Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacy Vinge, Owner of The Cycle Sanctuary, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My vision was to create a holistic approach to health and fitness within a safe space for individuals to come together to get the utmost support and excellent service they deserve. I believe that everyone is worthy of individualized attention and support to reach their goals. I thought about how I could empower as many people as possible to change their performance, their health, and their life. And I came up with creating a 'sanctuary' by bringing like-minded coaches and professionals from different backgrounds together-- strength coaches, personal trainers, lifestyle coaches, nutritionists, instructors, staff members--an amazing group with the desire to make an impact to go above and beyond for anyone who joins our community.
Using the best equipment, analytics, and coaching, The Cycle Sanctuary helps athletes, cycling enthusiasts, and everyone in between achieve their personal best—regardless of their skill level or where they love to ride. We empower our members to achieve their goals through holistic lifestyle support, personalized coaching, and a welcoming community.
Tell us about yourself
Having grown up spending my entire childhood on beaches watching my dad's surf competitions, it was practically inevitable that both travel and fitness would become an extremely integral theme in my story. And, once my study abroad program in Spain turned into meeting my now-husband (of 28 years!) Jon—a triathlete and avid outdoor cyclist—it was solidified that those two things would be part of my lifestyle forever. In fact, we decided to live our dream of raising our family in Europe, and we moved our three children (David, Riley & Cayden) to Italy in 2007. Shortly after arriving, I quickly shifted my career focus to fitness and nutrition in order to maintain the fitness lifestyle I had developed in the years leading up to the move. I had recently gone through a complete transformation with the help of a personal trainer and certified nutritionist, losing 45 pounds and gaining a love of health and fitness.
I kicked off my new career with certifications in Indoor Cycling (Spinning®), Nutrition (Health and Wellness Coach and Sports Nutritionist), and Mat Pilates (Power Pilates), and I loved guiding my community into developing a healthier lifestyle by providing a balanced approach to fitness and nutrition. After living in Italy for ten years, we moved to Seattle in 2017. I continued to teach indoor cycling, becoming a Master Cycle Instructor/Trainer and receiving a lifetime certification for my time and expertise in cycling. As you probably have noticed by now, I love learning, so I jumped into a 600-hour Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training program through Power Pilates, and I continued my study of nutrition, adding Holistic Nutritionist and Precision Nutrition Coach to my existing certifications.
After trying out every single cycling studio in what felt like the entirety of the Seattle area seeking a place to hopefully call home, I found myself disappointed at the lack of studios offering traditional cycling workouts. I wanted to ride a bike—in the same way, I would if I were outdoors—not attend a dance class. Sure, they had cool music, a dark room, and immersive lighting, which I love, but they were all placing emphasis on dancing rather than power and performance. I'm all for a good party, but not on the bike! I wanted to be able to focus on good form, power, performance, and progress, so I could improve my skills and help the members of my classes do the same. But nothing like that existed here. So, I did what any true Seattle innovator would do. I created it. And that is how The Cycle Sanctuary came to life!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I can see how it would be easy to lose balance when there is always something that needs attention as a small business owner. I have worked hard to maintain my quality of life while working tirelessly to build The Cycle Sanctuary into a successful business. I pay particular attention to making sure I find time to get enough sleep, eat balanced/nutritious meals, exercise regularly, adequately hydrate, and carve out time for self-care. That feels like such an accomplishment!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Celebrating all the things that ARE getting done and not dwelling on the long list of things that still need to get done.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be very clear on your vision and mission. It makes the decision-making along the way much easier. Stay true!
- Keep the balance! Quality of life is important. If you deplete all of your resources, you'll have nothing to give. Be sure to eat balanced/nutritious meals, exercise regularly, hydrate, get enough sleep, and find time for self-care. It will make a difference in your productivity level!
- Be passionate about your business! That passion will be what gets you through the tough days. It gives you a reason to keep showing up!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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