New health, beauty and fitness centre opens in Needham Maket

Kara Foster and Ella Brooker in the fitness studio

Kara Foster and Ella Brooker in the fitness studio - Credit: Archant

Local businesswoman Kara Foster realised a dream when she opened her new health and fitness centre on what was a car parking space in Needham Market in January.

Opening the doors of Encore Wellness - which offers fitness classes and a variety of health and beauty treatments - hasn’t been straight-forward.

She has also planned and overseen the construction of the project, transforming the former car parking area into a fitness studio, four treatment rooms and other communal areas alongside the High Street.

“It was basically an empty shell,” she said, “An empty commercial unit.

“I could have just rented somewhere, but I wanted a project that was really mineso I rolled up my sleeves and painted and did other things.

“I chose the bricks myself too.

“Duncan (my husband), helped by giving me a few contacts in building. I wanted to do as much of it myself as I could. It is very much my own project.”

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Kara will be managing the centre, and also offering Crystal Clear skin treatments.

“It is the bigget thing I have ever done.

“There are bigger places you can go to, which are not as personal. This is somewhere you can have treatments, and do classes, in boutique style.

“We are somewhere in between somebody who has a personal trainer, and sports centre classes.”

Kara added: “I started my first business, when I was 20 in rooms at Ipswich Sports Club, in Henley Road.

“Though I had been to school in Surrey, my parents lived in Ipswich. I ran Altered Images at the sports club for ten years, beauty treatments and massage.

“And over the years I have worked for others. I have always been self-employed or freelance and worked around Suffolk.

Various fitness, yoga and pliates classes have already started, and they are not just for women, she insisted.

“We already have some male clients attending our classes, including street dance.”

A variety of therapists will be offering treatments at Encore Wellness and osteopath James Harvey will have his clinic based at the centre.

Classes include hot yoga with Alex Wibbs-Coulson, street jive with Amber West, and pilates with Ali Potter, who is also an osteopath, while Ella Brooker teaches intense workouts and bodyfit for mums.

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