Name: Ruth Zukerman
Job title: Co-Founder, Flywheel Sports
What she does: The boutique fitness industry has exploded in New York City, and there’s no doubt that spinning tour de force Flywheel Sports has had something to do with it. As co-founder and creative director of Flywheel, Ruth Zukerman has made it her mission to provide exceptional customer service for her members and to deliver “an authentic, efficient and amazing fitness experience.” Flywheel offers a boutique fitness experience through two different classes: Flywheel, a “next-generation indoor cycling program,” and Flybarre, a floor-based strength/toning class using a ballet barre.
How she got her gig: Ruth was approached by her two current partners a couple of years ago with the idea to create a new concept for the indoor cycling industry. “It was a dream come true. Prior to Flywheel, I had co-founded the first boutique indoor cycling studio in New York City, but I knew that the ideas my partners and I developed were going to bring indoor cycling to a whole new level,” says Ruth. “With my expertise in fitness and their expertise in business and technology, we were the perfect combination of talents.”
Superstar cyclers: Perhaps more than anything about Flywheel, Ruth prides herself on the quality of her instructors. “When I realized that the general consensus from our riders was that they liked all of our instructors, that became the pinnacle of success for me in this business,” says Ruth, who always emphasizes customer service in everything she does. “Indoor cycling instructors tend to have a bit of ‘star power’ among clients, and as a result it has been a very individualized, personality-driven business for many years. To amass an entire staff of superstars has always been a goal, and to achieve it has felt great.”
A devoted community: For Ruth, Flywheel isn’t just a place where customers simply come to work out; her studio has transformed into a full-on community in its own right. “After completing the Flywheel Instructor Certification program, a trainee held his first ride to a full studio of riders (we call it our “graduation ceremony’). Nearly every current Flywheel instructor showed up to support the trainee, and the studio was full of instructors, employees, and friends of Flywheel,” says Ruth. “The support that I could see and feel among our entire staff was palpable. I'd like to think that my approach to my staff and the respect that they are shown has set an example of how everyone should behave and treat each other. The new instructor's class ROCKED and that was an accomplishment in itself.”
Family first: Although Ruth is incredibly devoted to her business, her greatest accomplishment in life isn’t career-related. “My greatest success has been raising my twin daughters in New York City and helping guide them as they grew into the beautiful, smart, gracious women that they are, not to mention the most amazing daughters I could ever ask for,” says Ruth.
This job’s for you if: you have faith in what you’re selling. “To succeed in this field, a person first and foremost must really believe in their product. After that, I would say perseverance and respect and appreciation for your customers are key.”
People power: While dealing with the cutthroat competition in New York City could make anyone become jaded, Ruth is lucky to have dealt with people whom she admires and truly respects. “I've been in the boutique indoor cycling business for almost six years at this point. I've worked with many different people along the way and feel truly blessed for the group of people I get to work with every day at Flywheel,” says Ruth. “It proves that there is justice in this world and goodness and true integrity prevails.”