Wired Women: Jess Bashelor2:50 PM
Wired Women profiles successful women with ties to Boston who are pursuing their passions. These women serve as an inspiration not only to myself, but to women and girls everywhere who are eager to make waves in their field. Meet Jess Bashelor, the owner of The Handle Bar (with locations in Southie, Fenway, and Harvard). I met Jess when I started spinning at The Handle Bar nearly two years ago. She's one of my favorite instructors at the studio and has an entrepreneurial spirit that has made The Handle Bar a success. Read more about Jess below...
Style-Wire: What does a typical work day look like for you?
Jess Bachelor: Every single day is different. But my ideal, most productive HB day looks something like this:
Wakeup around 6am: Walk the dog down to the coffee shop and snag two large iced coffees for myself and my fiancé. (We're starting to use the coffee maker.. but in the summer months the Dunkin Iced is sort of non-negotiable.) Brush hair, get dressed, do makeup.
7am - 8am: Catch up on emails and firm-up my daily to-do list, pop in some laundry or do a bit of housework.
8am-9am: Eat a quick breakfast, usually greek yogurt with granola, chia seeds and berries. Take the dog (Brett, 18 months, my bestie) outside to do something, either a walk or a trip to the park.
Head into the Fenway studio around 9/930am and begin my work day! A normal day is typically 25% email, 25% meetings/calls, 25% administrative work (bills, accounting, managing vendors/appointments, schedules, etc) and 25% creating/brainstorming graphic design, hands-on in-studio tasks, marketing work, dreaming up new stuff... etc!
I try to limit my normal work stuff to the 9-5 hours.. then in the evening I'll either be teaching a class, or taking a class either at The HB or yoga. I usually schedule a few evening meetings during the week or will have an event or two to attend. Home by 7:30 or 8pm. I'll try to cook if I'm feeling ambitious and then 30 minutes of wedding planning stuff and an episode of GOT. That's a good day!
SW: It took me years to fall in love with working out-- have you always been active or was it something you grew into?
JB: Doing sports was not really a choice for me or my brothers growing up. My parents always pushed us to take part in as much physically activity as possible. I started swimming at a young age and continued through high-school. I started lifting to help my times in high school, then continued that effort in college. While visiting the gym at Northeastern, I couldn't help but become interested in all the group fitness offerings. I fell in love! Group fitness kept me active after I was done with my swimming career. I've never been as fit as I am now, but I've always worked-out 3-4 times per week.
SW: As a young female entrepreneur what would you say was the number one challenge when building your business?
JB: Negotiating fair deals. With no experience when I started I had to be really careful with each decision and make sure I tried to learn as much as possible before moving forward. I have to consult advisors and put a lot of faith in [other] people as I build my own experience.
SW: When The Handle Bar opened spinning wasn't as popular, did you ever imagine growing from your first studio in Southie into three full studios?
JB: It was always a dream in the back of my head to expand but before Southie opened I was only focused on Southie. Then when it showed continued success, we began moving forward with expansion plans.... and here we are today! Time truly flies.
SW: The Handle Bar stands out to me because of it's unique sense of community-- was that something that naturally came about or something you worked to create?
JB: It's something that I worked hard to create. The brand and the vibe is something that I try to stay true to. From my first ever internal handle bar email, to the most recent social media posts - we're always pushing our fun-loving, positivity inspiring vibes across all mediums.
SW: I know I bribe myself with new workout clothes, how do you stay motivated to keep active and healthy?
JB: It's easy when it's your life! Its' so natural to me now, working out is a part of my life, a part of almost every day. But I will say that nothing makes me want to sweat harder than a fresh playlist!
SW: You've been featured in the press and in Lululemon's Newbury Street windows celebrating your successes, but what would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
JB: My proudest accomplishment is my team. Just the fact that they WANT to work for me. That they have a shared love for this beautiful, amazing, growing business! Seeing memberrs of the 'HB Fam' thrive and grow as a result of their involvement with The Handle Bar is truly awe inspiring.