Ploome and REQ.1

Ploome and REQ.1, its sister non-profit organization and studio partner, combine innovative fitness and educational outreach to raise awareness and inspire social change. Ploome is a for-profit fitness boutique that celebrates body diversity and promotes social responsibility. REQ.1 is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports trauma survivors of human trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence. Together, Ploome and REQ.1 promote mindfulness and balanced living through physical activity, self-expression, and community connections.

At the beginning of her journey to create Ploome and REQ.1, Founder and President Christina M. Stoltz heard many words of caution from those who believed her vision was too ambitious, including her first Wharton SBDC Consultant. The hybrid nature of her for-profit/non-profit model posed a high level of complexity on her business. As a Pilates and movement arts studio, Ploome offers an array of fitness programs – including Cardio Barre, Flow Arts, and Champagne Sundays – unlike those found anywhere else in Philadelphia. In addition to Ploome’s unique small group classes, community events, and specialty workshops, clients of Ploome are engaged with the mission of REQ.1. Through the revenue generated from Ploome’s fitness programs and community fundraisers, Ploome provides programming and financial support to REQ.1. Every Ploome class supports a REQ.1 participant.

Ploome picPloome and REQ.1, its sister non-profit organization and studio partner, combine innovative fitness and educational outreach to raise awareness and inspire social change.

In mid-2011, Christina was matched up with Wharton SBDC consultant Mark Maguire after completing the Wharton SBDC First Steps and Strategic Business Planning workshops. Because of the risky nature of her hybrid for-profit/non-profit business model, Christina and Mark spent a lot of time working through the financials and various scenarios in order to develop a plan for the sustainability of both Ploome and REQ.1.

One of Mark’s most memorable experiences working with Christina was during a coffee outing with her, her partner and financé JJ, and REQ.1 participant Linda. Linda is a graduate of the REQ.1 affiliate organization Dawn’s Place, which provides housing and emergency resources to victims of commercial sexual exploitation. At the coffee shop, Mark saw firsthand the remarkable results of REQ.1’s work to build participants’ self-esteem and strengthen their engagement with the community.

In the last year, and in addition to the accolades from Ploome clients and REQ.1 participants, Ploome and REQ.1 have been mentioned in Forbes, Philadelphia Style Magazine, and Philadelphia Magazine, where Ploome’s Champagne Sundays were named Best of Philly 2012: Best Workout. Ploome runs on a self-sustaining basis, as its staff and support teams continue to grow. Christina and JJ are now considering ways to expand the Ploome-REQ.1 business model in order to reach and service more Ploome clients and REQ.1 participants.

Funding support and resources are provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development; through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration, and through support from The University of Pennsylvania. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling 215.898.4861. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government. By agreeing to receive assistance from the SBDC you are self-certifying that you are not currently federally debarred or suspended and also agree to cease using SBDC services if you become federally debarred or suspended in the future.