Today’s wellness-conscious consumers often see health as a guiding principle in everyday purchases, rather than a means to its own end. But the wellbeing sector’s new luxury associations has some worried about accessibility.
Enter EVERYBODY, a new, radically inclusive gym and non-traditional movement center in the Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. With gender-neutral bathrooms, a diverse staff that reflects its core values and classes such as “Fat Kid Dance Party” rooted in body positivity, EVERYBODY embodies a truly holistic and community-oriented approach to health, fitness, and wellness.
Below, founders Lake Sharp and Sam Rypinski discuss feminist business practices, creating safe spaces for gender nonconforming folks, and how the big-box gym industry has disenfranchised those who need its services the most.
How did the concept for EVERYBODY take shape and eventually become a reality?
LAKE SHARP: When we met, Sam had already been working on the business model for several months. He had already found the location and was actively seeking partners. After a chance encounter at the Women’s Center for Creative Work, we met several times to suss out our business relationship, then we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since.
SAM RYPINSKI: I had already been developing the business model and looking at spaces, and Lake had a background in the fitness industry as an instructor at high-end clubs. We mega-bonded around being caretakers to our parents during their final days, which I still am. It felt like a really inspired partnership, so we decided to move forward with the space on San Fernando and go in on the project together. It really started with our mission statement to be a radically inclusive space committed to providing access to those most disenfranchised by the big-box gym industry, and the programming, hiring and design of the space all emerged from there.