On July 30th, I visited Revolution Indoor Cycling at 1716 Main Street to meet Colleen Kirk for the next Intern Insights blog post. Revolution is a great asset to Buffalo because it is a place where you can “get your sweat on” but also network for jobs, and take part in giving back to the community. Their workout classes are amazing too, speaking from experience…I signed up for the Rev+TotalBody class and it was so much fun. This class was led by upbeat and motivating instructors, and was great workout! Read the Q&A here with cofounder and owner Colleen, and sign up for a class at http://revolutionbuffalo.com/!
What is your name and title?
Colleen Kirk, Cofounder and Owner of Revolution Indoor Cycling”
What do you hope your business will do for Buffalo?
Our goal is to bring wellness to the community and make it accessible to all people. We create a community within our studio where we do events and programs for networking and social life. We are getting our sweat on but also building relationships, friendships, and even creating networking opportunities for jobs. We hope to carry that all back out to Buffalo.
What was the hardest thing about starting up a business?
Uncertainty. This was the biggest risk all three of us have ever taken in our lives. Just that open space of what’s possibly going to happen with this is the hardest part. But, if you don’t take a big risk, then there’s no potential to change. We thought that if we don’t try it, it never happens. Having three of us starting this together and talk each other off of the ledge (because of how scary it is) definitely helped.
What do you like most about your company?
I like the team spirit of our staff, we’ve really created a family within this business. People are coming together, and like I said there’s job interviews, happy hours, and meeting up outside of class going on. We also partner with people that would normally be our competition, like bar studio or yoga. We link up for events together with new places and people. We shipped our spinning bikes up to Canalside one day and did an outdoor class! What I like most about our company is that we always try to be creative with what we do.
What sets your company apart from others?
The customer service that you get here is top notch, we make it a 10 out of 10 experience. Not only is this a class, but we give back to the community. We have community rides every few months where we sweat for an hour for free and then go out to the community after the class and put good vibes out into the community after. We try to spread the good feelings to others through that. We’ve done an event with the Ronald McDonald house, and a Grass Roots Garden Event. Hopefully we will do something with Habitat for Humanity, and we’re going to pick out other non-profits in the area for next year. For us, it’s really important to try and find out what our clients are into so it’s passionate for them.
Did you fail before you succeeded?
This was my first business, and I didn’t fail. I’ve been teaching group fitness for 10 years, so I have honed skills and built up a reputation in the community which helped us build up a good foundation for success.
What gave you this idea? Where did it stem from?
I’ve always wanted to own my own studio to be in control of the entire experience like greeting clients, setting up the bike, and how clean everything is. I could only control the class before I opened up my own space. I didn’t want to do this on my own, but the other girls asked me about and told me their business plan and that’s how we started talking about it. It had always been in the back of my head, but didn’t know how to execute it.
What is something that inspires you, or inspired you to start your own business?
Our clients inspire me, they’re always complimenting us as instructors. At a studio, if they don’t show up, I have no job to do so that’s why I’m so dedicated. And they’re dedicated too because no matter what their job is or what’s going on with their family, they still come out and they’re the ones that keep us going.
Do you have any advice to give to young entrepreneurs or people wanting to start their own business?
I think without big risk, there is no big reward. As much as you want to talk yourself out of it at times, staying focused and believing in yourself and what you want to accomplish can make it happen. I was lucky to have a big support system with my husband taking care of everything while I’m here. In order to have confidence to talk yourself off that ledge, somebody else has to believe in you, those are the people that lift you back up.
Where can we find you on a Saturday or Sunday morning?
Laughing, “Probably here teaching a class. I like to go for a run up through Delaware Park. And after I love stopping by Five Points Bakery for delicious toast. Later on I enjoy laying out in the backyard and taking my first nap of the day!”
Who is one person that you would thank, someone that believed in you?
I would thank the two other girls who run this business with me, Rachel and Amanda. Their idea and their business plan got me involved early on. They’ve been so passionate about this.
What are your hobbies?
I really do enjoy running, it was my first love and my favorite way to clear my head. I’ve gotten into biking, and writing is another hobby of mine. At my full time job I’m a copywriter, and when I can, I do like to write. Right now my hobbies are pretty limited, but I always try to stay active and outdoors.
What’s your favorite thing about Buffalo/what’s your favorite thing to do in Buffalo?
There’s a lot of things that make Buffalo my favorite, like the community feel that you have here. Everyone knows everybody. You can build up relationships, and there’s always people smiling even if you don’t know a single soul. There has never been an instance where Buffalo didn’t feel like home when I moved here from Rochester. I would have to say that Elmwood village is favorite place. Buffalo summers are one of the best things about this area, I have to remind myself of them in the later months!
What are the first 3 words that pop into your head when you hear Buffalo, NY?
Great Lakes, Good Food, Welcoming.
What’s next? For you, your business, etc.
I think what’s next is figuring out how to manage a business, a job, and thinking about starting to have a family, because at some point something has to give. You need to be present in your life, and working 80 hours a week is very difficult. I’m hoping to find a balance with my job, my passion (spinning), and my family. I will have to make it all click together. My two other partners are on the same page as me and being here, I have a really great support system.”
What impact do you think 43N has on Buffalo?
100% it’s stimulating growth and the economy. It’s great bringing everyone to Buffalo and putting us on the map internationally, while drawing attention to everything we have. It’s only positive because more people are learning about us, and putting their time and money back into Buffalo. This is all happening in Buffalo, but it sounds like something that would be in New York City.
If there was one thing you would change about Buffalo what would it be?
I want it to be summer year round! We don’t need four seasons here.