Susie loves coming to Upside Motion for Xtend Barre. Outside the studio, though, she’s not just another face in the crowd. Meet the lady behind the boutique store Willow & Huxley, and find out how she stays so fit while running her own business.
UM: Tell us more about yourself and what you do.
Susie: I’ve been living in Singapore for the last 8 years. I started Willow & Huxley about 5 years ago, and I’ve also had two children since moving here as well.
UM: Wow, you’ve been busy! How did you find out about Upside Motion?
Susie: I started coming here about a year and a half ago, I think. A friend of mine from New York introduced Xtend Barre to me - I hear it’s a huge thing in the States - and now I try to fit in about two Xtend Barre sessions a week.
UM: What do you love about Xtend Barre?
Susie: So my friend that introduced Xtend Barre to me told me that lots of her friends have had their body transformed purely from doing two barre classes a week - your posture is better, as well as your core. The shape of your body is changing. They hadn’t even changed their diet or anything, they were just doing a different type of exercise.
I feel stronger when I take Beatriz’s and Michelle’s classes. I love the small movements focusing on small muscle groups, and I love the fun music. It’s a wicked type of exercise.
UM: Is fitness a big part of your life?
Susie: Yes, definitely! Apart from Xtend Barre at Upside Motion, I also do personal training, kickboxing and CrossFit at various other gyms. I’ve always liked sports, and I made it a point to join as many teams as possible when I was still in school. I love how the weather in Singapore makes exercising so possible. I think in London - where I’m from - people have to really try to fit something into their day, and the weather is so limiting. In Singapore you can do yoga outside in the heat, and that’s nice, but cold yoga in London would feel awful.
UM: Tell us more about Willow & Huxley.
Susie: I actually started it because I didn’t like the shopping in Singapore. I found it either really expensive or really cheap, and there was nothing in the middle. I also wanted to find somewhere where I could shop often, and somewhere where I knew not everybody could wear the same piece. So at Willow & Huxley, we only bring in 5 of each piece to keep things unique and interesting.
I also really like the boutique culture like at Haji Lane, which I’d heard about since 10 years ago. Coming from Europe, the malls are pretty scary to me; you have to go to different malls for different things, and everything is just all over the place. I could go to Orchard Road and think, “I don’t know where to go!”. It’s kind of nice just going to a little area with independent multi-label stores, and I wanted to bring back that kind of fun shopping.
UM: Does your work require that you travel a lot?
Susie: Yes! I constantly fly to countries like Denmark, Australia and America to buy and try collections before they’re manufactured and all that, it’s quite fun. Mostly I’m trying to look for new things to bring in, so it’s a whole lot of shopping and walking around.
UM: How do you stick to your exercise routine while traveling?
Susie: I try to do some workouts on my own when I’m traveling, so I do lots of bodyweight stuff. I mean, as long as you’re at a hotel with a gym, you can do burpees and stuff like that. Still, all the walking around and shopping is actually exhausting enough for me already!
UM: Are you particular about what you wear to work out?
Susie: Yes. I think different activities call for different outfits. When I do CrossFit, I wear something completely different compared to when I do Xtend Barre. The same for when I do kickboxing as well. But I definitely think there’s a fashion element to the workout industry, because there are funky designs that you could wear to a studio. Xtend Barre actually has a more fashion element to it, it’s a more glamourous and pretty exercise.
I definitely think Singapore’s limited on the range of workout gear, but there could be more development there. We’re actually looking at bringing in workout gear to Willow & Huxley too.
UM: How would you advise us ladies on choosing workout wear?
Susie: You need something supportive and that fits well, but is fun and feminine and sexy at the same time. Because we always want to look good even when we’re working out.