Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise known as the coronavirus, wreaking havoc across the country and causing many to go into isolation under new quarantine rules mandated by the government, the public health crisis has caused many small businesses to go into survival mode, struggling to stay afloat while all non-essential businesses are forced to close. This New York-based spin studio decided to switch things up and serve the community.
In 2016, Hampton University alum Briana Owens, who saw a void in spin studios geared toward black women like herself, opened up her first boutique cycling studio, Spiked Spin, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, last November and has been welcomed with open arms by the local community.
“I was taking different cycling classes all around New York City and really noticed a lack of diversity in the space,” Owens explained to The Grio. “I started off just kind of getting certified to teach. I was teaching at other studios for a few years and then I decided I wanted to be the one to make that change and I created Spiked Spin”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, she, like many others, had to think of a quick solution if she expected her business to survive.
“I’m in my house trying to think about things like, ‘what does this mean for the brand,’ and ‘how do we solve it’ while also wanting to be considerate that there’s a whole world, that people who may not be working. For me to come out with another thing to buy just doesn’t feel genuine for me,” Owens says. “The businesswoman in me is trying to understand how to keep the business going as we move through this, but the human in me is like, ‘but somebody needs to feed their child.’
Owens started the Spiked Quarantine Challenge to motivate people to stay healthy and fit while they were on quarantine with a series of free home workouts. “The main goal of the [challenge] is to get yourself moving at least 30 minutes just so that you can stay in a routine, keep your blood flowing,” says Owens, “keep your mind on other things outside of this situation.”
Once the restrictions lift and life begins to go back to normal and Spiked Spin eventually re-opens its doors, customers will be treated to diverse music playlists including reggae, soca, afrobeats, and reggaeton curated by Spiked instructors.