When Ivanka Trump signed up under a false name to work out at her fitness studio, Anne Mahlum went public.
The owner of Solidcore, a chain of fitness studios in the Washington D.C. area, Mahlum wrote on Facebook that she was going to ask Ivanka for a meeting.
“What you do when you find out Ivanka Trump just took [solidcore], but used an alias to sign up for class? You reach out and ask for a meeting,” she wrote, proceeding to trash President Donald Trump. She later deleted the Facebook page and made her tweets private.
That’s led to strong criticism of Mahlum on social media.
Ivanka has faced a series of attacks; she was confronted by another passenger in front of her children on an airplane, and department stores have cancelled or downplayed her clothing line (they say it’s because of poor sales; her father says it’s because of politics.)
Mahlum is an outspoken female entrepreneur, marathoner, and former advocate for the homeless.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mahlum Wrote That Donald Trump Was ‘Threatening the Rights’ of Her Clients & Coaches but Now Says Ivanka Is Welcome
Mahlum’s Facebook post didn’t stop with a request for a meeting (there’s no comment back from Ivanka). She wrote:
“While I don’t know her and I always seek to understand…I do know her father is threatening the rights of many of my beloved clients and coaches and as a business owner, I take my responsibility to protect and fight for my people very seriously.”
In a follow-up email, Mahlum said that “Solidcore is an organization founded on inclusivity” and apologized if her Facebook post didn’t make that clear. She stressed that Ivanka was not denied services, and she had not said the First Daughter could not attend Solidcore. She says she wanted to meet with Ivanka to suggest private classes and “in hopes of having a discussion about our community.”
She continued, “Ivanka is welcome at Solidcore, and we hope she comes back.”
2. Mahlum Grew Her Company to 14 Locations in Just 2.5 Years But Has Faced Lawsuits
According to her website, Mahlum started Solidcore, described as a “boutique” fitness studio, in 2013, and it’s already expanded to 14 locations since that time.
She has recently expanded the company to Philadelphia, Long Island, Chicago, Atlanta, Scottsdale, Southern Maryland and Miami.
According to a lengthy profile in Washingtonian Magazine, Mahlum’s business success has led to several lawsuits.
She was sued by “her ex-boyfriend, Brennan McReynolds, who claimed to be an owner of Solidcore,” the magazine reported.
A fitness owner with whom she had a franchise also sued her after she split from his business to start her own, according to the magazine. Both suits settled. Washingtonian reports that Mahlum now has a new boyfriend, documentary filmmaker Rob Shore.
3. Michelle Obama Worked Out at Solidcore & Was Welcomed
It’s not that Mahlum has anything against all political figures working out at her gyms; she touts on her website the fact that Michelle Obama had worked out at Solidcore.
She also claims she has 45,000 clients.
Mahlum told The Huffington Post of Michelle Obama, “Michelle Obama has been this woman to me in the past years. She has been frequenting [solidcore] for quite some time and I have the pleasure to get to know her pretty well. She is smart, down to Earth, extremely hardworking and so kind. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know her.”
4. Mahlum Used to Run a Non-Profit Organization Helping the Homeless in Philadelphia
Before she became a fitness entrepreneur, Mahlum founded and ran a non-profit in Philadelphia called Back on My Feet (BoMF).
That group “uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make real change in their lives, which includes employment and independent housing,” her website says.
According to Project Entrepreneur, Mahlum’s homeless advocacy began when she “ran past a group of homeless men and invited them to run with her.”
5. Mahlum Was Raised in North Dakota & Is a Marathon Runner
According to her website, Mahlum was born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota and currently lives in Washington, DC. Washingtonian says her parents split due to her father’s gambling habit, leading her to start restricting food. The Washington Business Journal concurs, writing: “Mahlum began running at 16 because it enabled her to get away from the troubles at her family’s house.”
“She has completed 11 marathons, including one on every continent except Antarctica,” the website says.
The Washingtonian described her obsession with organization: “In college, she created schedules so elaborate they included how long she was allowed to shower. She says she’d go out drinking only when she had an early-morning commitment the next day and so would be forced to get up. She graduated in three years—with two degrees.”
Age 36, she told the magazine, “she doesn’t want kids in part because you can’t ‘pivot’ with them.” She has a master’s degree from American University in political communication.