Lamenting the lack of a local boutique cycling studio led three Connecticut women to open their own.
Amy Hochhauser, a self-described “recovering” attorney had moved to Westport, CT when her second son was three. During lunch one day with her friend, Debbie Katz, Amy said, “I wish we had a great spinning studio here. Someone should open a high end boutique spinning place here…..WE should open a spinning place here!”
The friends turned to spinning to relieve stress and maintain physical and mental fitness. Amy jumped in to figure out how to open a studio. Unable to sleep one night, began to Google everything she could about spinning classes. “I found a guy in Boston who consults with people who want to start spinning studios,” said Amy. “He was the perfect person to talk with.”
They started thinking of a name for their future studio. She and Debbie wanted it to be a happy welcoming place for clients. So combining a feeling of joy (and Amy’s Grandmother’s name), with an action verb, ride, they decided on JoyRide.
Since Amy was a lawyer, she filed for a trademark and formed an LLC. “Then, we hired the consultant to help us with the basics, which included space requirements, a budget, and management details.”
As they kept planning, they realized they needed capital. Drafting a short business plan, they met with everyone they knew. “Borrowing was not an option so we had to find investors,” said Amy. “Lots of people said we couldn’t do it, but we had the commitments we needed to open our first studio in one week.”
Soon after that, their consultant said he knew a spinning instructor from Westport, CT who was interested in opening a studio. “He thought she would be a good fit for us,” Amy recalled. “An instructor was the missing piece. Debbie and I worked out, but we weren’t instructors.”
When Amy heard it was Rhodie Lorenze, one of the most successful spinning instructors in the area, she knew it was meant to be. They met for coffee, shared their ideas and knew it was going to happen.
The three women became partners, signing the legal documents which included exit strategies. “You don’t want to start this big a venture and not know what would happen if things change for one of the partners,” said Amy.
Eight months after dreaming about opening the studio, JoyRide offered its first spinning class.
“We were surprised and pleased by the support from friends who came – it was awesome,” said Amy. The women relied on social media to get the word out. Spinners followed their instructors which brought in clients. The lease they were able to secure gave them more room than they needed, so they have an extra room for other classes.
“The spinning instructors also teach Pilates, JoySculpt and JoyCircuit,” said Amy. “Never did I think I’d be running an exercise studio but once I get my mind set on an idea, I wont’ stop. I knew if we didn’t do it, someone else would and the timing was perfect,” says Amy. JoyRide has become so successful, they just opened their second studio in Darien.
Why is JoyRide so popular? For all ages, Spinning torches calories and is an endorphin-boosting way to develop muscle tone and reduce body fat. Amy says, “I think we’ve been successful because JoyRide focuses on the mind/body connection encouraging riders to stay positive and tap into their mental strength.”
Rhodie says her clients love her (music) playlist.
“I love to offer a challenging ride and engage with my riders.” The best part for the three women, “We love the community among us as owners, our instructors and our clients. This is our extended family.”
FFN fans can get 10% off when you purchase classes in the VentureMom Shop
Contact: [email protected]
Studio addresses: 1200 Post Road East, Westport, CT, 25 Old King’s Hwy. North, Darien, CT
(Photo credit: Julianne Mulvey)