Stores & Stories - Stretch It Out
We know you love to shop local, even now more than ever! What you probably don't know are the stories behind some of our favorite community businesses. Each week Beyond Main will take you behind the scenes and get to know the people who are the heart and soul of our favorite businesses. First up, owner of the latest fitness and health movement to bend and stretch it's way into the NYC metro area, Kamari Aykes-Debarbieri, from KIKA Stretch Studios.
Business Name: KIKA Stretch Studios - Summit & Short Hills Owner
Business Owner: Kamari Aykes-DeBarbieri
Year Established: KIKA Stretch, Inc was founded in 2011, Short Hills opened October 2018, and Summit opened July 2019
What is KIKA stretch exactly?
Through gentle assisted stretching, Kika Stretch Studios helps clients maintain youth and vitality with designed tension relief that aids in increased flexibility and overall ability. Incorporating a dancer’s approach to stretching and fitness with a signature one-of-a-kind Kika Method®, Kika has also developed the Kika Stretch Age ®, a unique tool used to measure a client’s age based on flexibility. Imagine lying on a mat and having someone gently stretch out your entire body. We help release the tension that’s been trapped inside of your body for years. Break free of the cast your body has formed and stretch free! We don't just focus on flexibility. We also specialize on releasing the built up tension that's been trapped inside of your body. No Tables, no bands, just hands. Let us measure and track your Kika Stretch Age. Life is Short. Stretch It Out!
Who is KIKA Stretch for?
The short answer is – everyone! Whether you are an athlete or simply want to improve relaxation and reduce muscle tension, Kika Stretch is for you!
What are you currently watching or reading?
The 48 Laws of Power and Why Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Tell us your story? What inspired you to start your business?
I've always been a go-getter & long-term planner. Involved in everything, happy, yet never slowing down enough to enjoy the experience. Marriage & motherhood flipped my rigidity on its head! A desire to be more flexible for them is what brought me into entrepreneurship.
What do you love most about what you do?
It is a pleasure to bring the health benefits of KIKA Stretch to the local community. It is a joy getting to know people and observe their progress. It is a privilege to provide job opportunities to our staff.
What are you most excited about for the future of your business?
I am excited for the growth to come! As our neighbors become more familiar with the service provided, I believe it will lead to happier communities. Fewer sports injuries for kids, more sleep for the highly-stressed banker, a place of relaxation for those always on-the-go. Our in-home options will soon fit seamlessly into a family's routine.
Anything new and exciting in the works you want to share with us?
KIKA Stretch Studios - Virtual Sessions - will be launching soon! Our studios are exploring the option of providing virtual wellness sessions to families. Details pending; register your interest here if your household would like further info.
Any specific charities or organizations you are involved with? Tell us about them. What inspired you to get involved?
The Junior League of Summit's work blew me away at my first meeting. I really wanted to figure out how I could engage with the Thrift Shop. The Urban League of Essex County serves to provide workforce training, scholarships, and professional development learnings for new graduates; previously served as a national board member. Growing up, there were lots of positive influences in my life. It's time to pay it forward.
Do you have a favorite quote?
"Never hurry and never worry!" - Charlotte's Web
Learn more about the KIKA method and shop with Kamari through Beyond Main.