Kari Saitowitz is the president and CEO of Fhitting Room which has three studios in New York City that employ close to 50 instructors and staff and generates close to $5 million in gross annual revenue. Prior to creating Fhitting Room, she was a marketing executive at Pepsi, where she focused on building equity for powerhouse brands and launching new product innovations.
In 2007, Saitowitz left the world of boardrooms and bubbles and entered the world of diapers and sleepless nights. Exhausted and time starved, she began functional high-intensity interval training to work off her pregnancy weight in her scarce free time. As someone who hadn’t always loved exercise, she was blown away by the physical and emotional results of HIIT and the efficiency of her new, only twice weekly, workout routine.
Around this time, specialized boutique fitness studios started popping up, and people were instantly hooked on the fun, social and dynamic classes. Saitowitz loved the idea of working out with friends, but couldn’t find a studio that offered functional HIIT workouts with enough personal attention from certified trainers.
She took her love of planning unique consumer experiences and finding creative solutions to develop a new way for anyone to access the benefits of a personal training session in a kickass, motivational group setting. This “gym idea” became the subject line of an email Saitowitz sent in 2012 to one her best friends, who’s now Fhitting Room’s Chief of Deets & Peeps. She opened her first Fhitting Room location in a small studio on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in March 2013, and signed the lease for Fhitting Room’s flagship Flatiron location six months later.
Saitowitz holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she graduated with honors, and she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.