Fourteen years ago, Stephanie Moore’s life was spinning out of control. “I didn’t think about being an entrepreneur, I just thought about, okay I’m going through this hellaous divorce, I was trying to be an actress. I called myself the un-auditioning actress.”
She finally landed a part in a movie and was told she had to lose a few rolls before filming started and was sent to a spinning studio. “I had no idea what spinning was. I though I’d be standing and twirling. I got there and it was a bicycle class. I loved it. I got lost in the music. It became a cathartic place for me. It makes you feel strong. I was hooked.”
Not being able to stomach the whole Hollywood scene, Moore thought about becoming a school teacher, or a therapist. A friend asks her, “Why don’t you open one of those spinning studios. You love them so much.”
“All I knew at the time was the power of making a decision. Even if it’s not the right decision, just make a decision, because there is nothing worse energetically than just being confused all the time and not knowing what to do,” Stephanie said laughing and smiling.
She was no longer a rebel without a cause, she was about to start a Revolution in fitness. She found the location on what is now trendy Montana Avenue, in Santa Monica, California. “There was a sign right outside that said studio for lease. It had been vacant for over a year and had suffered earthquake damage. I loaned myself part of my divorce settlement and treated it like a small business loan. I set up a separate account and was accountable for re-paying myself.”
Moore was about to sign the lease when a mega sports company discovered the old gym location and was ready to pour big bucks into renovations and open its own spinning gym. “I don’t know why, but the landlords chose me.”
Revolution Fitness opened its doors six weeks later with five instructions and twelve spinning bikes. Stephanie spent hours mixing cassette tapes for the classes. That’s the way it was done back in the day. Word quickly spread about this intimate place to spin your cares away, and the movement grew. Today, Revolution Fitness has over thirty full and part-time instructors and hundreds of loyal clients.
Unlike most chic boutique gyms, Moore made the decision from the beginning to treat everybody like a celebrity. No free bees, just to get the publicity. On the day I visited the gym, I spotted several celebrities spinning in the crowd and they blended right in with the rest of the sweating spinners.
It’s not only Cheers where everybody knows your name. “Most of my clients have been with me from the beginning. I make sure everybody knows everybody’s name. The best advertising in my business is word of mouth and this – as she pointed to her infectious smile. I’m not kidding, she said. Being nice to people. Good customer service.”
Smiling is the most underrated sales tool according to Moore. She added that any successful business owner should utilize the following to succeed:
- Excellent customer service
- Hire Well
- Learn to delegate
- Great Communications skills
- Love what you do
“I love that whatever I want to have happen, I can make happen. I love it. I love the people. I love hearing the feedback from the clients – how I’ve made a difference in their lives. It’s such a fun business.”
Fourteen years later, a new Revolution gym is scheduled to open in Venice, California in January, 2011. On the personal front, today Stephanie is a mother and happily married. Her husband recently left a prestigious marketing position to join the revolution. I ask Stephanie, who’s the boss? Without hesitation, she laughed and said, “I am.”
In addition to spinning/strength/yoga classes, Revolution Fitness offers private and semi-private Pilates classes. For more information, visit www.revolutionfitness.net.
Written by: Valerie Scott