Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Swet Studio owner and 2018 Belmont alumna Shelby Vandenbergh says customers often leave her studio too sweaty to slip back into their leggings.
Contrary to how it may sound, Swet Studio in Bowling Green, Kentucky, isn’t a gym. It’s probably one of the only places you can burn hundreds of calories without moving a muscle — a sauna studio.
“Swet Studio is an infrared sauna studio. Once you’re checked in, we take you back to your room, where there’s an infrared sauna bed,” Vandenbergh explained. “As long as you’re laying in this bed, you just sweat like crazy.”
Vandenbergh, a longtime health and fitness enthusiast, frequented saunas like Swet while in college but couldn’t get her fix during the 2020 lockdown.
Around the same time, she began looking for a new job. She spent a year working on Music Row but wanted a change.
“I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I want to do it my way,” Vandenbergh said. “I couldn’t get to the sauna, so I thought, ‘why not open a sauna studio?’”
So she did.
The Swet Studio opened its doors in January 2021 and business has been booming for the past month, said Vandenbergh.
At Swet, clients spend sessions in colorfully-lit, infrared sauna pods. Just 30 minutes in these increased temperatures help customers burn between 600 and 800 calories without lifting a finger.
The benefits of infrared saunas range from weight loss to decreased muscle soreness, said Vandenbergh. And they’re safe for everyone, from babies to the elderly.
Swet’s sauna sessions also include light therapy, or as Vandenbergh calls it, chromatherapy. Customers can choose the color of light in their pod, and different colors provide different benefits, from improved gut health to glowing skin.
While the saunas are Swet’s most popular service, the studio also features a “retail room” that combines Vandenbergh’s loves of fitness and fashion.
Between the saunas and the sweatsuits, Vandenbergh spends almost all day, every day, at the studio. She plans to open other locations in the future but enjoys managing everything by herself right now, she said.
The future of Swet looks as bright as its sauna pods. In the meantime, Vandenbergh’s studio will continue to provide a niche health service to Bowling Green.
“Sweating is just good for you,” she said.
This article written by Vivi Smilgius.