07 Jul Episode #279: Coss Marte, Founder, CONBODY
Pete Moore: This is Pete Moore on HALO Talks NYC I have a friend of mine for several years, reentering the fitness boutique space with a vengeance post COVID, Coss Marte, CONBODY, winner of the award that I judged him on several years ago on his PowerPoint slides welcome!
Coss Marte: Thank you for you. I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Pete Moore: Awesome. Well you know, look, you made some waves before. COVID and had a good thing going, obviously everything was hit on a on pause, like a tape recorder back in the day. You know, so talk to us about how you’re relaunching the business and you know, we’ll kind of ref about getting real results.
Coss Marte: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I, I COVID was a bit of a blessing for me and in some sort of way, cause we were quickly pivoted to doing online stuff. You know, all our stuff is all body ways. So we don’t use any equipment for us. It was we’d have to send anybody a treadmill at home. It was like, turn on your camera, do what we do in a small constrained space, like a presence house. So I remember that that same day I had a 12 o’clock class and Cuomo just announced all gyms and fitness boutiques have to close down. And my partner was like, Hey, you can’t do anything. And I was like, nah, I’m doing. And I was like, everybody, I’m not going to refund you, but I’m going to send you a zoom link turn on the camera. And everybody had the same experience. So it was a quick pivot and we had an incredible community that supported us throughout the way. So we we were able to survive this.
Pete Moore: Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting as you say that, because some of the groups that require a lot of equipment or switching stations and so on and so forth, you know, they try to do the home workouts, but it’s not authentic. It’s not what I provided you in, in the studio or in the clubs. So kind of people gravitated towards things that they were comfortable with if they could replicate it. So how did that did you end up using a platform? Did you do everything off of zoom and what are you doing going forward?
Coss Marte: Yeah, so right now we did a, like, we try to experiment with different companies, you know? But we, the, the easiest thing for us was zoom. And we’re still continuing to do zoom. It’s, it’s a great platform. You know, we’re using Maryann attack software on the backend. People get like a five minute five minutes before class, they get the zoom link you know, change, the link actually changes every time. So it’s, it’s, it’s easy for us. We set up in the actual studio today. We put like a 4k camera in the middle of the room and we’re doing it at the same time. So in-person and virtual are running simultaneously. At the same time we were doing the same thing in the parks as well. So we’ve been able to do a lot of stuff outdoors and just make it happen. That’s about it.
Pete Moore: Awesome. So from, from a standpoint of, of the peak of COVID when people were sheltering in place scale, what kind of, what was the maximum number or where, you know, w when did you kind of stop and say like, holy cow, like, I got this many people, you know, I touched this many people today,
Coss Marte: The one, one class I did 800 people. Oh, wow. That’s a zoom call. And that’s when, that’s what I had an issue. Cause I had a pushed us. And that was like a special event. We’d done like a private class for somebody
Pete Moore: Prime project class for 800 pounds. My mother telling me like, what happened, I’m afraid.
Coss Marte: Yeah. Right. But yeah, no, it was, it was a one-off class, but it was, it was I was like, I had to up my subscription on the zone cause you know, it starts off like, you know, we have the free wine, we are utilized and I was like, oh, I got to start paying for this thing. And yeah, I mean, I knew I was we had something when everybody, you know, gave us great comments and videos and people reposting and seeing what’s up.
Pete Moore: So when do you get that kind of success online, digitally, and the fact that you don’t have to drop ship, any kind of equipment to people, you know, you’ve got your virtual community, you know, how do you think about leases right now? How do you think about, you know, getting a 40 page lease from a landlord and saying, Hey, I go on my zoom or I can try and negotiate this deal. And, you know, actually, you know, be tied or personal guaranteed to something that, you know, maybe isn’t as essential as it used to be.
Coss Marte: Yeah, no, I mean, I definitely, I’m definitely not jumping into like a 20,000 or, you know, whatever type of rotate retail space, unless it’s like a great, incredible deal, you know? And I feel like we have the leverage now to, you know, Hey, you guys have this space, all right, I’m not going to pay 30,000. You know, my budget is 10,000, are you going to work with me? And it was try to find somebody then, you know, if they can’t find anybody and then, and it’s, and I’ve gotten a lot of people hitting me up, you know, for spaces. But I’m definitely not looking into another space for a little while until things like settled down. I think, you know, virtually is a as a place to stay and go. But also like having actual space. I love the fact that you, you know, in person interaction is not the same as virtual interact interaction. So, you know, our space was amazing. I have a second floor loft in the Lori side 1600 square feet. And we only paid $5,000 a month. So I didn’t ha I, you know, we use that as a, as a production studio basically, you know, so for us it was not like a crazy burn.