#MotivationMonday Girlboss Edition: Michelle Shah from The Wheel House
1. So you have been in Business a little over a year now. How long did it take for all of this to come together behind the scenes?
WH: What started as an idea when I moved back to the Hudson Valley from San Diego (August 2015) due to a lack of boutique spin studios soon grew into a business plan (December 2016), later a blueprint (March 2017) and before I knew it - a space (July 2017) ! Everyday I find something I want to change, add or do. I truly feel like it is a never ending process of growth and development.
2. How did you come up with the name "Wheel House", and what does it mean to you?
WH: The Wheel House is a play on words, meaning what is in someones area of competency and the wheel on the bike. I love referring to the studio as the HOUSE because I want everyone to feel welcome and at home.
3. I remember a few months back you had told me about the pretty lengthy process that you require your instructors complete in order to teach at the Wheel House- can you tell me a little more about that?
WH: We want all of our instructors to be the best that they can be. I never want someone to feel that they did not get a "good enough" workout. Our process can be anywhere from 3-6 months depending on skills and availability. Potential instructors meet with senior instructors weekly, practice on their own and create demos. We work on cuing, voice control and choreography. It is important that the instructor is confident and capable before being up on the podium.
4. What are some of the biggest struggles that you have faced as a small business owner and how have you overcome them?
WH: I have an internal struggle with when to turn it off. I am constantly answering calls, messages and emails. Doing towels at home, working on email blasts and marketing ideas. I need to find a better work/life balance. But, this studio is like my second baby and I love what I do. So, its hard! I have started to turn my phone off when I am out doing something with family or friends to make sure I am giving them my full attention. I also hired someone who is wonderful to help me balance the load.
5. You recently had an expansion, can you tell me a little more about that?
WH: We outgrew our original 1065 sq ft within months of opening. A good problem to have but a problem nonetheless. I knew Lauren from Chakra Bowls and she was looking to open a cafe. Prior to that she was only doing local deliveries. I thought how amazing would it be to combine forces with her and split the space next door to us, which luckily was open! Lauren immediately jumped in and we quickly began moving to make it happen. With a hallway that connects our spaces, our spin side is now reserved for just ride and Lauren is in the front of the new space with our barre room behind her. It's so nice to have the added room and an amazing cafe right next door.
6. To date, what has been the most rewarding part of owning Wheel House?
WH: The women I meet, who tell me I have helped make their lives better truly warm my heart and make it all worthwhile. I believe exercise is good for the mind, body and soul. We get into it for physical reasons but then when its part of our routine we realize its so much more than a number on the scale. We've created friendships and community ties within our walls. I have connected with women of all walks of life, fellow businesswomen and other moms who need an outlet. I am so proud of everyone's commitment to themselves and their health. It is my honor to be part of their journey.
7. In addition to an awesome sense of community and a beautiful, spotless facility, what other services do you offer your members?
WH: We offer small group training (1-3 clients) for those looking for more of a personalized workout. On your availability with your specific goals in mind. We also sell and coach clients with Advocare supplements. For clients looking for meal prepping we work with Fuel 4 Life, a local company to deliver ready made meals.