show circus studio

The Opportunity

Christopher Oakley and Henry Wheaton returned home to Easthampton, Massachusetts after becoming certified circus professionals at the New England Center for Circus Arts. Easthampton was the perfect place to open their own circus studio.

Today students can choose from 36 classes to learn circus skills ranging from trapeze to clowning. But business wasn’t always smooth flying for Chris and Henry. They faced challenges as new business owners, one of which was their management software. 

Chris knew that to properly manage SHOW, they needed to launch their business with management software in place. With no other options on the market, they went with Mindbody Online. Henry admits that the complexity of that original system was overwhelming.

Despite software difficulties, SHOW grew quickly. They recruited local instructors and old colleagues to create a staff of 12 with a wide range of circus expertise. They also expanded their physical space from an 800 square-foot room to over 3,500 square feet including an open floor training area and a waiting room. In addition to classes, they began offering services for camps, birthday parties, corporate events, workshops and even local circus shows.

Business was booming, but SHOW’s rapid growth made the bottleneck caused by Mindbody unbearable.


The Solution

One of the biggest pain points with their previous software was the handling of dependents and families. “Customers were confused as to whether they were signing themselves or their child up,” recalls Henry, “It was hard to differentiate when you’re managing or not—the software couldn’t associate relationships.” This is an aspect of Pike13 where the software shines for them—making their lives and their clients’ lives simple when managing dependents

The Results

SHOW Circus found Pike13 software intuitive, easy for clients and admin, and they enjoy the ability to customize their app and website to match their branding. With the Pike13 Client Kiosk app, SHOW Circus gave their client check-in process a makeover. Not only is it a timesaver but the clients love it too.

“Many customers complimented on how much easier it is,” says Henry. Parents especially enjoy “paying up front and not having to worry about payment when they drop off their kids.” Having a simple way to communicate with clients–things like ‘don’t forget to bring your shoes to class tomorrow’– makes things easier and having the record is mind-boggling good.”

"We love being able to email an entire class roster with Pike13’s notes feature,” Chris said. “Making it easy for an instructor to send public notes to a client gives [them] a good record. It’s an absolute godsend. Purchase requests is a feature that has proven it's value time and again,” say Chris, “For private lessons we require pre-payment. But people wouldn’t pay and we’d be waiting and waiting. Before Pike13 we didn’t have a way to get payment so it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that really helped.”

SHOW Circus Studio has continued to thrive. And with Pike13, Chris and Henry have found peace of mind. They no longer have to worry about their software. They have the time they want to focus on teaching their passion and growing their business.