Christine is the founder of SPOKEHAÜS, a lifestyle and spinning studio in Toronto.
What is your morning routine?
I would love to say I’m a morning person, but unfortunately I’m still working on it. I’m at the studio most nights until about 10 p.m., so by the time I eat and get to bed it’s pretty late – I always have so much adrenaline from my classes. So, I wake up around 8 a.m., walk my dog Chloe, grab a Starbucks (always a triple venti non-fat latte), answer emails and post on social media until I head into the studio around noon.
Tell us about your career path.
I’m the founder of SPOKEHAÜS, the Toronto born and bred boutique fitness and lifestyle studio that offers a kick-ass, high intensity, low impact full body workout on a bike. I actually came from the luxury cosmetics industry with a branding and marketing background, and I really wanted to create a brand and a community people resonated with and wanted to be around.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
I found it difficult to really be taken seriously in the launch stage of the business. I was meeting with investors, banks and lawyers who didn’t see a 28 year old woman with a cosmetics background as a serious contender in the fitness industry. The hardest part though was dealing with landlords: it took 10-plus months to even receive a sign-back on an offer after I had submitted six of them. Some of those places are still vacant almost 1.5 years later, and I’m already looking for my second location.
What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?
Don’t just talk about it, go for it. Action is the only way to get there. I will say that you really need to believe in what you’re doing. Passion, in my case anyways, is usually not enough. It’s a lot of hard work, and you have to have immense drive. Every day there will be a million reasons and a million people telling you not to do it, but the most important thing is to stay the course and remember why you started. In the end, there will also be a million moments that make you feel grateful you did.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
When you’re an entrepreneur, there are no breaks, no vacations and no real time off, but I have found a couple of tricks to help separate work from enjoying time with friends and family. For instance, there are no cell phones past a certain time in the evening, and I’ve even started leaving them out of the bedroom. On vacations I don’t purchase a data package because I have a highly capable and amazing team who can handle anything that comes their way. I also make sure one night a week my boyfriend and I have a date night, also sans cell phones, where we talk about life and work.
What inspires you?
People who are entrepreneurs. I’ve met some incredible people so far on my journey who have been so helpful, so positive and pulled so hard for us to succeed; that is inspiring to me. I’m also incredibly inspired by my riders. They are so strong, so committed and so kind, it makes coming into work everyday such a touching experience. Every day we hear stories of things our riders overcome, and how through all trials and tribulations they some how make it to class every day and kick ass.
When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?
My dirty little secret is I can’t say no to a Dominos double pepperoni pizza. Also rosé.