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Browser History 2020: GOOD MOVE

In 2020, digital connection has become more important than ever before. At Squarespace, we’ve seen creatives and entrepreneurs push through uncertainty to boldly pursue their goals and achieve success. In this spirit, we’re celebrating the best of the worst year with Browser History 2020, a series dedicated to individuals who embody the creative, resilient, and ambitious spirit we are proud to support on our platform. 

For Jules Bakshi, founder of the Brooklyn-based dance and mindful fitness studio, GOOD MOVE, this year has been a time of unexpected personal and business growth and virtual community-building. From pivoting in response to the pandemic, to accelerating offerings to meet community needs, GOOD MOVE’s mission to create an inclusive environment for every body has only been amplified by an unpredictable year.

While Bakshi’s idea for a mindful fitness studio was born in the summer of 2017 — the culmination of her work as a modern dancer, choreographer, health coach, and fitness trainer — her passion for movement can be traced back to her early childhood, and milestones like teaching other children dance at the young age of thirteen. For Bakshi, her personal passion and her entrepreneurial drive have always been intertwined: “Whether I was teaching four people in a random loft in Williamsburg seven years ago with no mirrors, or in the studio that I built from scratch, or now in McCarren Park, or on the internet, it’s all equally real, and equally special to me.”

GOOD MOVE officially launched in 2019 out of a studio space in Williamsburg, and was just seven months old in February before the pandemic led to statewide shutdowns. “Classes were selling out, people were writing rave reviews online, bringing their friends, the community was really taking off,” Bakshi recalls. Like so many other small businesses, GOOD MOVE’s trajectory shifted dramatically due to COVID-19. After recovering from the virus herself — and throughout her illness — Bakshi went into overdrive finding new ways to connect with a suddenly virtual client base. 

While she quickly partnered with a GOOD MOVE member to launch online courses in just a few days, Bakshi notes that “it was always in the cards for GOOD MOVE to have an online video platform, but like, at least two years down the line!” Of the fast and furious experience, she says simply, “It was extraordinary. I didn’t sleep.” The effort paid off in spades, as the GOOD MOVE community “saw how hard we worked to be there for them, and they were patient while we continued to improve the online offerings.”

When GOOD MOVE staff began to feel comfortable filming online classes solo in the studio, Bakshi started thinking bigger, and the idea for a retreat was born. Carried out taking COVID-19 safety precautions into account, GOOD MOVE has held two retreats in 2020 in upstate New York, which, for Bakshi, “have been the highlight of my year, definitely.” 

The studio also expanded into hosting outdoor classes in the late summer — but not before carefully polling clients to understand what they actually wanted and needed at that time. Across every pivot and expansion of services, Bakshi always remembers that “the business is built to serve the needs of the collective.” In this way, the decision-making framework for GOOD MOVE has been and remains simple, even in complicated circumstances: “what does the group want, what does the group need?” For Bakshi, having an agile online presence — including an easily editable site and 24/7 support through Squarespace — has been critical to continually delivering against client needs.

Alongside the growth and shifts in her business, 2020 has also been a year of personal transformation. Pandemic aside, Bakshi says she “can’t stress enough how taxing it is, emotionally, physically, mentally to start something from scratch, alone, even more so as a woman.” Navigating the first year of her business in a globally turbulent time — marked by unexpected business hurdles like the loss of her studio lease, and personal hurdles brought on by quarantine — has only increased Bakshi’s drive to better herself so she can continue to show up for others. This mindset is directly connected to how she approaches client interactions: “I can’t understand every person’s experience, so the best I can do to create an inclusive environment for the greatest number of people is to become a better listener, and open myself up to dialogue with the folks who believe in us.” As a result, Bakshi constantly integrates client feedback into her business, ensuring that GOOD MOVE remains committed to serving the needs of the collective to the best of its ability — during and beyond the pandemic.

Reflecting on the ups and downs of 2020, Bakshi notes that, while in-person, indoor classes are still suspended nine months later, she’s proud of the simple fact that GOOD MOVE remains standing, as a business and a community. In the new year, the now virtual studio will be hosting teacher trainings, outdoor retreats, and offering “more health tips, nutrition talks, and stress relief like sound baths and meditations” to its growing community.

Of GOOD MOVE’s evolution throughout 2020, Bakshi says, “I loved her before, but DAMN I respect and admire her resilience now.”


Read more about GOOD MOVE and explore the Browser History 2020 exhibit.

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