Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Whitby.
Natasha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I had several “normal jobs” for five years and realized the only thing that really made me happy was working out, and later teaching. I didn’t have any prior management experience, but I had worked in Merchandising at a large corporate company, Account Management at a start-up and finally Sales at another large corporate company. My experience was all over the place, but my interests still relied on fitness. I only taught two classes for my first year at The Handle Bar while working an inflexible sales job, but the owner of The Handle Bar, Jess Fracalossi, had a gut feeling that put me in my current position as South Boston Studio Manager, Retail Coordinator, and full-time instructor.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Almost immediately after starting my new position as Studio Manager, the AC broke in the middle of July. It was certainly not the easiest time, but our riders continued to have such a positive attitude. Instead of just fixing the AC, we decided to move forward with a full renovation, while remaining open. It was not only hard work, but it was hot for almost one month! The hard work paid off with an all-day “Renovation Celebration,” including drinks, great company and free classes.
When you teach full-time, your body and mind need a little more TLC than the average person. We put our bodies through so much on a daily basis, but we’re also putting on a show for our riders which can be mentally exhausting. Hip and back pain is typically what you hear about, but my biggest struggle has been my voice. I had to go on full vocal rest for one week, getting my classes subbed out because I could barely speak, let alone teach. I still don’t sound how I used to when I was only teaching two classes per week, but I’ve worked on utilizing my voice differently to make it work.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Handle Bar – what should we know?
The Handle Bar is a locally-owned cycling studio run and operated by a team of strong women. I’ve never felt so inspired. Rarely do you see successful businesses being run by women on the forefront, and I’m proud to say I’m a part of one of them.
What sets us apart is our inclusivity, along with a kick-ass workout. We’ll never make you feel like you’re not good enough by our attitude, but we’ll push you to feel like an empowered version of yourself.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My drive has always been the reason why I’ve been successful. I have a very “can-do” attitude even when I have no idea what’s going on. I think confidence is also important. You’ll never hear about a successful person who’s not confident because you have to be mentally strong enough to take risks and think outside the box. How can I get better? How can I learn? How can I make a difference? How can I grow? I always think ahead even when it seems difficult to do so. I’ve also been told I have “ask for forgiveness, not for permission.” approach, which I think stems from my drive and confidence.
- First Class $10
- First Month Unlimited $100
- Single Class $26
- 5 classes $125
- 10 classes $230
- 20 classes $380
- 40 classes $720
- 1 Month (3x/week) $180
- 1 Month Unlimited $210
- Monthly Auto-Renew (6-month commitment) $195
- Website: www.handlebarcycling.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: the_handle_bar
Sarah Coppinger, Lindsay Beauregard, Halie Olszowy, Kate Nolan