Chanda Fetter

Chanda Fetter is the owner of IM=X Pilates, a new studio that opened up on upper State Street last month. Her various programs and facilities offer locals many different ways to benefit from Pilates, whether they seek muscle toning and sculpting to injury prevention therapy. Her goal is to expand her business and continue to open up more studios, providing access to effective and efficient exercise for people of all fitness backgrounds.

Occupation: Studio Owner

Resident of Santa Barbara since: 1993

Favorite Local Restaurant: Paradise Café

Favorite workout music: Anything with lots of energy, usually techno or house

Favorite sports/hobbies: Cycling, both indoor and outdoor

How I spend a typical Sunday: Nowadays with the new studio up and running I spend my Sundays at the office catching on work I couldn’t get done during the week, but I usually enjoy doing a morning workout and then going for a walk either on the beach or downtown, followed by a weekly family dinner and spending time with my niece.

In ten years I see myself: Very tired from owning all 15 IM=X Pilates Studios, and opening more along the way!

How I first got involved in the fitness industry: I was a professional ballet dancer when I was living in Sacramento. After several injuries, I was first exposed to Pilates through my rehab program as a way to heal my body and regain balance and strength. After some time, I began to break away from dancing and lean more towards the fitness industry. At UCSB, I majored in Sociology and minored in Exercise and Sport Studies for Fitness Instruction and got a job at Gold’s Gym as an instructor. I went on to be the group fitness director for ten years and also opened their Pilates program. When the gym was bought out by Spectrum, I decided to buy the IM=X franchise and open independent studios.

What inspired you to open up your own business: I felt that working for myself would be much more rewarding, especially since I felt that I had almost reached a dead end with my job and wanted to accomplish more. I also wanted to offer an opportunity for all people to experience IM=X Pilates because it goes far beyond simple personal Pilates training. We offer so much more to our clients. We can provide a combination of private training, group training, yoga, great deals and packages, an in-house spa—everything you need to get a great workout in without having to spend all your money.

Why do you think it is important for people to try out or practice Pilates? Pilates can benefit anyone. It deals with putting the body in balance from every angle, working with resistance, cardio, exercise combinations for variety, and is extremely effective and efficient. When people start to age, their bodies literally shrink because joints and muscles begin to compress, but Pilates decompresses the spine and joints. The “Xerciser” (or reformer) machine forces you to work the left side and the right side of the body evenly, as well as the front and the back. This takes out asymmetry and re-educates the body to be more effective when it moves. My clients have included rehab patients as well as professional athletes hoping to improve their game with more strength and balance, and many other people with different needs and interests, so I offer a flexible and affordable way to experience a great part of the fitness industry.

What types of changes would you like to see in the fitness community over the next ten years? I hope to see more integrity and less cut-throat competition amongst different businesses and companies. I have always supported the spread of wellness through networking, and I would like to experience more support rather competitive motives within the fitness industry. I also want to see more guidelines and restrictions for health certifications. Businesses that have a high turn-over rate may resort to hiring staff members that don’t have all the qualifications that their clients deserve, so I would like to see an improved consistency and quality among across the industry.

Visit for more information on Santa Barbara’s new hot spot for Pilates and conditioning.

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