Driven by the power of human connection through classes within the wellness world and the shared evolution of individuals moving together, Jamie Lanza and Jen Azzarelli embarked on a remarkable journey that led to the creation of Camp – a groundbreaking fitness and yoga campus.
Since leaving behind a career in experiential advertising in New York City, Jamie has leveraged her passion for wellness into a community-centered concept that invites health enthusiasts to participate in over 200 adventure-filled weekly classes. Both Jamie and Jen created and cultivated a new fitness studio experience that opened its doors in Florida in 2016. Now, Camp is finally pitching its tent in Santa Monica and bringing four fitness programs powered by sustainability and community.
"We're so excited to bring the best of all worlds to our campgrounds with even more class diversity, building on what locals have come to know and love since opening in Santa Monica two years ago," said Jamie.
"We are building an inclusive, wellness-centered community where campers from all walks of life can find their strength and embrace uniqueness together – right from that first class on a Monday morning to enjoying food truck fare at our campgrounds on a Friday night."
We recently caught up with Jamie to learn more about the one-of-a-kind campground and its offerings, along with the current state of the health and wellness industry in L.A. Read on below, and learn more about Camp Los Angeles here.
What was the inspiration behind Camp and how it came to be?
Movement and connection to a community are innately who Jen, my co-founding partner, and I are. We both thrive off of the class-based wellness world and bring together people from all walks of life. During our years in different careers, we spent our free time in studios, taking classes with other humans, moving together, and evolving together. When the opportunity arose to make it a career, we didn't look back. This was our opportunity to apply our learnings to creating something unique and bringing it to a new market.
Los Angeles is known for our healthy lifestyle and many fitness opportunities. What sets Camp Los Angeles apart from other centers in the area?
Our mission as a company is to help create happie, healthier adults – giving them a fun space where they can reconnect with their inner child and communities. We are a human business providing human experiences. In a world where sometimes we can feel separate from one another, Camp breaks down barriers and brings people who share the common goal of being happier and healthier together. We carry social wellness into the world around us, and we want Camp to be a place that perpetuates positivity – with ourselves, with each other and with the planet.
We're obsessed with the "campground" theme. How did this come to be?
We both grew up as adventurers! Jen went to summer camp her whole life in North Carolina and did a month of backpacking around Australia. I was raised in Colorado with a dad who lived for adventure – there was never a weekend without some sort of outdoor exploration, hiking, camping and so on. We both had adventure and an explorative mindset hardwired into who we are, pushing boundaries and doing all the activities we could. When ideating our business, we wanted to create something that connected with these touchpoints from our childhood – adventure, pushing the limits, community and that summer camp feeling.
What amenities does Camp Los Angeles provide to enhance the overall experience for its members?
Where do I even begin? We have just doubled the footprint of our Santa Monica location, now spanning four studios in an 8,000-square-foot space, which offers guests plenty of space outside to hang out with other campers pre, between and post-classes. From self-propelled treadmills and Sorinex rigs to Rogue Echo Bikes and SkiErgs, all of our equipment is custom. We have hot yoga rooms, personal showers, and plenty of fun merch available for purchase.
How do you stay innovative in the fitness and yoga industry and continuously offer new and engaging experiences for your members?
It's a trillion-dollar industry–and at times, it can feel hard to compete. These three things have made Camp L.A. a place our campers keep coming back to:
- Being Driven – We both have a level of motivation to wake up each day and create. Problems are just momentum to grow and change our business for the better–for the community.
- Resourcefulness – Don't take no for an answer, keep searching for solutions. Both Tampa and LA have proven to be challenging regarding real-estate evolution–we even saw issues with sound and parking. The city can be relentless, but we kept pushing, and the space, the business has become something glorious.
- Awareness – PEOPLE. We must be aware of people. Taking everything you see and hear and use it as an opportunity to create something greater and to connect with the community.
What's your favorite feature of the physical space at Camp L.A. that contributes to the overall experience?
I think the best feature is the space at Camp L.A.It's a fitness playground and design alone attracts a crowd that's eager to feel their best through the multiple modalities we have on offer. We have four state-of-the-art studios plus a camp theme incorporated throughout – including a camp tent at check-in and a fully-functional tire swing by the bathrooms! Above all, we have some of the best instructors in L.A. leading our programs and classes day in, day out.
What is your favorite fitness/wellness spot in LA?
While L.A. is the land of fitness and wellness, I find that the yoga studio at Camp is where I am going to feel centered and really hone in on my practice. The natural light and soundproof walls contribute to the overall mindfulness of yoga–I'd highly recommend our yoga classes for first-timers or those looking to bring peace back into their everyday lives.
What other plans do you have for Camp that you can share?
Right now, we are celebrating the expansion of our site. Since launching in 2021, we've built a truly community-centered establishment in West L.A., and honestly, we needed the extra space to meet demand and also add another discipline into the mix. We now have the very best of four programs, including Yoga, Scult, Stations and Circuit on one convenient campus led by L.A.'s best instructors.