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Anne Mahlum Emphasizes her Role in Driving her Own Success

Anne Mahlum, a 43-year-old entrepreneur known for her distinctive appearance, including spiky blonde hair, tattoos, and six-pack abs, founded the boutique fitness chain Solidcore in 2013. In April, she successfully sold the fitness brand to a private equity firm, cashing out her equity for a total of $88.4 million, attributing her success to her refusal to conform. Mahlum emphasizes her approach of finding uniqueness and amplifying it, believing that standing out from the crowd has been a key factor in her achievements.

Growing up in a challenging household, Mahlum faced her parents’ divorce at the age of 16, driven by her father’s gambling-related financial losses. This experience fueled her determination to take control of her life, and she turned to running as a means of coping. Her drive, she acknowledges, was often fueled by fear. Despite facing legal and professional challenges, including lawsuits from former business partners and accusations of creating a toxic workplace, Mahlum remained focused on her vision.

Solidcore, with its intense Pilates workouts and unique approach to marketing, expanded to over 100 locations across the U.S. Mahlum’s tough leadership style faced criticism, but she maintained her drive while learning to balance it with boundaries and empathy. In response to workplace allegations, Mahlum initiated an independent investigation into Solidcore’s culture. She transitioned out of the CEO role in April 2021 but continued as executive chairwoman until her recent exit.

Mahlum’s entrepreneurial journey continues with her latest venture, Ambition, a New York-based fitness studio chain. Despite occasional inquiries about her surprise at success, Mahlum confidently asserts that she had a clear vision from the beginning and never wavered from her goal. She views such inquiries as somewhat sexist and emphasizes her role in driving her own success.

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