Women at Work | Pilates instructor Allison Zang never stops moving


She's a risk taking entrepreneur who never seems to stop moving.

Behind her successful Pilates business is determination, drive and a very special book.

She started teaching Pilates out of her basement. Now, Allison Zang is the owner of five Pilates studios throughout Central Pennsylvania.

"On a Friday afternoon I randomly decided that like, we're going to do this," says Zang. "It's going to work and I am going to have a successful Pilates studio."

Allison quit her day job as a health educator and opened her first "Absolute Pilates" studio in the Cumberland County community of Walden, just feet away from her front door.

She's often running back and forth from her studio to her home, juggling the roles of business owner and mom.

But Allison admits, it took a leap of faith to turn her side gig into a full-time career. Just as she was opening her new business, her mother passed away.

Meanwhile, she was working around the clock, training over 20 new instructors who had been new to the world of Pilates.

And with many people in the area unfamiliar with Pilates, she questioned if the Harrisburg area was ready for a studio.

"As it turns out, it totally was ready for a Pilates studio and lots of Pilates studios which I didn't know," explains Zang.

And she may have never found out, if it wasn't for a special book she had been reading "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes.

"I didn't say yes to every dinner, I didn't say yes to every drink. I didn't go all in, but I said yes to a lot of opportunities in one year which lead to a little bit of craziness because normal people don't open up three Pilates studios in six months, but it's panned out."

You heard her right, three Pilates studios in just six months. Not long after opening her studio in Walden, an opportunity to open a second came along while she was on maternity leave.

"In a moment of some sort of like sleep deprived, Mommy dumb..." says Zang. "I was like sure, let's do it. Let's open another studio."

Fast forward to present day, hundreds of people throughout Central Pennsylvania workout at one of Absolute Pilates' five locations.

"I like to work with those that think they can't exercise, they can't move, they can't feel good," says Zang. And 'can't' is certainly not in Allison's dictionary.

"I think everyone can move, they can exercise."

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