QVC appearance takes couple to next level
by Kay Rohrer, Central Penn Business Journal
April 18, 2003

Imagine appearing on a television set with Larry King's wife and dealing with the same people Richard Simms does.

Chad and Jenny Pines of Pines Fitness Consulting, New Cumberland, found it intimidating, but now they're ready to do it again. An eight-minute live segment promoting their Shape & Tone Together workout systems on QVC Jan. 1 was their second appearance on the home shopping network. "Now that the initial sting of feeling they have something we don't is over, we're comfortable with it," Chad said. "We're interacting with them…and feeling like we belong." The challenge was getting onto QVC. Their first appearance was in 2001 with their exercise program on three CD's.

"My advice to others is don't accept 'no' the first time. We were turned down at first, but we were persistent, went down there and pitched our case, and they accepted us," Chad said.

For the second round, Marvin Segal, marketing executive and son of the founder of QVC, became their marketing agent. Their video, combined with a cassette and nutritional guide, was much more successful than the CDs had been.

The 30-minute video workout system is sold for $19.96. Orders go through QVC, which takes a negotiated percentage as its cut. Chad declined to discuss the percentage cut, but said he considered the cut a small price to pay. "QVC goes into 70 million homes nationwide," he said. "Where else could I get venue like that?"

But, you don't just try out and show up. "Last year (2001), we were uncomfortable. It was quick, we were disorganized and felt like we didn't know what we were doing," Chad said.

This time Segal prepped them ahead of time. They went to West Chester studio three times to plan what they would do during their segment. With their video playing in the background, they demonstrated a typical workout using household items like soup cans and detergent jugs for weights. They used an ottoman for a workout bench.

Both are college-educated. Chad works full time as a certified nutritional consultant and personal trainer. He helps between 75 and 100 clients a week exercise in their homes. He also is a trainer for Cedar Cliff High School wrestling and baseball teams. He charges $50 for a regular one-hour workout session and $100 for an hour-plus first time analysis and nutritional exercise program design. Jenny is a full time surgical-equipment sales person. She also oversees the details of the couple's business.

Chad said they are riding the crest of popularity of in-home training, but they aren't finished yet. Their Jan. 1 debut of the video was successful in terms of sales. "We sold several hundred as a result of our QVC appearance and have had a steady streamline of sales since."

The Pines are thinking about moving away from soup cans to fitness equipment for weight training. All they would reveal was that they were "revamping the dumbbell idea."

"Before we were marketing ourselves," Jenny said. "We need a creative product. The video did well. Now, we may combine that with equipment."

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