Curves owner retires as oldest active franchise, last Mississippi location closes

Published 12:01 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Curves in Brookhaven held its final workout Friday morning. Owner Debbie Smith is retiring after 27 years and opted to not sell the franchise located at 122 East Monticello Street to anyone. 

Brookhaven’s Curves was the oldest franchise location and the last Mississippi location still open. Curves is a fitness center only for women. Across the world there are 400 Curves locations.  

“It will always be a good place. I’ve been here for 27 years and it was just time,” Smith said. “I have four grandchildren and I plan to go home to spend time with family and doing what I do. I will continue to be involved with the First Baptist Church.” 

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Her daughters Katie Nations and Stefanie Orr have worked as trainers with Curves in the past and stopped by to celebrate the final workout. Theresa Sones stopped by to wish Debbie well in her new chapter of life. 

Sherra Smith and Katie Farnham, Debbie’s sisters, were also present and chatted with patrons one last time in the Curves workout space. Farnham said she started working out there when it first opened and has worked for Curves the past six years. 

She said she plans to continue to workout at home on a stationary bike and walking in the pool. Her garden of butter beans, green beans and squash will also keep her active. Farnham said she loves to can the produce from her garden. The 26 grandchildren and great grandchildren she has will also keep her busy. 

Curves did play a key role in her life, Farnham said. 

“At a young age, I had two open heart surgeries. Curves has been my life saver since then. I haven’t missed a workout in 27 years,” Farnham said. “It has been a life saver for me. My doctor told me he didn’t know what Curves was but I should not quit curving it. It has been good for me with plenty of friends and exercise.”