Xplorer Libby Bradley Burton on film production, Pilates, pole vaulting, and following your passions
Libby Bradley Burton finds joy out of combining creativity and movement. In fact, it’s defined just about every stage of her impressive career. From working in the film and entertainment industry to owning her own boutique fitness studio, to most recently joining Xplor as an Account Executive, Libby has found that staying true to your passions and giving everything your best shot—even if everything doesn’t go as planned—has always been her North Star.
Libby’s been planting the seed for a diverse career in fitness from the get-go. As a competitive gymnast in her youth, she often missed out on “normal” activities due to her dedicated training and conditioning. But she brought her high-achieving mindset into other sports and academics, leading her to cheerleading, track and field, and finally pole-vaulting at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
After graduating, she moved to New York City to work in the film and entertainment industry, living the artist life and working in all areas of production, from casting to set design. When her work took her out to Los Angeles (LA) she found that yoga and Pilates helped her with the strain of her day-to-day hustle. “To combat the pressures of Hollywood I found a sense of home in fitness,” she said. That feeling of “home” inspired her next career move: teaching group fitness.
After five years of pursuing the arts, Libby left LA to reset and find her next adventure. “Back in North Carolina, I realized there weren’t the same offerings for wellness, so I jumped into becoming a yoga teacher and Pilates instructor.” While studying and teaching, she simultaneously wrote a business plan for a new studio, and two years later opened her own high-intensity Pilates studio.
In her fourth year of running the studio, she was approached by a large gym corporation seeking to overhaul their entire group fitness program in the Southeast, and offered a role as their Director of Programming. “I realized my passion for creativity had blurred over into developing fitness experiences. I jumped at the opportunity to develop these programs alongside teacher training,” she said. “My experience with video and content creation moved into swing, and suddenly my film background and fitness propelled me to creating teacher training portals that would go on to reach 2,500 fitness instructors.” There, she created signature classes and teacher training programs, and overhauled the entire group fitness vision for 35 locations.
Most people might stop and enjoy their successes at this point—but not Libby. After working with this corporation, she realized she was coming to another shift in her career. “My studio was a wonderful lifestyle business, and I enjoyed the challenge of being a Director of Programming, but I wanted more,” she said. “After a lot of soul searching, I realized the part of owning a business that I enjoyed was sales and technology.” That’s when she started her path in SaaS sales.
However, she was met with a challenge: COVID-19. “I started pursuing this in January 2020, not knowing that we were heading for a huge change for the fitness industry with the pandemic,” she said. “Just like many other small fitness businesses, we were forced to pivot to online and outdoor classes, and figure out ways to keep doing what we loved amid all the uncertainty.” But it comes as no surprise that Libby found a way to continue providing joyful and creative fitness experiences to people despite the circumstances. She and her husband opened a second business called fitRDU, offering pop-up group fitness in parks. They also launched an online streaming offer to accompany it, called fitHOME. These fun projects tapped into her passion for keeping people moving and connected to a fitness and wellbeing community.
Finally, in 2021, Libby decided to refocus priorities and she sold her studio to focus full time on her career in SaaS sales. “I was delighted when I joined Xplor because it brought together my passion for fitness, fit-tech, and SaaS sales.”
Libby chose Xplor for a few reasons. She loves Xplor’s Studio Plus product, Mariana Tek. She wanted to harness her passion and experience for fitness. She hoped to continue chasing her drive for SaaS sales. And also wanted to be a part of a company that inspires growth. “I want to always keep learning, driving forward to be better, and learn new skills. Xplor seemed like the right environment that celebrates growth and its people.”
When it comes to her day-to-day work, Libby understands the challenges that small business owners face—burnout, constant hours, staying innovative. So, she knows how adding smart tech to small businesses can enhance a team’s efficiency and experience. “Automation and using technology to work smarter is really the difference between an okay business and a great business.”
Today, Libby is excited to bring her passion for fitness and drive for sales to Xplor—in fact, she just closed a deal after just seven days! Beyond her intense drive at work, Libby is wracking up certifications in all areas of fitness, like yoga teacher training, balanced body Pilates, ballet barre, and dance cardio, to name a few. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three-year-old, discovering new restaurants, working on their house, and going to shows and musicals.
While people sometimes see success involving a conventional or straight-forward trajectory, Libby instead feels that listening to your passions, having fun, and doing everything to the best of your ability will lead to success. “You don't need to have a clear path figured out to be successful,” she says. “Take each adventure step by step.” Coming from someone who’s found immense joy and value out of adapting to each of her own experiences, we won’t take this piece of advice for granted