Community Interview: Allison and Pablo, The Canggu Studio
September 20, 2017 | Comment
Not so far ago we met with Allison and Pablo from The Canggu Studio, a beautiful place set up on the way to Nelayan Beach and offering a variety of classes you will not find somewhere else in Canggu. We strongly believe there is always an interesting story behind everything we see. Passing this place pretty often we were curious about so many things and finally had a possibility to dig a little bit deeper. Here is a story of Allison and Pablo, about love, work and unpredictable moments which can change your life.
Can you tell us about what first brought you to Bali?
Allison: Funny story really - I was supposed to fly home to London from Australia and there was a layover in Bali for a few days. I knew some friends here and decided to meet up with them before flying home. Little did I know, I would fall in love with my first husband thanks to a case of serendipity and here I am now all these years later? We were married for 10 years and are no longer together but we have a beautiful child because of it.
Pablo: (Laughing) Luckily it was the wrong man – she found the right one in the end.
Allison: Clearly humility is not his strong point!
Okay, Pablo, it’s your time – How did you find yourself in Bali?
Pablo: So, I arrived in Bali in 1997 due to working in sales selling jewelry from Italy and from there my life shifted and I decided to build a life for myself in Canggu. Where we're sitting now used to be my office and there used to be another building here before The Canggu Studio started – It was actually my shoe and handbag factory for a long time.
Interesting! So I have to ask - how exactly did the two of you end up falling in love?
Allison: I used to do women’s fashion and have a shop in Kerobokan. He came in to try and sell me shoes (and also work his charm), which I completely ignored at first. Over time we became friends, one thing led to another and on new years fireworks erupted for us and we’ve been together ever since.
Ah! That’s so romantic! Now, can you tell us a little about how the two of you started up The Canggu Studio?
Allison: Well this piece of land is owned by a very nice Balinese man who’s our landlord and Pablo’s original office was kind of connected to the landlord's house and the landlord decided he wanted his own space so he said he’d build Pablo a new office facing onto the street. So, that was the plan and because I had my office in my own house I thought it was a good idea to have an office as well in Pablo’s new space and because I love to dance, we decided to make a dance space for me. From there, ideas started flowing about teaching classes and one day we were driving along talking about everything going on and jokingly I said to Pablo if something goes wrong with your business we could always make a 2 floor fitness center.
Pablo: …she definitely called that one and look where we are now!
So how did you two get into personal fitness? Has it always been something you’ve been interested in?
Pablo: I have grown up my entire life participating in martial arts and personal fitness. I was a South American martial arts champion as well as my father and brothers so everyone was very passionate about personal fitness. I guess it was just a natural progression that grew and turned into what it is now!
Allison: I was never big into sports growing up but I had always loved to dance. About 14 years ago I fell in love with belly dancing and been doing it ever since. I then fell in love with Indian dance 6 years ago, studied in India and been teaching it ever since.
How long has The Canggu Studio been around for?
Allison: One year and two months so it’s pretty new!
Wow! That’s really new! How did you come up with the concept of The Canggu Studio?
Allison: Our initial idea was to offer a place where you can find lots of different activities under one roof because nowhere else does that. Typically if you do yoga you have to go to one studio to get your pass there and if you then want to do a kickboxing class you have to then go across town to another studio to buy another pass. We took out that issue and house everything under one roof to make it easy and effective for our guests to make the most of their time. At our studio, we have everything from Barre Classes to Muay Thai, Kickboxing, various Dance classes, Yoga, Pilates and Boxing to name a few! Our main goal is that everyone feels welcome here; that we have a small and intimate community. I know sometimes people may feel uncomfortable coming to the new place like they don't belong or they are not good enough to be there. We want to make sure that everyone who comes to The Canggu Studio feels comfortable whether they’re out of shape, in shape, old, young, an amazing dancer or two left feet. That to us is the most important. We even had two girls who were here for some months training and even dropped by to give us a hug and say goodbye. To us, that’s a good sign that we're headed in the right direction. It’s not just a studio, it’s a community.
Totally get that vibe when you walk in here! So, next question - When you’re not working, what do you like to do outside of the studio?
Allison and Pablo: (Laughing) One word: Rest - Although that hardly happens. If we're not in the studio were both working on other personal businesses. Allison runs retreats and creates garments and I sell handicrafts to Argentina. Basically, we're always on the go!
So how do you recharge your batteries?
Allison: Our batteries are always needing to be recharged but we somehow make it work!
Okay, so if you could escape on a little vacation, where would be your ideal place inside or outside of Bali or Indonesia?
Pablo: Our escape is only to visit our families either in the UK or Argentina since we're both so busy all the time. Besides that Allison goes to India to work at a dance school in Pushkar.
Allison: We're always saying we need to go on vacation and recharge, to be honest. One of our favorite spots is definitely the Bukit and we’ve also gone to Amed for a diving course and Ubud for a quick little getaway when a time is on our side.
Fair enough! Well with all the time I’ve taken out of your schedule this interview is now complete! Thanks so much for your time!