5 Minutes on Fashion with Lisa Greer
I first met fitness guru and all around powerhouse fashionista Lisa Greer when I was on the hunt for the perfect spin class. I’d just moved back from New York and had become addicted to Soul Cycle, and until I found her Ride! Studio in Cobham I couldn’t find anything to match the fabulous vibe of a really happening spin class. I also spotted that she knows a thing or two about fashion and is never knowingly caught without looking bang on trend whether it’s sporting must-have fitness attire whilst firing instructions at you in class, or wearing exactly what you have on your new season shopping list whilst hanging out in the Ride! Studio. What with this being the ‘new year/new you’ season, I thought she would be a fab addition to our 5 minutes on fashion series. Here’s what she had to say.
Lisa on her work…
How did you get into the fitness business?
Having always been a relatively sporty girl, I re-discovered fitness a couple years after my 2nd son was born and I found myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by some serious stress on the home front. I attended my first spin class – and was convinced that it had nearly killed me. By class #2, I was getting the hang of this intense fitness format. And by class #3, I had decided that I could be the one who brought the music and the motivation and promptly got certified and landed my first few classes with LA Fitness in Minneapolis, MN.
What’s your fave part of the job?
That’s easy… making the clients feel strong. Like they’ve accomplished something they hadn’t previously thought possible. I love the community that’s created among those who want to be better, look better and feel better. That is why I do what I do.
How long does it take you to figure out a new spin/work out routine?
It can take up to 8 hours to finalise the playlist and the coordinating workout for a 45-minute class. I use every single beat of every single song to create drills that are challenging, but fun. Music has always been my soul food and I spend hundreds of pounds each year sourcing the newest remixes of music from the past 3 decades so that there’s something that everyone can relate to. And then there’s the choreography…. A lot of that comes naturally to me while on the bike in class, but it definitely comes into play in the planning process for a class for the upcoming week. At the moment, I’m teaching 6 classes per week and 3 different formats of indoor cycling therein, so that’s 24 hours minimum preparation each week.
What’s the hardest part of running your own business?
I would have to say that the staffing piece is probably my biggest challenge as a small business owner. It is really difficult to find people who love and care about your business in the same way you do. And there are a lot of different opinions about how things should be done, too! I’m not a micro-manager on any level – quite the opposite, in fact – and I’ve learned in the past year that perhaps that’s not the most effective way to run a business. As the owner, I need to be in the loop on most every conversation about the operations, classes, staffing, scheduling and really every other aspect of the business to ensure consistency and standards. It’s a 24/7 situation, but one that I love.
Who’s your icon in the fitness industry?
I would have to give props to Soul Cycle on this one… They are the gods of the boutique fitness world that I pray to for guidance. With their innovation and entrepreneurial vision, they have paved the way for all of us other boutique concepts to follow. Of course, we have put our own spin (no pun intended) on the whole independent group fitness studio and we have always thought that the strength component was as important as the indoor cycling (or cardio) piece. But as far as Idol Worship goes? Soul Cycle, baby.
Which aspect of the fitness business do you find most fun and which most challenging?
The most enjoyable part of my job is the client relationships. I’ve met some of my closest friends though Ride! and would likely never have crossed paths with them otherwise. The Ride! Community is a pretty extraordinary group of like-minded individuals and couples who love their fitness and find their fix (and their friends) at Ride? Yes, please J
The most challenging part of owning a business in this industry for me is the fact that literally, EVERYONE has an opinion on how the business is run, which classes are offered, when they’re offered and who is the best instructor. It’s really easy to get bogged down by the sea of opinions and start to question your path. Despite the fact that this is a challenge for any business that interfaces with the public, maintaining the ethos that the studio was built upon has always been the light that guides me!
What’s a typical day like for you?
I am always awake by 6:00 am The day starts with getting the kids up, fed, packed and onto the bus for 7:30. Then it’s either getting ready for class or sitting at the laptop attempting to tackle the never-ending admin with my 2nd cup of courage (coffeeeeee)! Often gone from the house all morning, I arrive back around 1 for my first bit of food in the day and returning phone calls, emails, texts to do with the studio. Boys arrive home at 4:00 and we gear up for homework/dinner/football training. We are late sleepers here at Casa de Greer, so crawl into bed around 11. Lest us not forget the maintenance appointments that are sprinkled into each week including (but not limited to) hair colour/blow dry, nails, skin… the list is literally endless J Lunch with a good friend is a rare occurrence these days and I love when I can squeeze that in too…..
Other spin/fitness studios… comrades or competition?
Ahhhhhhh… good question! And I have to be honest when I say it’s a bit of both! There have been so many studios that have come to market since we opened our doors 5 years ago. Back then, the high street just had one Pilates studio and Ride! I’ve been fortunate enough to develop a fantastic working and personal relationship with the owner of the uber-successful Cobham Pilates… and have learned loads from her about our marketplace and our position therein. I’ve also accepted over the years that competition is a good thing – it makes me up my game and be better. It forces me to check myself and never get passive about the mission at Ride! “Comrades” is a strong word, but I do welcome the growth in making Cobham a fit and healthy destination that offers everything one might need to stay on track J
How do you dress for the day – comfort or style?
My mantra used to always be “Fashion over Function”!!!! And I still kind of live by that rule, but with the trends of trainers, flat boots, leggings, chunky knits, boyfriend jeans and hooded sweatshirts, I find that I get to mesh fashion with function and be comfortable and stylish – which is kind of AMAZING!!!!!
Lisa on her personal style…
What’s your personal style quirk?
Trend Slave. I am relentlessly on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the fashion world. Obsessed even… I’ve never been a “classic” girl where style is concerned, but I do find that my pieces often stand the test of time and I’ll pull out my impulse purchases seasons later and they still work!
What do you splurge on?
Handbags Love a Balenciaga, Givenchy, Gucci is killing it and just got a fab little YSL for Christmas from my amazing man J
Which item do you wish you could have from your mother’s closet?
Ooooohhh probably her collection of gorgeous fur scarves!!!!!
A fashion rule you never break?
Staying age-appropriate. There’s nothing worse than a woman crowding 50 who’s dressed like she’s 21, in my opinion. There are ways to be really sexy/stylish at every age, so I don’t cross that line.
Heels or flats?
Heels at night (ALWAYS) and flats/trainers during the day.
Current street style or Instagram crush?
I’m a little obsessed with a couple girls on Insta atm: Does my bum look 40 is AMAZE and I also love the fashion/captions of The Fashionable Pan – They’re both really real women with edge, which really resonates!
3 of your fave stores/designers?
Zara is my go to… Also love a bit of All Saints, Gucci (for accessories) with a side of Top Shop for cheap and cheerful instant gratification!
Lipstick or chapstick?
The Ride! studio in Cobham has just had a reboot and now offers TRX, boxing and yoga classes as well as spin for the ultimate all over work out experience.
With thanks to Lisa for taking time out to do our interview. If you’d like to find out more about her new classes and the fab Ride! community, pop over to her website here.
For more interviews with interesting real-life fashionistas check out our other 5 minutes on fashion chats here.
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