Mother daughter team opens local Pure Barre

Family medical situation fuels passion for business

Abby Breaux Photography
Ashley Haynes, left, and mother Paula Cryan offer dance-inspired exercise in their Pure Barre studios.
ShelbyRae Photography
Abby Breaux Photography
Abby Breaux Photography

Pure Barre is more than a work out. It’s a lifestyle.

That’s the philosophy Paula Cryan and her daughter, Ashley Haynes, follow as the owners of the Alpharetta and Roswell locations of Pure Barre, which uses acombination of ballet and dancing for exercise.

The two always had a passion for staying fit, but they came to realized how important and fragile health can be after experiencing a medical concern in the family. Cryan’s other daughter and Haynes’ little sister, Ali, was born with a condition that required more than 70 brain surgeries in Ali’s first 15 years of life.

Six years ago, Ali had a successful surgery and has since been healthy and happy. But it left an impression on her family.

“After spending much of my early childhood in the hospital to be near Ali, I initially wanted to be a nurse to help others in the way that nursing helped her,” Haynes said. “However, once I started clinical rotations and was actively working with patients and their families, I realized that the hospital environment brought back too many painful memories. But I was still dedicated to making a positive, healthy impact on others and found a new way to do that through starting and operating a Pure Barre franchise.”

Once Ali went to college, the mother and daughter had a chance to focus on their dream of opening Pure Barre Alpharetta, which they started working on in 2015. Shortly after in 2016, they acquired Pure Barre Roswell. They wanted to manage both locations so customers could go between sites for classes.

“Our family is very entrepreneurial, and I'm thankful to call my mom one of my best friends,” Haynes said. “When we had the chance to open a business together, we jumped on the opportunity to create and build a community that promotes positive and healthy lifestyles, especially for women.”

The passion for Pure Barre extends to the locations’ staff as well. Roswell manager Gabrielle Ferree fell in love with the activity after a few classes. She eventually left her public relations job so she could get out from sitting behind a computer all day and do something she felt positively impacts people’s lives.

She transitioned from client to instructor to manager in just about a year. She said Cryan and Haynes have made Pure Barre Alpharetta and Roswell home to so many. That includes Ferree who said she feels blessed to get to spend her days there.

“I was ready to move on from corporate America and do something I truly believed in alongside owners, instructors and clients that I had grown to love during the past year,” Ferree said. “ It's been the single best decision I've made in my life, aside from marrying my husband, and I am loving every minute of working with our amazing owners, clients and instructors. I even tell my friends and family it should be illegal to love work as much as I do.”

That mindset translates to the clients, Haynes said, who use the hour-long classes to disconnect from the world and focus on bettering themselves.

“Seeing their results is incredible. It's not just about the physical results of what the Pure Barre technique can do, but also the emotional benefits of developing what we call a ‘mind/body connection,’” Cryan said. “When clients are able to listen to their body and push themselves in healthy ways in the studio, it can translate to an all over healthy and happy lifestyle physically and mentally outside of the studio.” ■


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