Erin Schirack: Putting Chicago’s Trainers On The National Stage via Chi-Society

A little over a year ago, the rug was pulled out from under so many fitness instructors who had relied on the traditional gym or studio model. Depending on the state and its laws, many of those trainers and instructors were 1099 contractors and weren’t eligible for unemployment.

As studios closed and their customers tried to figure out which room was best to sweat in, many trainers were quickly thrust into entrepreneurship without much of a safety net.

That was sort of the case for Erin Schirack and her partner in creating the dance fitness brand MVFitness, Bobby O’Brien, except for one twist.

MVFitness launched pre-pandemic and was hosting pop-up classes at the Essex Hotel. After The Day The World Stood Still, which is how I’d like to stylize the start of the pandemic henceforth, the pair started to create a grueling schedule of free instagram LIVE classes.

You’ve heard this story before if you spent any time on Instagram in March of 2020.

After the calamity of constant livestreams, the pair turned to The DJ Firm to create higher quality workout content – it had recently converted its space into a production studio. In their first MVFitness recording session, Schirack pitched a new business idea.

She wanted to create a single platform where people anywhere could experience trainers based in Chicago.

“We really wanted to create this platform with a sense of bringing the Chicago fitness community together and elevating on the national platform of all of these other on-demand streaming services,” she told me.

And so, the founders of the DJ Firm – Eric Sampson and Sye Young – along with O’Brien and Schirack all formed a new company together: Chi-society. You’ll hear all about the why and where they want to see this company go in this week’s episode of #WeGotGoals.

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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.