STOTT PILATES* STUDIO
In 1988, husband and wife team Lindsay and Moira Merrithew, opened the first STOTT PILATES* studio in Toronto, Canada. Recognizing a growing market demand for pilates and a scarcity of suppliers, Mr. Merrithew, president and chief executive officer, focused on building and diversifying the business. Ms. Merrithew, program director, had certified as an instructor at the original pilates studio in New York. She trained clients and worked on refining and enhancing the mind-body method to ensure its optimal safety and effectiveness
In 1989, the pair moved into equipment design by developing and marketing the Fitness Circle* exerciser, a hand-held, sprung steel piece of equipment used to increase exercise intensity. As pilates exercise grew in popularity in North America and abroad, the demand for qualified instructors also grew, as did the need for pilates equipment. To meet this demand, the entrepreneurs began developing a new professional quality equipment line in 1992 and manufacturing professional quality equipment in 1993. They launched their full line in 1994 and incorporated STOTT Equipment Sales Inc. in 1995. Also in 1995, an education division was established to train and certify instructors, with certifications first being granted in 1997. In 1998 the STOTT PILATES instructional video line and first edition technical manuals were born.
STOTT PILATES EDUCATION DIVISION
Drawing from her years of experience as a professional dancer, certified pilates instructor and student of functional anatomy, Ms. Merrithew, in collaboration with physical therapists and sports medicine professionals, developed a comprehensive, systematic, contemporary approach to pilates training and certification. She documented the method to make it easier for students to learn and become qualified and effective instructors.
Depending on their needs, students may enroll in intensive courses, working towards certification in stages, or they may choose a more in-depth comprehensive program. To become a fully certified STOTT PILATES instructor, students must complete 500-plus hours of training. Ms. Merrithew and her team of instructor trainers continue to develop and refine the STOTT PILATES method to ensure that it is practical, current and relevant.
STOTT PILATES EQUIPMENT DIVISION
Designed and engineered by Mr. Merrithew, the STOTT PILATES equipment line initially made a stir in the pilates fitness industry with the companys signature piece the Professional Reformer because of its quality, adjustability and its patented, whisper-smooth rolling mechanism.
Today the STOTT PILATES equipment line numbers close to 50 items and accessories that are used worldwide by fitness, rehab, athletic and pilates professionals, as well as avid home exercisers. STOTT PILATES has earned a reputation for being the highest quality pilates equipment because of its superior design, component parts, adjustability and durability. The company stays on the cutting edge of product development by continually evaluating and enhancing its product line.
STOTT PILATES VIDEO & MANUAL DIVISION
The Merrithews entered the video production business in 1997, releasing their first pilates fitness video: STOTT PILATES Essential Matwork*, and launched their line of instructional videos in 1998. Today, the company offers more than 50 fitness videos (VHS and DVD) for professionals as well as at-home exercise enthusiasts, and has sold close to a million copies. The videos are sold directly through STOTT PILATES as well as at major retailers across Canada and the United States via major SMA Distribution in Canada and Artisan Home Entertainment in the USA. STOTT PILATES has also published numerous professional manuals to accompany its training and certification programs. Together, the videos and manuals form the most detailed documentation of pilates exercise available.
STOTT PILATES / Merrithew Corporation has been named one of the fastest growing companies in Canada by PROFIT, The Magazine For Canadian Entrepreneurs, for four years in a row. It is the only fitness company to have made this list. The annual PROFIT 100 list ranks Canadian companies using five-year revenue growth as the measure of success. The privately held companys sales grew 1,147 percent from 1997 to 2002, while staff increased almost six-fold during the same five-year period. STOTT PILATES employs 101 people at its studio, head office, International Certification Center and manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada. Ninety percent of the companys sales were attributed to export sales.
Mr. and Mrs. Merrithew were finalists for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2003.
The Merrithews attribute the success of their company to the passionate staff and customers who have so wholeheartedly embraced and committed themselves to promoting the benefits of STOTT PILATES exercise worldwide.