Every entrepreneur has a story. To understand their passion, we must look to their past. This is the third episode of From There to Here, a three-part series on how entrepreneurs came to build their brand.
Meet Brynn Putnam. She’s the founder of Mirror, an interactive home fitness system. When off, Mirror functions as a sleek, full-length mirror. When on, Mirror is your own personal boutique fitness studio with a nearly invisible footprint — streaming live and on-demand classes from cardio to yoga to boxing — all from the comfort of your home.
We spoke to Brynn about her entrepreneur story and how Mirror is revolutionizing the way we work out.
How has health and fitness been an important part of your life?
As a professional dancer, I danced as a way to make a living. Then as the owner of a fitness studio, I worked out as a way to stay in shape and also to build my first business. Then as a newly pregnant person, I started to think about how I could work out really just as a way to de-stress and stay healthy for my soon-to-be son. For me, fitness and feeling strong and confident in your body has been really the crucial baseline for everything that I’ve done.
What did you see as the gap in the fitness industry and why were you determined to create Mirror?
People have always worked out at home. In-home workouts have been around for decades, but for years there hasn’t really been both the technology to bring great workouts into the home or the consumer willingness to pay for high-quality content and instruction. I think Mirror has been born at this incredible inflection point where this at-home need for fitness is being paired with advances in technology, as well as this more educated consumer population who are starting to prioritize health and wellness in new ways.
What are some of the biggest challenges of running a company?
I think the biggest challenge of running a company is building a team. In running Refine Method [my first studio], I was receptionist, housekeeper, fitness instructor, and publicist. I was personally able to really touch, every single day, every element of the business. But in order to build a truly generational business like Mirror, and a business that has global reach, you need to be able to build a team underneath you who can really take ideas, execute and run with them. And so it’s really challenging not only to let go of control of the details, but also to find people to surround yourself with who can really be trusted, safe hands for you.
Why do you think Mirror has been successful?
I think the best products take current consumer behavior and move it just slightly further forward. I think that the most exciting developments that you’re seeing in the consumer space are ways in which we can just advance what people are already doing slightly further and slightly better. I think the success of Mirror is taking behavior that was already happening — at-home workouts have been around for decades — but make the experience that much more immersive, that much more high quality, that much better, that much easier. So I think kind of the joy and beauty of the Mirror really is its simplicity and the fact that it is just at the tip of current consumer behavior.
What do you think Mirror is bringing to the fitness world?
Mirror really has changed people’s lives. We hear stories of people who are suddenly feeling confident in their bodies and able to take on new challenges at work or in love. We hear about people who are taking dance classes or boxing lessons with their children and saying that it’s really the favorite part of their day to be able to spend time with their family. I think what it has meant for me personally is just this feeling that through technology I’m able to really amplify the work that I started 10 years ago in my studio of helping connect people to a better version of themselves.