With a motivational workout, a beautiful environment and outstanding customer service, each 45-minute class can be a transformative experience. SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met in New York City and were determined to find an alternative to the fitness routines that felt like work. Combining inspirational coaching with high-energy music, the pair designed a workout that benefits the mind and body. SoulCycle trains world-class instructors to teach the SoulCycle method which engages and empowers riders in a way that leaves them mentally and physically stronger than when they arrived. Now, SoulCycle is leading the fitness revolution with people everywhere demanding the Soul experience.
Since 2006, when Julie and Elizabeth opened their first studio on the Upper West Side, SoulCycle has opened 25 locations nationwide, with plans to open 50-60 studios worldwide by 2015. Riders of all ages have responded to the SoulCycle cardio party (SC’s youngest rider is 12-years-old, their oldest is 78-years-old) with approximately 20,000 people riding at SoulCycle every week. In 2007, SoulCycle launched a robust retail line, today a new retail collection is released every month. In 2012, the company unveiled their very own SoulCycle Bike, an indoor cycle designed specifically for the SoulCycle ride. Julie and Elizabeth are humbled by the response to SOUL and are working hard to bring the party to the people.
SoulCycle isn’t just in the business of changing bodies; it’s in the business of changing lives.
How did you get into the fitness industry?
I was a user. I was searching for a workout that was inspiring, fun and effective and it did not exist, so my partner Julie and I decided to create it.
What partnerships/co-branding does Soul Cycle have and how have they been instrumental in the company's success?
We keep the brand pretty clean. Charitable initiatives have probably been our most important brand partnerships. Philanthropy is extraordinarily important to SoulCycle. The brand launched their charity program in 2007 to support their community and neighbors. They provide charities, both large and small the opportunity to come together and raise money for much needed causes in a fun and different way – a SoulCycle class. SoulCycle hosts approximately 25+ charity rides at our 29 studios nationwide on a monthly basis. This could be a great piece about unique ways to raise money for charity and stay healthy.
What have been your biggest successes and failures in starting/running Soul Cycle and what have you learned from them.
Our biggest failure was probably our biggest success. When we signed our first lease on our first location, we were told we would have exterior signage. Sadly, that was not the case. Without exterior signage, it was incredibly hard for customers to find us...literally, riders would call us outside 72nd street asking where we were located. We were just so grateful when our riders actually found us and walked into the studio that we were going to love them so they would return. This is a tenant of our brand - supreme customer service, 100% of the time.
Every day is the best day ever. My kids always make fun of me for this.
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Take it one step at a time - just put one foot in front of the other. Don't think TOO big or everything will feel overwhelming.
If there were one food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Really good dark chocolate and tequila.
What is your daily fitness regime?
What's next for Soul Cycle?
Bringing SOUL to the people. That's the mission every day!
* Voted Best hit-each-body-part fitness class by NY Magazine in 2010
* One of the top 10 NYC Google Searches of 2012
* Voted one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Fitness of 2013 by Fast Company