Kelly Bensimon chats with SoulCycle co-founder Julie Rice
Julie Rice, a former Hollywood talent agent living in Los Angeles, moved to New York in 2005, but realized there was one thing from the West Coast she couldn’t find here: a good spin class.
Undeterred, Rice partnered with Elizabeth Cutler and founded SoulCycle, the indoor cycling class that has swept the city and picked up a celebrity cult following that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Chelsea Clinton, Kelly Ripa, the Olsen twins and dozens of supermodels.
SoulCycle locations are all over Manhattan as well as in the Hamptons, Connecticut and Scarsdale, with 15 to 20 expected soon thanks to a partnership with Equinox.
We spoke with Rice about what it takes to be a success.
Where did the concept of SoulCycle start? My partner and I were searching for a workout that could be inspiring, challenging and FUN and it did not exist — so we created it.
What’s the inspiration behind the clothing line? When you love your exercise gear, you are more inclined to work out — our line keeps our riders inspired.
What’s your favorite location? I really don’t have favorites, but I live on the Upper West Side so I ride the most at West 77th Street.
How do you pick the causes for charity rides? Philanthropy is incredibly important to SoulCycle and we launched our charity program to support our community and neighbors. We provide charities, both large and small, the opportunity to come together and raise money for much needed causes in a fun and different way.
How do you workout? I ride at SoulCycle 3-4 days a week and I run and do strength training. When I can, I like to spend time outdoors with my kids — my favorite summer workout is my own homemade “bootcamp” on the beach in Fire Island.
What’s on your favorite trainer’s playlist? Rihanna and Robyn.
What are the trends in workout wear for spring? Neons and animal prints.
Lululemon or Nike? SoulCycle!
SoulCycle has mantras. What’s your favorite? “Take your journey,” “change your body,” “find your soul.”
When and where was the last date night you had? Saturday with my husband at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
One trick to your success? Listen to your customers. Take their compliments and complaints seriously. I’ve learned so much standing behind the front desk at SoulCycle. I really take each customer’s advice to heart. I quickly learned if one person doesn’t like something there are usually 50 [others] who feel the same way but are too afraid to say anything.