In the early days of the pandemic, personal trainer Taylor Welch transformed her garage into a makeshift gym. It wasn’t much, just a couple of mats and some light-to-medium weight dumbbells. She set up her phone on a tripod to film videos for her clients. But that wasn’t very sophisticated either, she says. Welch would just post the dry, raw video recording, without any editing.
Her new boutique gym, Eve By Taylor, which opened in February, is a far cry from that garage setup. There are still mats, dumbbells, and benches, natch, but the Design District space feels a bit like a spa. When you walk in, the lights are dimmed, calming music is playing over the speakers, and lit candles mask any of those typical gym scents—ahem, sweat—throughout the large main studio. There’s a luxe seating area, too, with a plush rug, sleek concrete table, Tom Ford coffee table book, and black velvet couch. In the bathroom, there are markers for guests to scrawl affirmations and goals across the walls.
Welch, who used to moonlight as a life coach, says she wanted to create a spa-like atmosphere because she noticed most Dallas gyms were loud and high-energy. Her workout classes are “tailored to make [the] body feel good,” so she wanted to craft a calming, supportive space unlike anything else in the city.
Another twist at her gym? It’s women-only.
Welch says the idea came when she first began personal training back in 2015. She was working as a health coach at California Medical Weight Loss Center in Lubbock. Her bosses asked her to start coaching women-only fitness bootcamps. During those camps, Welch noticed how comfortable her clients were. When it’s just women together, it “feels like walls and barriers are easier to break down,” she says. She knew that whenever she opened her own studio, she wanted to recreate that feeling.
It’s “always women supporting women” in her studio, she says.
But it took years to get there. Welch spent three years working at chain gyms like Anytime Fitness and Equinox in Lubbock and in Dallas. In 2019, she left her job and began personal training, as well as nutrition and life coaching. Then the pandemic hit. Welch pivoted and began FaceTime training out of her garage. Last year, she started posting on Playbook, a subscription-based training app where coaches and trainers can share workouts and videos.
Finally, last September, she began looking for a Dallas spot to open her own small studio. It was a “long four weeks,” but after a month, Welch found the Eve By Taylor space at 136 Glass St. She and her now-husband, Chris, spent the next few months building out the space, from the equipment to the flooring, while planning their wedding. They married in January 2022. The boutique gym officially opened February 16.
Right now, Welch says she is the gym’s only employee. She offers mostly morning classes at 7 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Monday–Thursday and 10 a.m. Saturday, plus a weekday noon workout. A single in-person workout costs $30 at Eve By Taylor, but Welch also offers virtual classes for $20 an hour. There are in-person class packs, ranging from $135 for five workouts to $349 for unlimited monthly sessions.
Sessions are small; there are only 14 benches. Welch says she’s planning to add more benches, but it will never be a large gym. Her classes, she says, are planned to be more of a personal experience.
The in-person workout is about 50–55 minutes and focuses on slow and controlled movements that “don’t tear muscles down.” It begins with a yoga-flow stretch, then transitions into circuit-training cardio. They work on toning for about 10 minutes, too. The class ends with a two-minute meditation, Welch says, so you can “calm your mind before you walk out the door.” Sometimes, she’ll also lead the women through positive affirmations.
Welch designates about 15 minutes after each class to check in with her clients. Call them by name, see how they’re doing, and, simply, to ask, “how do you feel?”
The goal, she says, of the spa setup, the class structure, and the intimate group size is to help women reset the mind and body, to find a sense of calm and renewed energy, before they leave the gym and venture back out into the real world.
Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…