Building a disruptive fitness brand legend with a highly-engaged community of Framers seeking fun and feel-good fitness classes.

Invested £6M in 2017. Exited in 2022

The UK’s £5bn fitness industry is healthier than ever. With as many as one in seven people being a member of a gym, there’s a dizzying wealth of choice today for those wishing to join a club in order to stay fit.

But back in 2008, the fitness experience was an entirely different proposition. Cardio consisted of pounding a treadmill or riding an exercise bike. Weights rooms were out of bounds for non-Olympians. Membership was purposely inflexible, tying gym-goers into 12-month minimum length contracts.

The model was out of shape and badly in need of an energy boost. Enter the boutique fitness brand Frame. Friends and former competitive athletes Pip Black and Joan Murphy had searched in vain for a gym or fitness studio in London that would give them the flexibility, variety and fun they wanted. Realising it didn’t exist, they decided to create one themselves.

The first Frame studio opened in Shoreditch in 2009.

Frame’s ethos is that keeping fit and healthy shouldn’t be a chore but fun, sociable and valued for the positive impact it has on our busy lives. Variety is also central to the Frame proposition, born from Pip and Joan’s belief that it helps keep customers’ fitness routines fresh, engaging and better for the body. As a result, Frame offers 30+ different class types across across fitness, dance, barre, yoga and Pilates.

All the classes are developed on workouts and sequences that the founders love themselves and which ensure its customers, or ‘Framers’ as they are known, can feel the fun.  Classes include everything from the unforgettable ‘Kylie Butt Lift’ and ‘Bend It Like Barbie’ to the more meditative ‘Detox Yoga’.

As well as ripping up the rulebook on types of exercise, Frame was also an early pioneer in changing the way the sessions are provided. Out went the old membership model, in came the ‘drop in’ and pay-as-you-go Frame Card system, meaning anyone can turn up at a time that suits whatever their job, lifestyle or plans for the day. With bookings taken on a user-friendly mobile system, the Frame experience is hassle free – leaving the only sweat to be shed in the studios.

Recognising that the fitness boom was here to stay and that Frame had created an innovative, industry leading boutique fitness model, we invested £6m into Frame in 2017 to help the brand expand further across London and nationwide. At this stage there were four Frame sites in London, 149 trainers across its studios and 26 in its headquarters.

The combination of fun, variety and flexibility inspires great loyalty among Framers and will continue to keep them – and the brand – in impressive shape.

We have developed a close partnership with Piper and are already seeing the benefits of working with their wider team, drawing on their skills and experience.

Pip Black, Co-founder

The Piper Podcast: Frame co-founders on bringing a ‘modern-day Cheers’ to the fitness industry – offline & online

[2 Apr 2020] - For years, exercise was seen as a necessary evil and a long-term financial commitment. But Pip Black and Joan Murphy, co-founders of Frame, have told…

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