Dale & Elizabeth from Sweats & The City talk to Athletech News about their new wellness platform and digital fitness
Elizabeth Endres and Dale Borchiver, roommates turned fitness entrepreneurs, share a passion for working out. The two would spend time investigating studios and eventually started a blog, reviewing fitness facilities and sharing tips. The site, Sweats and The City, grew to include athleisure, cuisine, beauty, and wellness material. Now, the two have launched ORRO, a wellness platform that offers live fitness classes, meditation sessions, sound baths, and more.
“We launched Sweats & The City over 5 years ago, purely out of a joint passion for reviewing boutique fitness classes, so as co-founders we have an incredibly strong pulse on the industry, and we feel that this touch is something almost all platforms lack,” says Endres.
Endres and Borchiver say that ORRO was created as a rebrand of its previous fitness platform, Sweat with Sweats.
“The concept of creating our own platform, which was a product of the shift to digital fitness that occurred during the pandemic, arose with the goal of moving together with our community. With ORRO, we wanted to give our users an elevated experience, an app and a more user-friendly interface – it is essentially an all-encompassing virtual space that gives our community that ‘boutique’ class feel, all in one place, for one price,” says Endres.
While fitness will always be a major component of Sweats and the City, Endres and Borchiver say that their goal is to expand its self-care class category, with talks from notable people, at-home rituals, and therapy chats. “We want to offer more than just workouts, and to equip our community with tools in all areas: whether that be work, self-love, relationships, gut health, and so on,” Borchiver tells Athletech News.
ORRO has a flat-rate price model and will celebrate individual instructors and their methods, “instead of creating a melting pot where every class looks and feels the same,” says Endres.
The fitness classes, which generally range from 10 minutes to an hour, are equipment-free but some have optional equipment suggestions, like light ankle weights or a yoga mat. ORRO members will be able to access over 25 live classes a month and an on-demand library.
The two fitness entrepreneurs see a positive aspect in the shift to digital fitness and see it as a way to build an even larger community. “Virtual fitness went from being seen as a ‘back-up’ option – one that was primarily used for travel or time crunches – to being at the epicenter of the industry. Instead of seeing a small selection of methods online, now almost all instructors can be found doing some form of virtual fitness, whether that be hosting an IG live, posting moves on TikTok or having a full blown app. We love that geographical barriers have been broken down so that people all over the world can come together in the name of movement.” says Borchiver.
“We believe the future of virtual fitness to be ever-expanding. The pandemic has changed fitness forever; a lot of studios have been unfortunately forced to close, and many people feel safer working out from home. We also think people have grown to better appreciate the virtual fitness concept, having found out first-hand that you really can get results at home, not to mention how much more efficient and cost effective it tends to be. We’ve also seen a massive increase in the number of instructors who have left their respective studios to create their own methods, adding further variety in the online fitness world,” adds Endres.
The duo says they are most excited to share the new ORRO launch with their followers. All existing members have been transferred to the new platform. “They loved Sweat with Sweats so much, and we were so excited to offer them a highly enhanced version with the same mission and price. We carefully gathered information and feedback over the last year, and it was so exciting to apply it all to a new app and evolved interface,” says Endres.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.