Smart50 Awards 2021: KX Pilates

KX Pilates

REVENUE: $28.4 million
GROWTH: 23.9%
FOUNDER: Aaron Smith (38)
HEAD OFFICE: Melbourne
INDUSTRY: Health and Fitness

How it started

Fully-qualified personal trainer Aaron Smith was in the UK working in a fitness studio when he discovered a new kind of high-intensity pilates he had never seen before.

After returning to Australia and working to pay off a $20,000 debt to his father, he quickly realised how long it would take in casual bar jobs. Instead he pitched a business idea to him, and his father ended up as a guarantor for a $120,000 business loan to launch Smith’s first KX Pilates studio.


While the first 24 months were difficult, Smith managed to open a second studio in 2011, and the business now franchises out its stores.

Across both owned and franchised stores, KX Pilates has 81 locations across Australia, with 10 locations in China and one studio in Jakarta, Indonesia.

During lockdowns, it added home workout offerings, and mat and reformer subscription services.

Where to next? 

Smith has firm plans to open 14 more Australian studios in the current financial year, and is targeting 25 studios for Jakarta across the next five years.

KX Pilates is also in talks to acquire a pilates education company, while also launching its own apparel range, and finalising its New Zealand plans as part of its goal to be in five different countries by the end of 2024.