Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, the women behind mega-popular cycling chain SoulCycle, and arguably the boutique fitness boom entirely, announced their resignation today, almost exactly ten years since the duo opened their first studio ever. “We founded SoulCycle with a mission to create happiness and empowerment through exercise,” they said in a statement to Well+Good.
The brand has since grown rapidly, especially after the 2011 acquisition by Equinox, and recently, the founders received a cash-out large enough to outfit every New York woman in spinning capris. “To see what SoulCycle has become, the community it created and serves, and the positive impact it’s had on the lives of our riders and our staff has been humbling.”
So, how will their departures mess with your love for the yellow bikes and the coveted front row? Not much, according to our experts.
Although the news seems to be oddly timed (hello, IPO!) it’s business as usual, says, Aarti Kapoor, an investment banker at Moelis who has a specialty in boutique fitness and wellness. “This move is not entirely unusual. From both a personal and professional standpoint, we often see founders of businesses move on to pursue other ventures after spending years building out their vision and achieving a successful monetization event,” she says.
A rep for SoulCycle tells us that founders will go on to pursue other projects. In other words, they may have other companies that they want to ‘SoulCycle’. Given their track record (they were responsible for turning a once-tired workout into a cult-like lifestyle, after all) we have no doubt that those projects will be major.
The duo says they will continue to support the long-term vision of SoulCycle. “As board members and as riders we remain committed to seeing SoulCycle succeed,” they told Well+Good. “Our passion is to create, and that is what we are making the space to do today.”
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