StarCycle announces plans for expansion
Two Lake Oswego women are taking their model of boutique fitness to the next level
Erin Moone and Dionne Del Carlo are having the ride of their life, literally and figuratively. The pair of Lake Oswego businesswomen are in the process of realizing a vision they've had since the doors of their boutique cycling studio StarCycle opened in 2013.
With five locations spanning the Portland-Vancouver area and a sixth in Colorado, Moone and Del Carlo recently unveiled plans to bolster their leadership teams to prepare to expand nationwide.
"Boutique fitness is hot right now," Moone says. "Opening the three franchises we have, they're proven successful business models and building that momentum pushed us to grow more."
To foster that growth, Moone and Del Carlo brought on Steve Cuthrell as chief operations officer. Cuthrell brings more than 30 years of experience in corporate and strategic development to StarCycle, including a strong background in franchise operations, sales and development. Prior to joining StarCycle, Cuthrell led a team of regional developers covering 235 locations for Massage Envy.
"We never wanted it to feel corporate, so we wanted everything to be locally owned and operated, but we just don't have the community connections all over so (franchising) was the best way we could share what we do with other communities," Del Carlo says.
In addition to Cuthrell, StarCycle is welcoming three more business minds into the fold, including Hanna Boone, chief creative officer; Lainie Belitz, vice president of operations; and Jeffrey Frankel, chief legal counsel.
Boone joins StarCycle as a previous Barre3 veteran, where she was the creative director. Belitz was most recently senior director of operations for Pure Barre, the largest barre fitness concept in the nation where she managed operations and grew the franchise from its early days with a handful of locations to over 450 today. Frankel also brings a deep bench of franchise industry expertise, previously at Massage Envy before joining StarCycle.
At its core, StarCycle aims to remain true to its mission of providing a new breed of indoor cycling studios that utilizes music and choreography for a physical and mental approach to cycling. The studio's science-based, 45-minute classes are set to music with inspiring and approachable instructors in an atmosphere that seeks to empower both body and mind.
"Really it's a fitness experience but we're also helping people emotionally with their day-to-day lives. It's proof that cardio improves your life expectancy, ability to fight heart disease, cancer and all these different things," Del Carlo says. "If we can bring that to other communities while empowering someone else to own and operate the business, that's a huge win for us."
Moone and Del Carlo say they've received a swath of inquiries into franchising StarCycle locations from interested parties across the country, but they're waiting until the ink dries before they announce any new locations.
"I don't think we were confident enough a couple years ago to hire a team like this. Now we are, and the timing was perfect for it, and the market is right," Del Carlo says.
"The ideal candidate for us is someone who has business experience, and has worked in a variety of jobs, sales or marketing. Someone who has had a successful career, values fitness and wants to own and operate their own business."
Moon said she and Del Carlo agree that the biggest surprise in this venture has been the impact they've made on people's lives, but the biggest reward is finally seeing the execution of their expansion plans after years of hard work.
"With how hard we've worked and always moving ahead, just being the driving force behind growing this business has been amazing for me both personally and as a partner with Dionne."