The history of the Curves brand, and how it was launched is an inspiring story of motivation and success.
Founders Gary and Diane Heavin, committed veterans of the fitness and advertising industries, are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to more than 4 million women worldwide. They share a passion for and commitment to women’s health and fitness. The Heavins opened the first Curves in 1992 in Harlingen, Texas. Their innovative, 30-minute fitness concept combined strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. The club was an overnight success, as it gave women a supportive and comfortable atmosphere in which to work out. In fact, the company’s unofficial motto became “no makeup, no men, and no mirrors”.
When their second club was also immediately successful, they knew that they had tapped a market that wasn’t being served by traditional gyms and that they could help millions of women worldwide. However, they knew they couldn’t do it alone. They needed to find passionate people who were interested in helping the women in their communities and teach them how to run a Curves. They began making plans to franchise the business and the first independently owned and operated Curves opened in Paris, Texas, in 1995.
Curves caught on like wildfire and opened clubs at an astronomical rate, sometimes more than doubling its number of locations from year to year. This was all done by word of mouth until Curves launched its award-winning national advertising campaign in 2003. What took McDonalds 25 years and Subway 26 years to do – open 7,000 locations – Curves did in under a decade.
Accolade after accolade ensued. Fastest growing franchise in history. World’s largest fitness franchise. New York Times bestseller. (Curves, Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting.) No. 1 Fitness Franchise. With such unprecedented success, it made sense to branch out globally, and so the Heavins took their vision for an effective and affordable workout international. Today, Curves has nearly 10,000 clubs in more than 85 countries including Nigeria, serving more than 4 million members.