Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler of SoulCycle
Phuong Nguyen

SoulCycle: Julie Rice & Elizabeth Cutler (2019)

Before Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice met, they shared a common belief: New York City gyms didn't have the kind of exercise classes they craved, and each of them wanted to change that. A fitness instructor introduced them over lunch in 2005, and before the meal was done they were set on opening a stationary bike studio, with a chic and aspirational vibe. A few months later, the first SoulCycle opened in upper Manhattan. Since then, SoulCycle has cultivated a near-tribal devotion among its clients, with studios across the United States and Canada.

Show Notes: 

2:27 - Intro
4:00 - The reasons to start a business
9:07 - Facing the doubters
10:00 - Elizabeth and Julie meet
12:26 - The first steps
14:15 - What about the money?
17:27 - Setting up the studio
18:25 - The naming of SoulCycle
19:00 - How big could it get?
20:04 - Standing out
21:34 - The business model
24:05 - Opening
28:00 - The first day
29:45 - Early earnings
31:58 - Opening a second studio
34:14 - Designing merch
35:10 - Taking off in the Hamptons
36:30 - Losing a partner
39:17 - Expanding to Tribeca
41:55 - Competitors
44:30 - The instructors
45:00 - Selling part of the business
47:00 - Leaving the company
49:20 - What could have been different
51:40 - Luck vs. Skill

Selected Links:

Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler
Stationary Bicycle

Lehman Brothers


Spinning class


The Hamptons

SoulCycle merch




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