Back when gyms were allowed to open at full capacity and boutique fitness classes were like social events, Brynn Putnam, founder and CEO of Mirror, was already thinking of ways to elevate her workouts at home.
“I always felt like working out at home and you were sacrificing quality for convenience,” Putnam tells CNBC Make It. “You were putting a big bike or a treadmill into your small in your apartment, or you were searching for content on YouTube and watching it on a tiny phone while you tried to awkwardly workout.”
So Putnam did something about it. She created the Mirror, a “nearly invisible” smart, tech connected mirror that allows users to stream workouts and fitness classes from home, while watching themselves work out. All for $1,495 for the equiptment and $39 a month to access the content.
But that’s not all — Putnam did it all while pregnant.
In June, Lululemon bought Mirror for $500 million, and Putnam, now 37, stayed on as Mirror’s CEO.
Here’s how she created a multimillion-dollar business with a baby on board.
magining a better home workout
In 2016, Putnam, was “newly pregnant and dealing with really bad morning sickness,” she says. Getting to a fitness studio was becoming logistically difficult.
“Making a reservation, walking 20 minutes to my studio, working out with other younger, more athletic people, just was no longer working for me personally,” she says.
Putnam had been a professional ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet since she was 16, and when she retired she created the high-intensity interval training exercise class Refine Method and its New York City studios in 2010.
“So, I started to think about how to take what I created in real life and translate into in home,” Putnam says.
For example, at the studio instructors wrote workouts on white boards, used a stopwatch to keep time and gave attendees real-time modifications or ways to make exercises more difficult.
“They stood at the front of the room and inspired people to to be their best,” she says.