Less than two years after SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice stepped down from the game-changing boutique fitness brand they spent a decade building, Rice is on to her next endeavor: She’s joined the WeWork team as chief brand officer.
WeWork, which houses co-working spaces for freelancers and the teams of growing companies, has been making major moves recently, from purchasing the 676,000-square-foot Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue for $850 million to pioneering wellness practices with its newly opened Rise by We club in New York City. Adding Rice to its executive ranks signals that the brand has more in store, specifically around member experiences. Rice has a winning track record of building passionate communities (hello, SoulCycle warriors!), and she’ll bring that knowledge and her big ideas to the members of WeWork. “My passion has always been empowering people through creating community,” Rice told Well+Good. “At SoulCycle we created fitness communities, and at WeWork we’re creating entrepreneurial communities.”
Rice will be focusing on the member experience at WeWork locations globally.
Rice, a former talent manager in the entertainment industry, was known for discovering and “casting” SoulCycle’s super-instructors, such as Stacey Griffith and Akin Akman, who regularly sell-out up to 20 classes a week. If she continues to flex that muscle, Rice could rocket WeWork in a new direction and roll out special programming—lectures, workshops, classes and panels—as she develops innovative ways to expand the brand’s cohesive community experience at its 170 worldwide locations. “People are looking for human connection and community, and that’s what WeWork provides,” Rice said in a press release. “Building SoulCycle, we experienced first hand how community can empower people to chase their dreams and be a part of something bigger than themselves. I’m excited to help bring WeWork’s mission and experience to many more people around the globe.”
Branding is another forte that Rice will likely leverage at WeWork. From SoulCycle’s happy-hued yellow signage to the iconic wheel that adorns every other pair of leggings from coast-to-coast, the brand’s super-fans have an unspoken bond beyond the indoor cycling studios. Look for Rice to re-create that magic with strong community vibes in and out of the WeWork’s co-working spaces.
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