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  • Writer's pictureJade Strugnell

Creating our Aerial Home

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Now that we are ready to open, we wanted to share our journey of setting up the Aerial Sports studio. See below how we transformed this empty industrial space into a beautiful aerial hangout for our students to learn and have fun!

These are the 5 steps we took to start the Aerial Sports Pole Studio

  1. Studio location

  2. Naming the studio

  3. Selecting the best equipment

  4. Choosing the right booking system

  5. Preparing for opening with social distancing measures in response to Covid-19


1. Location

Finding the perfect studio to set up Aerial Sports was a huge endeavour. We started in early 2019 looking at the limited number of industrial units available around North Wales and Cheshire that were within our price range. We soon discovered familiar themes between many units viewed. They all either had low ceilings or non-existent insulation. We absolutely needed a space with high ceilings, was wide enough to fit in at least 6 poles and a place that we could warm through the winter.


After over a year of searching for the perfect space, we finally found one in Ellesmere Port. In February 2020 we signed the contract and took over the unit in March 2020. We selected Ellesmere Port due to the excellent transport routes, located just off the M53 and within two miles of Cheshire Oaks designer outlet and the M56.



2. Studio Name

Choosing a studio name was really difficult! There are already so many fantastic names for Aerial Sports schools and Pole Studios.


We came up with many ideas like Pole Planet, and Pole Asylum (do you see the Pole theme?) but we didn’t feel like these were right for us. We didn’t want to just be known as a Pole Dance Studio as we will be offering other Aerial Sports such as Hoop and Silks. Eventually, we settled on Aerial Sports and the rest is history.


When it came to the logo it was a no-brainer to work with studio owner Jade's sister Paige, who is a full time graphics and print designer! We brainstormed many ideas and played around with a few iterations, which resulted in our elegant and simple design. We even have different colour combinations to suit every occasion.

3. Equipment

Frame

For a high, slanted ceiling like ours, sourcing a frame was essential for setting up the poles. We knew this would be a significant expense, as it has to be strong and safe for our members, but one that was definitely worth it. The frame came in pieces, so fitting it together on the floor was very simple and felt a lot like Lego!


The difficult part came when we had to flip the frame around to lift it up. As this was done DIY, it was definitely risky as we didn’t have any hard hats or other PPE. If we were to do this again, we would use a company familiar with these set ups.


After erecting the frame, we drilled it into the concrete floor to ensure sturdiness. As the frame stood at 3.5 metres high, we could comfortably install competition-grade poles and other aerial equipment.

Poles

Choosing X-POLE was the easiest decision we had in setting up the studio. X-pole are the leaders in the pole industry, known for their high product quality, innovation and safety record.


We selected 5 chrome and 1 powder, 45 mm diameter poles. Standing over 3 metres each, they look absolutely incredible! We also have the Pole Away and X-LOCK systems to allow easy transition between studio and pole set ups.


We are a proud X-POLE affiliate and we can offer you 5% discount off the list price of X-POLE products purchased through Aerial sports. Contact us here to find out more.


Instagram wall

Reflecting on our pole dance achievements through pictures is one of the most rewarding parts of progression. Our goal = great pictures for everyone.

We have teamed up with Total Grip to design a wall stand that members can use as the perfect instagram backdrop. As part of our sponsorship agreement with Total Grip, we offer their liquid chalk and tac products to members at a discount to the recommended retail price. You can check out the Total Grip products that we offer at our merchandise page.


Floor and Mirrors

A wooden floor is essential for heels. Our flooring gives the strength and fantastic sound that only natural wood can provide. Fortunately, fitting the floor was fairly straightforward and this was the first thing fitted in the studio.


What better way to track your pole technique than by watching your form? From floor work to climbing the pole, our 8 ft x 4 ft mirrors cover it all. These mirrors are huge and make the studio look incredible! Getting everything lined up was the most technically challenging part of the whole set up. There was a lot of trial and error to get them lined up, taking around 2 days to set up the backboards and fitting the J-joints and Z-bars until everything looked perfect.

Aerial Sports Clothing

Every Pole Dance studio has their own branded clothing and we are no different. We have gone with industry leader Hoodlum Fang, who have designed our sleek and comfortable clothing. You can see our Aerial Sports branded pole clothing from our merchandise page.


4. Booking System

Our goal was to always minimise cash handling and try to automate the session bookings to reduce admin. We didn't want to rely mainly on cash or manual bank transfers as it takes time to go to the bank several times a week or manually verify each bank transaction.


We went through several service providers, but settled on the TeamUp system. This allows us to set up sessions specifically for pole routine, pole tricks, private and online sessions. You can book a session here.


We also invested in a bank card payment capture system on-site for any merchandise purchases.


5. Covid-19 Safety Measures

We now have a separate blog here dedicated to the measures we have taken to make the Aerial Sports studio safe.

We will be following the UK government Covid-19 updates and guidelines, and will continually monitor our procedures to ensure these measures are being met.

For the latest UK government guidance on Covid-19 visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus



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