By Melissa Hovey
Erica Fenlon is the owner and founder of CycleSouth, uptown Charlotte’s first boutique indoor cycling (“Spin”) studio which was recently named ‘Best New Workout’ in Charlotte Magazine’s 2016 BOB awards. Erica moved to Charlotte in 2014 following 15 years in New York as an investment banker.
Why did you decide to join the Women’s Impact Fund? When I moved to Charlotte, my sister, who had lived in Charlotte for years said, “You MUST join WIF. Period.” She knew that WIF would introduce me to an amazing network of women, help me plug into the community and allow me to give back through a leading nonprofit. I reviewed the website for 5 minutes at most and signed up. She was right! WIF is amazing.
What would you tell a friend or colleague who was thinking about joining Women’s Impact Fund? Sign up immediately! It’s flexible, welcoming, educational, effective and fun. It is a great opportunity to surround yourself with a diverse group of strong women. Joining was one of the BEST decisions I made (or my sister made for me)!
Why did you decide to open your own business? I moved to Charlotte to be closer to family and planned to find an investment banking position. At the time, I was also turning 40, which seemed like a good time to step back and really think about my options. Once the thought of opening a small business (and the prospect of great cycling classes and living my life in Lululemon!) entered my head, I couldn’t get it out. My family rallied around me, and one thing after another fell into place. Before I knew it, I had a lease, a general contractor, 35 bikes, 6 instructors and really no idea what I was doing. It’s fun, scary and incredibly rewarding. I would NOT be able to do it without my family though – everyone helps out!
What do you do to release stress? Wine is always a great go to, and amazing, but not always the most effective. I used to run in Central Park to release stress, but after several years, my knees would no longer allow it. I started indoor cycling to get my cardio fix and was instantly hooked. A good cycling class is my reset – the therapeutic benefits are unreal. A good sweat goes a long way!