A Game of Thrones producer from the US has stretched from being a customer at a Belfast fitness company to investing in its at-home fitness equipment.
ReformRX has won a major investment boost from Bernadette Caulfield, who met Neal and Yvette McGaffin when she began training at their Reformer Pilates studio in south Belfast during filming of Game of Thrones.
It’s the first time the Hollywood producer, who also worked on TV series Big Love and The X-Files, has invested in a business in the global fitness market.
Reformer Pilates is performed on a machine known as a reformer and is regarded as a more demanding workout than traditional Pilates.
Now the couple have come up with what they say is the world’s first connected reformer Pilates machine, so that devotees of Reformer Pilates can enjoy the exercise at home.
The at-home fitness market has expanded dramatically during the pandemic, with many former gym bunnies investing in equipment to exercise from home while they’ve been unable to access their gyms during lockdown.
The ReformRX will initially launch into the UK and Ireland market this summer, with plans to expand into the US within its second year of business.
Mr and Mrs McGaffin are now involved in another round of fundraising to raise around £4m, which the company says will enable it to increase production and recruit.
Economic development agency Invest NI offered ReformRX technical development support, which helped in the development of the Pilates machine.
Mr McGaffin said: “The combined investment and support we have received from Bernadette, other angel investors and Invest NI has enabled us to reach a stage where we’re ready to launch the RX into the at-home consumer market.
“Our aim is to target the UK and Republic of Ireland markets via direct sales through our e-commerce website, as well as open a dedicated RX studio in London to offer a showroom like experience to further facilitate the sales process.”
Mrs McGaffin said: “Lockdowns may be easing but in a post-pandemic world, people are adopting a new hybrid-way of living and choosing to spend more of their working time at home, which means they’ll also want the ease of being able to work out at home without compromising on the level of support or expertise they’d experience when they’re in a studio.”