Gorgeous New Club The Assembly Creates Community Around Fitness

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The co-working space at The Assembly
The co-working space at The Assembly

A year ago, entrepreneur Molly Goodson noticed that something was missing from San Francisco’s flourishing fitness scene. She longed for a place where she could workout, but also hangout. A place where she could put her hair up, put her hair down, or do whatever she wanted with her hair. Essentially, she craved a place where she would be accepted and welcomed for who she is free of judgements. Since Goodson couldn’t find this space, she set out to create it herself. Earlier this year, her dreamy new women’s clubhouse and fitness studio, The Assembly, opened in the Mission.

The entryway
The entryway

Goodson and her team transformed an old church on 14th Street into a stunning two-story private club. Guests and members are buzzed into the church and met by an inviting vignette of potted plants, rustic leather furniture, and a neon light installation by artist Meryl Pataky. Dark wood stairs lead upstairs to the front desk, which doubles as a chic cafe. The airy and bright work room extends beyond. Sara and Rich Combs, of the Joshua Tree House, designed The Assembly’s interiors. Natural materials and neutral colors are featured throughout.

The Assembly's founder Molly Goodson
The Assembly’s founder Molly Goodson

Navajo-inspired printed pillows, smooth wood tables crafted by artisan woodworker Katie Gong, Mexican leather chairs, and woven wall hangings fill the space. Pretty plants are everywhere—hanging from the ceilings, potted and placed on side tables, or arranged in delicate vases. Downstairs there is a clean and inviting kitchen with long white tables and marble countertops. The workout room is filled with light and different types of palms. The piece de resistance is the ample patio. With a fragrant lemon tree, thoughtful succulents, and plenty of welcoming seating, it’s one of the most breathtaking backyards we’ve ever seen in San Francisco.

A workout class
A workout class

Daily fitness classes are offered and although only women can be members, men are welcome. “Everyone should come visit,” Goodson told Haute Living. “A big part of the way that we’ve designed this space, and the classes, and the community, is bringing together, thinking about health as a whole. It is about your career. It’s about the connections you make, it’s about the friendships you have. It’s about the art of the design you surround yourself with.” She’s created an environment where one can thrive in a workout and outside of the fitness studio.

Instructor Liz Letchford teaches a class called The Release
Instructor Liz Letchford teaches a class called The Release

A variety of workouts are offered, from the kettle ball based Stronger to a mobility class that focuses on release. The Assembly also has special events and programming. On International Women’s Day, Elle Luna, the author of The Crossroads of Should and Must, hosted an inspirational talk. The amazing lineup is simply a perk of being a member. What Goodson is really giving people is what she herself initially wanted—a space where community can blossom.

Building community at The Assembly
Building community at The Assembly

“With places that we go—the classes, the restaurants, and the coffeehouses—you’re trained to not make eye contact. It’s almost like you’re told to not to look at other people, or talk to other people. Everyone’s doing their own thing, and minding their own business, and staring at their own phone,” Goodson says.

The Assembly's patio
The Assembly’s patio

“What I’ve already seen here is, if you give people permission to actually meet the person next to them, they will. You have to create a space that is designed that way, and ask people to do it. Tell them to say hi, and again, give them the space to actually have that conversation afterwards. So that if you did make eye contact, and you did say hi to someone, you can actually get to know them, if you want to.”

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