Sweating on the stripper pole

By Dave Dakota

There are many fads in working out, but one that seems to have some legs is the Stripper Pole class. I talked to former female stripper and current lead instructor at a stripper pole class Vicky Castabian about the latest workout craze!

DD: Congratulations are in order. You just had your 500th member. In less than 6 months, that’s quite a feat.

VC: Thanks! Yeah I am blown away by what we have done here. I started out with 10 girls, and we are on pace to have over one thousand members before we celebrate our one year anniversary. It has been a lot of hard work, but very rewarding.

DD: Tell me about your background as a female stripper, and what made you want to open up this niche Stripper pole class.

VC: I started working at a gentlemen’s club when I was eighteen years old. I really got into performing on the pole. People started coming to just see me work that pole. I really enjoyed the entertainment part of stripping, and quickly realized that it was an amazing workout. In the first year of being a female stripper, I went from being in good shape to being ripped. My sister was overweight, and I wanted to help her. She could never find a workout that she enjoyed. The stripper pole workout is a really fun way to lose weight. So after 4 years of stripping, I had enough money saved up to open up my own studio. We have moved 3 times already to accommodate all of our members. For the first 3 months I was working at the gentlemen’s club, but I had to quit to keep up with the demand. I brought in 2 other girls from the club to teach classes. We are now offering 12 classes a day. We never have less than 10 at capacity.

DD: Wow you are a little 22 year old entrepreneur. That is amazing. What do you have planned for the future?

VC: The sky is the limit. If we keep growing and expanding, we may have to change venues again. My current studio has a capacity of 100 ladies per class. So if we have to move, that will be a good problem to have. We are thinking about adding 2 more classes a day, bringing it up to 12 classes a day. So as long as we keep getting new members, we will keep expanding.

DD: what is your retention rate, and what are your monthly fees?

VC: We have a 95% retention rate! We rarely lose clients. In fact, our clients are our best type of advertising. For every new member that someone brings in, we give them 2 free months. So a lot of our hardcore members have 2 or 3 years for free classes coming their way because they keep bringing in new members. And we are happy to pay them back for spreading the word, and turning my dream into a reality. As far as our rates, we do a $35 unlimited classes per month, or $10 per class. Also you can try up to 3 classes free. We like to keep our rates low so that it is affordable for everyone.

DD: That is great. Let’s talk again when you hit the thousand member mark!

VC: You got it. Maybe we can get you up on the pole (Laughs)!

Eat The Bride, Literally!

Sandy Hortich, a baker from Indianapolis, has turned her Bachelorette Party cakes into a national phenomenon. Sandy makes life like miniature replicas of the Brides and at the Bachelorette Party, the girls get to eat the bride. I talked to Sandy about her unique business.

VL: I must say that your work is pretty impressive. How do you turn cake into a life like replica of these brides?

SH: I can’t give away all of my secrets, but we definitely offer a one of a kind service. And this isn’t a graphic on your cake. This is a personalized sculpture cake. We are the first of our kind, and business has been booming.

VL: Why only Bachelorette Parties? I assume that this could also be big for Birthday Parties and pretty much any other event involving a cake.

SH: Funny you say that because next week we are expanding the business to everything and anything. The reason that we started with Bachelorette Parties was because it was a niche market that I knew we could be successful with. But obviously people started wanting us to make cakes for all types of different parties, so I finally gave in. It’s good to have a niche market, but it is better to take over the world.

VL: Let’s stick to the Bachelorette Party stuff. Tell me about the greatest cake you ever made!

SH: I made a life sized cake for a multi-millionaire woman in Las Vegas. She was 5 foot 3 and we made it her exact size. And on top of that, we made it a standing cake. It was truly a work of art. I swear people were taking pictures with the cake, and it looked like it was actually her. I actually won 3 awards for that cake. It took me 20 hours to make, and it fell apart 24 hours before the party, so I had to spend another 20 hours and remake it. It was 40 hours of work, but it was worth it.

VL: That is amazing! How do you transport something like that?

SH: That was a whole other ordeal! We had to make it on wheels. We had to have 4 huge guys transport it. It was such a production. I was a nervous wreck the whole time. It was such a relief when we finally delivered it.

VL: Do you have any specialties for the Bachelorette parties?

SH: We actually do cake replicas of the bride or the groom. Also we can do specialty cakes, or whatever the ladies want.

VL: Tell me about these bachelorette mini cakes that you are selling all around the country

SH: These have become our specialty. We can customize them however the girls want. We can do a full set of the groomsmen and bridesmaids. It is a lot of fun, and completely original.

VL: You truly have turned a niche business into something amazing. Congrats on the success and nothing but the best in the future.