Toronto, November 26, 2013 – Few companies make an impact that reverberates at all levels of an industry. Merrithew® (MH&F), the company behind the world-renowned STOTT PILATES® brand, is one of those few and the powerhouse couple, Lindsay G. Merrithew and Moira Merrithew, behind one of Canada’s largest fitness companies is celebrating 25 years of providing high-caliber, multi-disciplinary fitness brands across the globe.
The evolution of MH&F is a unique homegrown chronicle of vertical integration and diversification. Where many fitness corporations specialize in equipment, education or programming, MH&F successfully does all three. And while the couple may not have known how much they would impact the mindful movement industry, their mission for why they started the business has never changed. “Our philosophy is that effective and responsible exercise is the foundation to a better lifestyle,” shares Lindsay G. Merrithew, President and CEO. “We founded this company with the goal of motivating people of all ages and life stages to lead healthier lives – and every decision we make is driven by this mission.”
The company’s success story began with STOTT PILATES, the contemporary approach to Joseph Pilates’ original method. Seeing the benefits this approach could have on the broader fitness community, Moira Merrithew, Executive Director, Education, began training students from the company’s first Toronto studio. “When I started teaching, Lindsay designed and engineered an adjustable Reformer with multiple settings that could accommodate individuals of different heights and sizes to have the same Pilates experience, a revolutionary feat at the time,” she recounts. With the founding of their equipment line, the company soon expanded its formal training program and set out to educate and create an elite set of Pilates instructors.
Today, with its own Corporate Training Centers and over 50 Licensed Training Centers, MH&F has trained almost 38,000 instructors from over 100 countries. The company’s Toronto-based manufacturing facility makes premium large-scale professional equipment including a variety of Reformer models, home-use equipment, and offers an array of smaller consumer items, including more than 145 fitness DVDs. To meet global demand – sales outside North American have grown nearly 60% since 2009 – MH&F has expanded the square footage of its manufacturing facility by 150% in the last five years.
Even with the wide appeal of Pilates, the pair knew that to sustainably continue their growth, they would have to take a leadership role within the health & fitness industry and broaden the understanding and perception of mindful movement. Building on the STOTT PILATES principles and incorporating the latest in exercise science, they created new programs with varying fitness intensities that still emphasized the mind-body connection. These premium programs include: Total Barre®, a fun barre workout that emphasizes correct biomechanics of movement, CORE™ Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training™, focused on functional fitness and kinesthetic awareness and ZEN•GA® , a synergistic blend of mind-body modalities that incorporates the newest findings in fascial fitness.
To celebrate 25 years of exceptional and sustained growth, MH&F has been going around the world to share the power of mindful movement. The Merrithew Mindful Movement World Tour visited 10 cities in nine different countries this year, training hundreds of fitness professionals. The journey wraps up back where it all began in Toronto, December 13 – 15, 2013.
“The World Tour gives us a unique opportunity to connect with our international partners and to gain better insight on the growing global demand for health & wellness products and services,” notes Lindsay. “It's extremely gratifying and humbling to be a part of such a dynamic group of health and fitness professionals. We continue to strive to find better ways to satisfy those needs and successfully continue to help those in our community achieve their business and fitness goals.”