Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Michelle August, the founder of indoor cycling studio SPINCO. She started the spin studio business in 2014 when she was only 22. With successful locations in Kelowna and Victoria, she decided to bring SPINCO to Toronto this year. I’m a huge fan of millennials dedicating themselves to the health and wellness space because let’s be honest, the world needs more of it. And, when a young professional is so dedicated to taking a shot at making something notable happen on their own terms – that they’re willing to even move out of their hometown to do it – I truly do salute them. That’s why I take my hat off to what Michelle August has created and given up to get to where she is at today.
We caught up with Michelle to find out what inspires her and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
– Julian Brass, founder, Notable
1. Describe what you do in less than 40 characters. Go.
I am the founder of SPINCO, an indoor cycling studio. On a day-to-day basis, I strive to inspire my team and riders. Behind the scenes, I am constantly working to grow SPINCO, so I wear many hats in the business.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
At first, I didn’t really know whether or not I wanted to cater to spinners, yogis or rowers. I just knew I wanted to build an experience, a workout that anyone could look forward to every damn day – most importantly, I wanted to build a community.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
There have been tons of highlights, but I think growing SPINCO from one location to three locations in under two years has to be my biggest accomplishment. I have a few more expansion plans underway, and there are still many more milestones I plan to achieve, so stay tuned!
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
I’m in love with the process and creation of new companies, I know I’ll always be an entrepreneur. I honestly can’t imagine my life without SPINCO, so I’d love to see my business grow and potentially expand throughout North America. Right now, I have locations in Kelowna, Victoria and Toronto and there’s lots more coming.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Listen to your heart and find your passion. All of the “what if’s” and uncertainties are worth it! There is no better feeling than creating something that you can watch thousands of other people enjoy.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
My brother and I founded the August Family Foundation (AFF). We come from the Okanagan Valley where the aspect of community is very relevant. With the passing of our uncle, we realized just how much the community touched him and how it fuelled him. We started the AFF in his honour and in a short two years, we’ve managed to surpass our five-year goal, raising $210,000. Next, we plan to build The August Family Bereavement Centre, a place where families and loved ones can stay, receive counselling and feel supported through tough times.
To celebrate the launch of SPINCO in Toronto, I collaborated with Peace Collective to design a collection of workout gear that’s available at the studio. A portion of proceeds from that collection is donated to Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada to help fund recreational sports and activities.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I’m fortunate to say that SPINCO, as a business, has been pretty smooth sailing. However, the challenge for me was moving from little Kelowna to Toronto. I came here with a dream and a dog, so that was a difficult decision to make. I don’t regret it one bit; in six months, this little leap of faith has paid off and SPINCO is now a successful, nationwide company.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Someone that is brave enough to go against the grain.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Kasa Moto, best vibes in the city! Nothing beats summer nights on their patio.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Probably SPINCO’s operating software. I just checked my iTunes “25 most played” and “No Diggity” is sitting on the top of the list!
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
@SPINCOtoronto on Instagram… 100%!
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
It’s hard to pick just one!
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
When “No Diggity” comes on in the spin room and I’m not in the class!
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Snapchatting my food… and my dog!
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I spend far too much money at Lululemon, I basically live in their gear and love every second of it. What’s something I wish I spent more money on? … Is it bad if I say Lululemon?
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
As long as I have my amazing family and friends by my side, sharing my journey, I’ll be the most successful person in the world.