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From Media to Pilates

Essence Pilates, started by Tamsin Burgess, operates in Godalming, Surrey offering both small group and one on one sessions. Group classes are kept small so that she can support each client and focus on technique. The aim is to provide fun, friendly, effective and progressive classes so each person can meet their fitness needs. If you've never tried Pilates then you may not know how much of a difference it can make to your life - some of the benefits are improved core strength and overall posture, flexibility, mobility, strength and tone, plus also better sleep and relaxation through the benefits of pilates breathing.

What did you do before you had children?

I worked in media for 10 years, mainly in radio in strategic partnerships at Global Radio (who own Capital, Heart, Classic FM to name a few).

Had you thought about setting up your own business before?

I did an Advertising and Marketing degree in Bournemouth and whilst I was there I decided I wanted to own my own business one day.

How did you know it was the right business for you?

I knew I could be passionate about Pilates as it had helped me recover from a bad back and I could see the real benefits of it. I also wanted to move into a job in which felt like I was helping people in some way.

How did you know it was the right time to set up your business?

I was on maternity leave after having my second child and I couldn't face the thought of going back to the commute, long hours and being away from two children so I thought it was now or never!

How did you prepare to launch your business? How long did this take?

I started training when Seb was about 10 months and I did quite an intensive course which took about six months so the exams were quite full on but the course was excellent. It then took about another three or four months to set up the website and marketing etc.

What support did you have to launch your business?

I spoke to other friends who have their own business and found a financial adviser to help with tax and the legal bits.

How do you fit your business and family life or other commitments together?

The great thing about having your own business is being able to fit work around what works for you and your family. I work some evenings when the children are asleep and then Friday mornings when they are at school and pre school. I think it's important to set yourself some ground rules for example I am not going to work on weekends as this is precious family time for us.

What are the best things about having your own business?

Flexibility, being in control, it's motivating working for yourself.

What are the downsides of working for yourself?

Sometimes I miss having other people around to bounce ideas off and the buzz of a busy office.

Do you have any tips or advice for other mums who might be thinking about setting up their own business?

Do lots of research into the market you're going to enter, what's the competition like? Is it a growing market? What's your USP? Are you passionate enough about it to drive it forwards year after year? Surveymonkey is a really good tool and a way of setting up a survey and asking people some research questions before you start. Even 50 responses can help set the foundation for your business e.g pricing, attitudes, behaviour etc.

You can find out more about Essence Pilates at or contact Tamsin at

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