November 1, 2018


Sometimes you get stuck. Sometimes you need to start over. Sometimes, if you're lucky, to get to reinvent yourself. I remember a few years ago, talking with my friend Tammy about how we both felt dissatisfied with our careers, and how we were both looking for a new path to take. Both of us, were unsure which direction to go, and even more unsure of how to get there.

A tale of making it happen.


Anne Marie Aristone and Tammy Irby
Owners – Towne Barre

Sometimes you get stuck. Sometimes you need to start over. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, to get to reinvent yourself. I remember a few years ago, talking with my friend Tammy about how we both felt dissatisfied with our careers, and how we were both looking for a new path to take. Both of us, were unsure which direction to go, and even more unsure of how to get there.
Our kids were at the beginning of their elementary school experiences (my little guy was in pre-school), and we both felt passionate about making a shift from our current careers – Tammy as physical therapist, and myself as performing musician. We both wanted to be able to contribute financially to our own families, while fulfilling our personal passions too. We were often discouraged, and defeated, as we tossed around ideas and possibilities – that always ended up in the discard pile.

We kept thinking. We kept listening. We kept dreaming.


My Tale

Julia Martin Frazier, Realtor
Monument Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s often apparent when it’s time for a change. It is not, however, always readily clear what that change will look like. So, when I started thinking about what my next chapter would be, I took my time to evaluate myself, my strengths, and my passions.
There were many aspects of being a performing harpist I really loved, but my life had taken on a different rhythm, and it had become increasingly less appealing to practice for the 6 hours a day I was accustomed to, for preparing concerts. As the boys got a little older, I knew I was ready to re-engage in a career, and I was excited to try something new. Diving back into the professional music-making scene didn’t feel quite right.

That’s when I started to consider a career in real estate. The more I thought about my own organizational strengths, and my love for details, combined with my love of design and architectural spaces, it started to click into place. I was so ready to get out of my solitary practice room, and start engaging with people on a daily basis. I thrive off of interaction with all kinds of people, and what better way than to help them find what I love so dearly – HOME! It was a natural next step for me.
There are many aspects to selling real estate. This is what I find so attractive about it, as a career. As a realtor, I am one part of a multifaceted transaction. I think of myself as the project coordinator, working with others to see the journey to its end. I rely on a network of professionals, from financial experts, to knowledgeable title agents, to meticulous inspectors and contractors. Every angle of each transaction is always unique, and no deal is ever the same. It is a wonderful and vibrant demand on me, to respond to each situation with intuition, and expertise. After reviewing music scores so thoroughly for many years, I find the contract of sale to be a comforting and authoritative document. While some people are intimidated or bored by its presentation, I find great satisfaction in reading it, interpreting it, and being bound to its terms (or having the ability to change them!). I have found great appreciation for this part of the job, and love the organization of files and information.
Of course I love seeing the homes, and meeting all kinds of fascinating people, setting out to achieve a goal of highest importance. A home we purchase is not just an address, or a place to hang our hat – it’s where we have our most important discussions over dinner. It’s where we gather with our dearest friends and family, in celebration, or hardship. It’s where we rejuvenate and find sanctuary after a long hard day. It’s where we crawl into bed and dream our best dreams, and wake in the morning to new possibilities. Home is where we watch our children grow, or set up cozy spaces for our furry family members too. It’s within the walls of home that we create, reflect, grow, and live.
I have so enjoyed the past few years of meeting sellers and buyers, and assisting each one in achieving a successfully completed transaction. I am deeply committed to this new career, and I have found this life shift so satisfying and invigorating.

Tammy’s Tale

Anne Marie Aristone and Tammy Irby
Owners – Towne Barre

My friend Tammy has inspired me with her journey to make her own dreams come true. I have watched her shape her vision over the last few years, and she has shown such strength and tenacity in creating her own sustainable and successful business.
Tammy had become more active as a Barre and Pilates instructor, and had began to back away from her work as a physical therapist. Much like myself, Tammy had a solid educational background in her field, and we often talked about how conflicted we felt about leaving the profession we had worked so hard to build up for ourselves. But life is short. She knew she had other goals to pursue, and other horizons awaited.
When she mentioned to me that she was considering starting her own Barre and Pilates studio, it made perfect sense to me immediately. I could see it in my mind’s eye, and I knew it was going to work.
The idea of creating this business from the ground up seemed huge, and daunting, and again – the path to get from here to there wasn’t a clear one. There were starts, and stops – and bumps in the road. For a while, it seemed like it just wasn’t meant to be. I witnessed her frustration, and knew how she felt. I supported her as she regrouped, and waited for the next opportunity to present itself. And then… Tammy found a business partner – a woman in a similar situation, with similar ambitions – and they put their heads and energies together.  They both shared a love for fitness – physical and mental. They were keen to observe the growing community (mostly) of women, who would benefit from what they wanted to create and provide; an intimate and supportive space to practice strength, wellness, and comaraderie.
Towne Barre is a boutique Barre and Pilates studio conveniently located in the heart of Towson, MD. Our mission at Towne Barre is to create a community that is inclusive and accessible to all. We truly believe that the classes we offer at Towne Barre promote not only physical health, but a mind-body connection like no other. Given our experience in the field, we feel that the combination of Barre and Pilates, performed two to three times a week, is a perfect recipe for overall wellness. We’ll also throw in a little silliness for free ūüėČ

Tammy Irby, Anne Marie Aristone – Owners, Towne Barre

I watched them generate the concept, seek out the funding, the space, the reality! Towne Barre was born. While I have yet to whole-heartedly embrace the hard work that Barre demands of me, I know the discipline makes me better. And makes my booty better too. I will take Tammy’s classes as often as I can, and encourage others to do the same.  October 13th was a happy Grand Opening. I was there, champagne in hand, with pride and joy for my friend, who is reinventing herself.
Sometimes dreams do come true.

Here are Some Similar Articles Recently Published

View all posts

Work With Julia

Let‚Äôs set up a time to talk about your thoughts of selling or buying a new home. If you‚Äôre looking for a knowledgeable, intuitive, qualified Baltimore REALTOR¬ģ, I‚Äôd love meet you.

Follow Julia