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Meet Melissa Flynn of Ocotillo Pilates Studio in Ocotillo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Flynn.

Melissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It was a long road in discovering my passion for movement and fitness. I am the owner of Ocotillo Pilates Studio and the founder of The Southwest Institute of Pilates, but my original career path and major was Computer Information Systems. My passion for CIS was limited and I missed interacting with people. Therefore, I decided to make a drastic change and pursue something that I found interesting. I became certified as a Chiropractic Assistant through the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners and began working with acute injury patients. This career was more fulfilling, but I still wanted more.

In 2008 I was presented the opportunity to apprentice under an amazing Pilates instructor. This was my chance to pursue something I really loved, Pilates. I completed my training as a Pilates Instructor and never looked back.

Through hard work and dedication I was able to open my own Pilates studio in 2009. Ocotillo Pilates, is recognized as one of the most successful studio in the surrounding area, being voted “Best of” since 2011.

I’m grateful to have discovered my true passion in health and fitness.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Owning your own business is challenging but also very rewarding. I opened Ocotillo Pilates Studio in 2008, and since then, we have had more success than I could have ever imagined. In 2010, our studio became a Pilates teacher training facility and in 2013, we were ranked 2nd internationally for Pilates teacher training sites. Our studio is constantly growing and evolving.

Running your own business means dedicating your life to it. Since I opened my studio, not a day has gone by in which I have not put in the work. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything; one of the best rewards is being able to make a positive impact in the community by providing jobs and valued services. The feeling of creating and living your dream, while fulfilling your career vision, makes the never ending hours all worth it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ocotillo Pilates Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
Ocotillo Pilates specializes in Pilates for injuries and special conditions as well as sport specific training. We work with clients post knee replacement, back surgery, double mastectomy, stenosis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, as well as other special conditions. At the other end of the spectrum, we also worked with multiple players/coaches for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and Anaheim Angels of MLB, as well as the Arizona Cardinals, Ravens and Buccaneers of the NFL.

In addition to training clients we are also a teacher training facility offering comprehensive Pilates training as well as continuing advanced education for current Pilates and fitness professionals

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck plays a role in everything right. I prefer to put in the work and rely on myself to accomplish things. Then any extra luck is just bonus along the way. I believe in working hard and making positive connections. I am truly passionate about what we do at Ocotillo Pilates and that has taken me further than luck ever could.


  • Private Pilates Sessions range $30-$75 an hour
  • Pilates Instructor Training Programs as low as $600

Contact Info:


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