Erika Brason used to be my cubicle neighbor when we were both at Channel 2! She is so sweet and funny! She left the business a while ago and now has opened up her own indoor cycling studio. She was nice enough to do a Spotlight Interview with me – and fill me in on how she’s been, what she’s up to, and of course – what makes her Totally Buffalo.
Q: I am so happy for you and your new endeavor! Tell us about your new business!!
A: Thanks Mary! Rebel Ride is a boutique indoor cycling & strength studio that is the first of its kind in WNY. We offer an immersive, sensory experience in our cycle theater, which has a sophisticated lighting and sound system and 33 Stages bikes. Our instructors went through months of extensive training to elevate their skills to become the best they can be. Our Studio B offers TRX and In-Trinity classes. In-Trinity is a mix of yoga, pilates and martial arts performed on an inclined board. We are the first to offer this practice in WNY. Some people ask if we are a franchise, and the answer is no. I created this brand from scratch and hope to open other locations at some point. We are also in the process of trademarking the brand.
Q: What made you decide to open this amazing gym?
A: I was reintroduced to indoor cycling when my daughter went to college in DC, where there are numerous boutique cycling studios that offer amazing classes and a much different experience from what I had ever known before. I was so intrigued by the concept and it was the right time in my life to embark on a new challenge.
Q: How are you doing balancing being a business owner and raising two kids?
A: Both of my kids are now in college, so I suddenly had the time to refocus and do something new with my life.
Q: Do you miss your days of broadcast news?
A: Sometimes! I always loved being in the news business, but it can wear you down. Starting a business has been liberating and extremely challenging, but also incredibly rewarding to see people enjoying our studio.
Q: What do you miss most and least?!
A: I miss the creative process of reporting and putting stories together every day. I always liked that you never knew what you might be doing, so it never got old and always kept you on your toes. I don’t miss the long hours, early mornings and late nights! However, I’m now in a business that operates early mornings and evenings, so here I go again!
Q: What is the craziest thing that ever happened to you on live television?
A: I always remember the technical difficulties that forced us to “wing it” when we couldn’t communicate with the station or weather interfered with our location or getting a signal to broadcast. Everything was always down to the wire to make it work. These things happened more often than viewers would ever know!
Q: What do you think about how much Buffalo has changed over the past few years?
A: Wow, that is so true! It’s so refreshing and I’m so proud to be bringing something to the area that has become common in many other cities. I love seeing the growth and expansion downtown, which ultimately helps small businesses like ours.
Q: What have you been up to since leaving the business?
A: I had a clothing business for about 5 years, but I’ve been working on Rebel Ride for about 2 years, so that has definitely kept me busy!
Q: I know giving back to the community is important to you – we’ve been at Response to Love Center together in the past – why is it important for you to give back and to teach your kids the importance of it all?
A: My studio is uniquely positioned to provide a fun and healthy way to bring people together to raise money for charitable causes. We created “Rebels with a Cause” as a way to hold charity rides and other functions for various organizations. For our grand opening, we held a raffle and sold t-shirts for Roswell and also offered a donation based ride to recognize breast cancer awareness month. Any charitable organization can hold a ride at our studio and basically sell spots in the class for any dollar amount. For example, an organization can sell 33 seats for $50 each and make $1650 for a 50 minute class. It’s a really unique way to raise money. Even though my kids are in college, I hope they are proud of their mom and see that it’s never too late to do something new and give back.
Q: What makes you totally Buffalo?
A: Everything! I’m a Buffalo native and our community of riders, which continues to grow, also cares about our mission and our city. Because we are a small, customer service driven studio, we already see the connections building along with the mutual desire to see this region thrive. It starts with a desire to have a great workout in a unique environment, but develops into a much more meaningful experience because we strive to be welcoming and inclusive, which is totally Buffalo.
Good luck at what looks like an amazing place, Erika!!!
For more information on REBEL RIDE – where they offer a FREE class to check it out – head to their website, RebelRide.com
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