Tracey Gardner, Creator and Founder of workout program the Tracey Gardner Method, began her career far from her current entrepreneurial endeavors. Gardner studied journalism at The Ohio State University before marrying her college sweetheart and becoming a stay-at-home mom. Influenced heavily by the impact of her divorce, Gardner sought to establish a safe space for those who needed it. The Tracey Gardner Method grew out of her own distaste for traditional workouts and now provides “a one-hundred percent safe space,” she said. “I created it like that, with unconditional love. It’s really like a family there. People have built friendships there.” In her studio, the heat turns up, the music turns up, and the lights turn down, creating an intense workout that challenges the body, mind, and spirit. In many ways it also provides an escape for its devotees. “It’s my place to connect one-to-one. When you’re in the dark and vulnerable, you can let your guard down. No one’s judging you.” Gardner found that she needed to take a step out-of-the-box in order to re-create herself and show others a world of opportunity. Through her students, she finds inspiration and therefore inspires others, creating symbiosis. “For me, it’s about taking a risk, stepping outside of the box. Once I figured out what I wanted and shared it with the world, I became a different person. I had so much inside I wanted to give, that’s what this is about. [Tracey Gardner Method] is that for me.”
What would you say about neighborhood?
It has diversity. A lot of people from all over the country and world live out here and it’s definitely more diverse than people think. I love that my boys are exposed to so many different cultures and people.
Favorite Places in Columbus:
Easton everything! I love that there is so much to do and it has great food & stores and it’s cool to have seen it develop into what it is over the years! I love Flip Side with my kids and Ocean Club and Smith and Wollensky for my “grown up spots.” So much of everything! And it keeps getting better!
Favorite event in Columbus: Fashion Week Columbus
If you could have been the inventor of something, what would it be?
I created my own brand and the fairy tale workout. I wanted to make [the workout] fun and something people craved and a safe space where there is love and brutal love intensity for class. It’s like my Wizard of Oz.
What inspires you?
Inspired by my fans and love for my passion TGM. The word of mouth inspires me and the love for what I created. So truly my family is my family off the mat and my TGM family.
Pastimes: The Henri Bendel makeup counter, [now out of business] Victory’s Pizza, outdoor concerts at the [now redeveloped] Polaris amphitheater.