Lucy has Ethel. Batman has Robin. And now Barry’s has Oribe. History shows that the most successful partnerships bring out the best—and in this case, the most beautiful—in everyone. That certainly rings true for Oribe Hair Care’s newest partner, Barry’s Bootcamp, a fitness experience that provides an immersive, high-intensity hour of sweating and calorie burning.
To celebrate the alliance, which launches a select number of Oribe products in the showers and on the sinks of Barry’s worldwide, we went behind the scenes with Barry’s CEO, Joey Gonzalez. Joey, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, was surrounded by family that prioritized eating well, staying active and the practice of overall healthy living. Here, the fitness guru reveals how he stays motivated and discusses his slightly-more-than-minor obsession with Barry’s Bootcamp, which is still alive and well more than a decade after he got hooked at his first hour-long initiation.
What were you into as a child?
I enjoyed the performing arts and anything creative. It wasn't until adolescence that I began to introduce fitness into my life in the forms of weightlifting, aerobics and running.
What was the career path that led you to be CEO of Barry’s?
I studied at The University of Southern California and was an actor until the age of 25, performing on stage, in film and on TV. I fell in love with exercise through Barry's, and, as a result, began acquiring various certifications in fitness. After becoming an instructor, I took a GM position in Los Angeles, and eventually worked my way into a partnership with the founders. I began moving around the country opening new locations, investing every dollar I had in building the business and overseeing operations for more than a decade. In 2015, I was appointed CEO and returned to L.A. to build out our corporate headquarters.
Describe your role at Barry’s.
Father figure—This began long before I had kids. I've always felt a personal responsibility for my employees. I’m invested in their happiness and success.
How would you describe your life-long fitness journey?
I wasn't a natural-born athlete. I discovered my athleticism as a young adult at Barry's and was hooked from my very first class.
Working out consistently is not an easy task. How do you keep motivated, and how do you keep others motivated?
Nothing great in life is easy. I look at exercise as a responsibility that must be prioritized accordingly. I plan my workouts for the week and stick to my schedule. Motivating others isn't easy, but it helps when I take the time to listen to what is preventing them from succeeding.
You went from being an enthusiastic Barry’s client to CEO in 12 years, which is very impressive. How did you know Barry’s was the place for you?
I loved everything about it—including Barry himself—and I just felt at home. Many of the things that make Barry's special today were present back in 2002—the friendly staff, the party atmosphere, the results-driven attitude and the ability to keep things fun.
With all of the boutique fitness options out there, why do you think Barry’s is taking the country by storm?
It's the original, and it works so well . . . Not to mention all the perks that come with it (Oribe products)!
What is one particular challenge that sticks out in your memory?
I moved to New York City while I was in a relationship and survived five years of long distance. You have to prioritize one another and make time. When doing something like that, you better choose the right person because that's 50 percent of the success secret.
If someone who has never exercised comes to you and asks what is one thing they can start doing to see/feel a big difference, what would you tell them?
Begin with interval cardiovascular and circuit training.
Who is your dream fitness client?
Kelly Clarkson—She's notorious for hating exercise, and I love a challenge.
Describe your typical workout routine.
Barry's five times a week
What tips would you give to someone who is trying to break into the business side of fitness?
Given how crowded the landscape has become, you need to be sure to differentiate your product/offering. If you’re after growth, start with a model and make sure it's scalable.
What is the first thing you do every morning as soon as you wake up?
I run to whichever child is screaming first, which is almost always my son, Jake.
How does Los Angeles inspire you?
I've lived in L.A. since 1995, and since then I have witnessed so many innovative entrepreneurs. The restaurant, fashion and art industries are flourishing and the neighborhoods continue to become increasingly diverse.
Oribe Hair Care and Barry’s just became partners (you let us into your locker rooms, and for that we thank you!). Why is this a successful collaboration?
Both Barry's and Oribe appeal to discerning consumers and are seen as some of the most high-performing and luxurious brands within their respective industries.
What is your favorite Oribe product?
The Daily Ritual Cream Face Cleanser—It's a complete game changer and makes my face feel fresh and awake no matter how many hours of sleep I get.
What is the best advice you have received?
Every time there was something I was afraid to do, my mom pushed me to do it. She always said that I should never allow anything in life to pass me by if I would later regret it. It's the reason I am where I am today.
Butt and legs or arms and abs?
Arms and abs
If you weren’t the CEO of Barry’s, where do you think your career would have taken you?
I'm an entrepreneur at heart. In fact, I recently founded another innovative business called Au Fudge, which is a restaurant and full-service bar specifically designed for kids and kids at heart. I'm fairly certain I will continue to create and develop new business ideas until they wheel me away.
Most luxurious possession you can’t live without?
Please don't take away my Woodway treadmill.