In the Spotlight…with Managing Director, Peter Mann

In the Spotlight…with Managing Director, Peter Mann


This week, we sat down with Managing Director and Business Owner of The Barre, Peter Mann. We wanted to see what makes him tick, what he is passionate about and his aspirations for the future of the business.


Q: Let’s start at the beginning then (a very good place to start…). Why ballet barres?

A: Well, my wife runs a dance  school so I have been involved in the industry for over 40 years as a supportive husband. She needed some ballet barres but was really struggling to find good quality ones that weren’t so heavy so asked if I could make her some. With my previous business, I had access to the materials and knowledge so I went ahead and made her a set of ballet barres. Of course, this was meant to be a one off but then one of the dance examiners saw them and asked if I could make her some, word got around the association about my 'product' and the rest, I suppose is history!

Q: So, you could say you almost fell into this line of work then?

A: Yes, it was a happy series of fortunate events.

Q: Well, you’ve been doing this for a long time now haven’t you? Officially since 2002, is that right?

A: I owned another business before which began in 2002 (ASL (UK)Ltd) and this business effectively saw the birth of The Barre and ran alongside for a time until The Barre became independent in 2014 and I was able to focus my whole time and attention on it.

Q: What would you say have been your biggest challenges to date?

A: Expansion. Managing rapid expansion whilst ensuring quality and demand are always met can be very challenging. But this is an essential part of a successful business so it is something that we are happy to take on head first.

Q: How is working in this industry different to your previous work life experience?

A: It is a less stressful environment to be in. We generally deal with very nice people. Having common interests with my customers makes the job so much more fun. It isn’t just a product but a way of life, and we understand that. It is different to most other industries and that brings with it a sense of community, which is lovely to be a part of.

Q: When looking back over the years, I can see you have added to your product range consistently. Would you consider yourself to be quite innovative? Where do you get your ideas from?

A: I suppose I must be innovative yes, it isn’t something I have considered really. I just want to continue to improve upon what we have. We have a programme that we established to enable us to assist our customer requirements as best as possible. Ballet barres are not always a ‘one size fits all’ so we have to keep innovating. In terms of inspiration, there are a number of avenues. The natural progression of the product line sometimes finds itself adapting without us sometimes even realising. Our customer needs can spark flames of inspiration and making sure that we keep our finger on the pulse of the industry in general, finding gaps in the market and solving problems.

Q: Peter, you are well known in the dance world for supplying high quality ballet barres and products. How do you ensure the quality of your product is consistent?

A: We have a very consistent quality check process where every single barre is checked for quality before being packaged and posted. Having good relationships with suppliers also makes any changes or problems that need rectifying much smoother and quicker. With regards to any new products, they are tested in my wife’s studio for 6 months before going to market so that we can know the product serves is purpose well and will work.

Q: What is your philosophy, do you have a method statement or a belief that guides you to producing top quality products?

A: I think this is a very simple one to answer: Don’t sell anything that you wouldn’t be completely happy to receive yourself.

Q: What do you see when you look into the future, for The Barre and yourself?

A: It is my passion to maintain the quality of our products, our excellent customer relationships and our approachability to maintain our good name. That, to me, spells success. If I can keep that, I don’t need any more.

Q: Finally, something light to finish on. What else, outside of ballet barres gets you motivated, brings you joy or occupies your time?

A: I do love the water. The sea or lakes, just visiting places near the water fills me with calm and joy. I recently discovered river cruises which combines my love of the water with my interest in visiting other countries. Also, I couldn’t go without mentioning my grandson who is just the most fantastic human. I love spending time with him, teaching him dance moves from the 70's and just being silly, He keeps me young.

Q: Do you have anything else you would like to share with us?

A: 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I would be owning a company that manufactures ballet barres, but what a fantastic life it has brought me. This, all through my wife, who runs her dance school (where I still run the café on a Saturday for the parents and I love it). Life can take you on paths you never imagined but it can lead to great things.



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Customer Feedback
I have used Peter multiple times for supplying barres at our studio and we always receive fantastic products and exceptional customer service. Most recently he helped me with a time sensitive order and he went over and beyond to make sure everything came in on time. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and his team. Many thanks Kind Regards Katie Geddes (Leeds)
Katie Geddes
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