Identifying Growth Opportunities with Sami Sweeney

Sami Sweeney (square)

Sami Sweeney owns and operates six Pure Barre studios in the Seattle, WA area. Raised in the Northwest, Sami has been involved in fitness her entire life. From early in her childhood, Sami competed in gymnastics and cheerleading, continuing through high school and earning a scholarship to the University of Idaho. She graduated from the University of Idaho with honors and two degrees in Finance and Economics. While in undergrad she became an avid runner and has since participated in several half and full marathons. In early 2009 Sami moved to Nashville where she became a Pure Barre teacher. It was here she fell in love with the Pure Barre technique, leaving business management to teach fitness full-time. A year later she became a Master Teacher Trainer, and traveled the southeast training new Pure Barre teachers. In 2010 Sami opened her first studio in Seattle, WA and has continued to grow the brand in Seattle for the past 5 years. She serves on the board of Pure Barre’s Strategic Development Committee, is a Lululemon ambassador, a member of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, and is actively involved in the communities of her businesses.

Key Takeaways:

[0:22] Today’s episode of Franchise Euphoria is brought to you by The Franchise 5 package. Head over to to learn more!

[1:01] Our guest today is Sami Sweeney, a multi-unit Pure Barre franchisee in the Seattle area.

[3:03] Josh welcomes Sami to Franchise Euphoria.

[4:26] Pure Barre is a 50-minute, group fitness exercise that draws elements from Pilates, weight-lifting, and dance to create challenging, isometric workouts.

[5:14] Sami always knew she wanted to be a business owner but had not considered being a franchise owner as an option.

[6:27] Sami got her start with Pure Barre at the original studio in Nashville as an instructor before they had even begun their franchising efforts.

[9:04] The owner of Pure Barre recruited Sami to work for their corporate team once they decided to expand through a franchise model.

[10:01] Once she decided to become a franchisee, right away Sami committed to becoming a multi-unit owner of four locations.

[11:35] Sami really focused her efforts in opening her first location to lay a solid foundation, but she found that it was extremely challenging to get the ball rolling as one of the original franchisees.

[12:17] Once of Sami’s biggest regrets with opening her first location was the location she chose because it didn’t give her proper visibility.

[15:15] Drawing from the learning curve of her first location, she really nailed her second location, and upon relocating her first studio, found much success going forward.

[18:33] Sami faced many challenges when running multiple locations. One of the biggest was securing employees for the long-term, and as a result, she had to develop some sturdy systems to streamline this cycle.

[20:19] Two big challenges Sami faced were finding the right people to work in her business and finding enough customers to fill the studios.

[21:14] Sami prides herself on being an extremely active owner who cares about her clients and maintains a constant presence, but its important to find the balance of working on the micro level of the business versus the macro.

[23:58] At this point, Sami is not necessarily looking to grow into any new studio locations, but pouring her energy into improving her existing locations and honing in on the geographic location she’s in without spreading herself too thin.

[26:00] Sami wants any potential future franchisees of Pure Barre to be sure they do their homework on the FDD and talk with existing franchisees. Also, on a qualitative side, it’s so important to be sure that any potential franchisees feel confident that this franchise is a good fit for them because it’s more than just being passionate about the product.

[29:05] Thanks for listening, and please, reach out to Josh anytime through email at If you enjoyed this interview, please leave us a review on iTunes.


Mentioned in This Episode:

About the author, Josh

Josh Brown is a franchise and entrepreneurial attorney that helps buyers, owners, and expansion-minded businesses find success through franchising. When not working on his two businesses, you can find him on the golf course or spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters.

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