Hers is a counter-cultural millennial success story, whom those who subscribe to instant gratification would love to hate. Meet Omega Aqua Terra timepiece’s personality, Eugena Bey – dancer, diver and founder of Pilates studio, BE. Pilates – who prefers to put her nose to the grind than ham it up on Instagram for fast hearts and fickle followers.
Don’t write Eugena Bey off as just another influencer who leads a charmed, easy life, because she’s not an influencer, 60K-plus followers, good looks and lean, mean, enviable physique notwithstanding. Nor is she an overnight success. She works hard and makes sacrifices for her achievements and she’s proud of it.
The founder of BE. Pilates is also a qualified instructor, trained in anatomy, Biomechanics and Postural Analysis. She is qualified to teach Pilates using the Mat, Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, and Barrel, and can also instruct on Pre- and Post-Natal Pilates, as well as Pilates for the Elderly and Pre- and Post-Rehabilitative Pilates. The all-round tough cookie, with an impressive background in contemporary dance (dance being what started it all for her), is also a dive enthusiast.
Says the 27-year-old fit-preneur, “When people meet me for the first time, the first thing that comes to their mind is ‘oh, she’s just the influencer’. It’s a common misconception that I have it all together and have it easy in life. But if you take those titles all away…
I’m just a girl with big dreams, and simply thankful that hard work and dedication do pay off.
Body Movement Bliss
From a young age, Eugena has danced to her own beat. She has been fascinated by all forms of performance arts that focus on the technicalities of body movement. With this innate predilection, she naturally leaned in to pursuits that are a study and display of body movements, and developed a passion for dance and Pilates.
“My training in dance gave me the opportunity to be really aware of my own body, and my curiosity towards movement peaked when I was introduced to Pilates at 17 (she is 27),” she says.
That was just the beginning. As life would have it, her talent and interest found the perfect nurturing environment in the hands of some of the best in the industry. She honed her skills under the tutelage of uber master trainers in Pilates.
She says gratefully, “I’ve been very lucky to have been under the tutelage and mentorship of some of the best master trainers, who helped me to progress even further in not just my career, but my knowledge about the human body. It is intricate, intriguing and very interesting…
Finding freedom in movement; just like how we breathe, it is a necessity.
Eugena doesn’t just talk the talk, she dances it and works it out, literally, with her students in class, on and off the Reformer. A typical day sees her “spending most of my days in the studio teaching, and on my days off, I love to spend it reading or getting a tan by the pool.”
Sounds simple enough, but the intensity of teaching an exacting fitness practice such as Pilates can be exhausting and all-consuming. Eugena, a disciplined task mistress when it comes to taking care of her own fitness and body shares that, “These days, I get up at 6am to run before work instead, and add in some weight training sessions here and there. Not going to lie, it’s a struggle! Especially at the beginning, but I know that once I get into the rhythm, it would get better. On top of that, mornings are the only time in the day I get to have time for myself. And it’s so important for me to get in a little me-time. I actually really enjoy working out in the morning, as it helps get my mind and body ready for the work day.”
When Seconds Matter
Eugena is Omega’s personality in the limelight this month, because in her line of work, and at the non-stop pace her life goes – what with giving time and attention to her Pilates students, running the fledgling business and carving out hours for self-care, fun and family – how she manages time matters a lot.
She is in fact the epitome of the Omega Aqua Terra timepiece that she wears in this feature – hardy, made for adventure, versatile enough for all occasions and outfitted with a new feature to measure seconds.
Time is a valuable commodity for the new but fearless business owner; it is the quintessential element that makes everything possible for her. When, like Eugena, your work is about giving yourself, your know-how, your time and talents, days, hours, minutes, seconds truly matter.
“I would say that the time I have for fun is rather limited these days, but I don’t feel bad about it because whenever I think back about say, a year ago, I never would have imagined being where I am right now, running my own business, and having amazing clients to teach. It brings me a lot of joy and it’s definitely worth it!”
That said, Eugena still finds time doing other things she’s passionate about, such as diving (pre-pandemic), wake-surfing and spending time with loved ones.
She says, “I love the ocean and being out at sea. Pre-pandemic, I used to travel out of Singapore for a dive trip with my friends at least once a year. There’s something so therapeutic about being underwater. I picked up wake-surfing sometime after the circuit breaker. While work has been keeping me away from it, I would love to spend more time out on the water in the near future and hopefully get better at this sport. I love spending time with my loved ones, all the more because of my hectic schedule. I always look forward to having a relaxing dinner or weekend with the people I love.”
When people meet Eugena, they are wont to remark at how lean and fit-looking she is. But only she knows the extent of the sacrifices she has had to make – the hard work, discipline and time she invests in order to stay on top of the game: to be a top-notch Pilates instructor at the peak of fitness, and to always perform at her personal best.
“I’m quite the creature of habit. I used to go to the gym every other day and run in the evenings. But since opening up BE. Pilates, my routine had to change as well. Of course, there are days when I’m too tired, but I learned not to beat myself up over it,” she shares.
The most important thing is, you have to enjoy what you’re doing, and to listen to your body and be kind to it.
Business-wise, even though the last 2 years have been challenging for entrepreneurs like Eugena, whose professional service could have been sorely affected due to social distancing restrictions, Eugena managed to adapt, stay strong and keep BE. Pilates thriving.
“It’s definitely still not easy, but I’m extremely thankful for all my clients who stuck by me through the different phases our country and economy went through and continued to support BE. Pilates. The good thing is that because it’s such a small business, things are more manageable. In the beginning, the studio only saw perhaps 5 to 6 people a week. This number grew steadily over the months, and I have adjusted to my schedule accordingly as well,” she shares modestly.
While Eugena admits that going it alone can be overwhelming, she wouldn’t have it any other way. When she’s tired and needs a pick me up, she takes a power nap. “The best way to regain energy in the middle of the day? Grab a 15-minute nap! Then I’m ready to go again.“
Even though ownership has its fulfilments and satisfactions, Eugena remembers thinking to herself, “Why did I even choose to start a business? It could have been so much easier if I were to still be working for someone else. Or perhaps I could have just done something else. No worries, no stress, and also no ownership. This last point was the main reason why I chose to leave a comfortable working environment in the first place. I wanted to be proud of the things I worked hard for, and have achieved. To deal with failures, and everything that comes along with it. I’m really thankful that my husband has been so incredibly supportive as well. He reminds me constantly that there’s no shame in feeling the emotions I feel. Once I acknowledge them, I’m able to pick myself up again.”
Throughout COVID-19, Eugena stayed strong and nimble; flexible, bending to change with the times, but never breaking. As Singapore moves into early endemic times, what are her plans for the future, what are her goals and how does she intend to achieve them?
She says simply, “For myself, I do hope to be able to continue learning and exploring more, and to get more certifications under my belt (she already holds a slew of diplomas and certificates in the fields of contemporary dance, smart movement, jungle sports, core barre, and of course, Pilates). As for BE., I hope to be able to expand the studio and to be able share the joy of Pilates with many more people.”
In a world that changes quickly, in situations when and where every second matters, the adventurous, versatile and hardworking natural beauty still opts to not play it safe, saying,
You take a chance with life. Because life is too short for you to be wondering, ‘what if?’
This feature is produced in collaboration with Omega. Artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.