go around the circle and literally say “What’s your name?” and whatever question comes to mind. It’s just a really fun way to open people up and make fitness a lot less uptight.
You’re definitely going to face me and talk to me. I encourage people to relate with others and be like “OMG this sucks. How is she making us do this? I hate her.”
I had been living like a jock for most of my life and people always asked how I stay fit. I don’t really do the normal stuff – I like being outside and I like movement.
My friends were like “Well, if you can make us think differently about fitness then let’s form a group.” So that was my first challenge: try to make fitness fun and make it seem less like going to the gym.
At the start, for months, it was just my friends. I remember the first time someone new came that I didn’t know and nobody knew – that was a big deal!
I come up with my own words or names for movements like Beyonces, then if you make Beyonces a little crazier it becomes Beyonce on ice and it just lightens it up. But, technically, when I come up with these workouts, it’s about flow, it’s about balance, making sure that we don’t spend too much time on one body part. Thinking in real technical terms to hit all elements of fitness: cardio, strength, flexibility, balance, and all that.
One of the biggest things I consider is consistent diversity (which is kind of an oxymoron), but I want it to always be different, from one workout to the next. There’s so much psychology when it comes to classes.
I started the Instagram account before any other gym had Instagram accounts. Back then, I didn’t even know that. People that influenced me were the Bridge Runners in New York and the Black Roses who were this creative group of runners who never claimed to be runners. They were just like a social group that ran.
Instagram was a really great way to communicate and capture an audience using hashtags and stuff like that. It was such a good way to call people out and keep people accountable.
Thinking back to it, you know, I think it was all actually planned. Nike started putting a lot of emphasis on their digital media and it was my goal back in the day. I wanted to work for Nike, or do something with Nike. So about 2 years ago I actually reached out to them, and I was like “I know that these run crews are happening on the East Coast, but we’re something different. We’re more than just a run crew. We run, but we also workout, party, and I think that there’s a lot of parallels” so then we became the first Nike run club of Vancouver. All of a sudden the hashtag #WeRunThisCity was used all over the place.
Capitalizing on that affiliation with Nike was actually how we, I think, became relevant to the masses.
I only ever wanted to do product through collaborations. Most of the products we do, other than our Tight Club tank, are a collaboration with some other like-minded brand. There’s so much power in numbers, but there is also so much power in working with your friends.
When I did the collaboration with the lululemon lab and put out a clothing line, some big shifts started to happen. The launch party was probably the best feeling of my life. We walked up and there was already a line to get in, with people we didn’t even know. All of a sudden the Instagram following went up and so did my numbers. 75% of the people at the party were my friends who had never been to a lululemon store before, so I think that there are a lot of benefits from working with each other.
Even in terms of classes, that I’m going to be offering at the new studio. I really want to bring in a trainer from Distrikt Movement. Technically they’re a competitor, but they are another fitness studio doing really cool stuff. We’re all in it to create a good community with active people so why not work together.
The more people we can get hooked on our style, the bigger the market is.
I worked with Make Creative, such an amazing studio with incredible designers…their whole idea was to take from my ideas of making fitness accessible in the studio and making fitness accessible from the point of sales process. So they focused on user experience, focusing on ‘why’ a visitor is going to my site. Is it that they’re coming because they want to sign up for a class, or are they coming to find out more about tight club? So we take those two goals and focus on making the site as accessible as possible when building the website.
Everything went back to what is the goal of Tight Club and what is the goal of the website?
The studio is still located in our back alley – it’s not your typical gym experience, which is what we want to strive for. And by we, I mean me.
Don’t copy the people you’re inspired by. You gotta figure out what your unique selling point is and run with that. And believe in yourself and stay consistent. I think it’s hard to build a brand when you’re all over the place. Take your time.
Experience things by yourself and be original.