If you've ever Googled workout classes in NY, chances are that minutes later your Instagram feed has become a minefield of sponsored fitness posts, for workout leggings, apps and classes. And while sometimes annoying, if that's the realm you're looking into right now, it's simply smart advertising from brands.
One such ad that pops up on occasion is for popular high-end boxing gym, Rumble, which began making waves in late 2016 as the boxing alternative to celebrity haunts like Barry's Bootcamp. Subsequent to the glowing online reviews and word of mouth, the gym has amassed a cult following amongst women, and for varying reasons. Primarily, the gym normalizes this full-body workout for all sexes, in a stylish way: the gyms come jam-packed with every product known to man (including the necessary spritz of dry shampoo), and are also a far cry from the grubby boxing gyms of Rocky or Million Dollar Baby.
If indeed, like us, you are in need of some motivation, the ton of lady-trainers on the programme are also there for some serious bod envy, and a quick look at the Rumble Instagram will show you how very ripped consistent boxing gets you. We spoke with one of the co-founders of the gym, Noah Neiman below about all-things Rumble, and why the ladies are so obsessed with it.
1. For someone who has never before heard of Rumble, can you explain what it is and why it's different in such a congested fitness market? What is its philosophy?
We never started Rumble to be different. So when asked what makes us unique; I talk about how we execute an incredible concept, incredibly well. When we were sitting in SoHo house for the very first Rumble concept meetings, we wanted to provide the most fun and curated experience we could provide with some pretty incredible resources in terms of team, talent, vision, and capital. We always discussed being authentic to our unique collection of personalities and visions from the lens of a customer. As discerning fitness aficionados; what did WE want to see? We knew that if we stayed true to that vision, we would inherently be unique. The four founders have an obsession with detail and in providing our customers with the most seamless and fun experience on the market. We found confidence in knowing the workout was going to be effective. We utilize the sweet science of boxing and strength training to provide an incredibly efficient workout. Couple that with the beautiful aesthetics, the cleanliness, the artwork that dons the walls, the low hue of the lights that dance on your skin while the club level sound system pumps inspiring beats straight to your bones!! The attention to making the experience incredibly easy, welcoming, fun, and addictive for the client is the foundation that makes Rumble great. What makes it truly special however, is the execution and constant elevation driven by all of the people of Rumble; our clients sand community.
2. What classes/programs/amenities are on offer and what are the most popular?
Outside the studio, Rumble looks more like a Soho art loft than a gym. We offer a beautifully designed studio chalk full of high end amenities. Spacious locker rooms with plenty of showers; DRYBAR blow drying stations and all the bathroom products a guy or gal needs to stay fresh before and after class!
In studio is where the magic really happens though. We offer 45 minute full body strength and conditioning experience throughout the day starting at 5am and running through 8:30 PM; with most classes selling out. Our Chelsea and Noho locations have recently surpassed every other boutique gym in the country to become the most trafficked studios nationally. Its an incredible honor to know how much fun people are having at Rumble and it shows in the attendance, and the countless instagram posts with big groups of people throwing their fists up and smiling in front of one of our commissioned “Instagrammable moment” art pieces.
3. When did Rumble launch? Can you share any membership numbers/company growth? (It seems like it's the next hot thing in fitness and I'd love to have some numbers/percentages that prove this). What is the percentage of women vs. men members?
Rumble first opened the doors in Chelsea January 9th 2017. Quickly become NYC’s favorite gym destination with attendance skyrocketing to 600 plus people a day relatively quickly. NoHo, our second location, opened doors in August. We have around 60K customers signed up with around 71% being female.
4. How many Rumble locations are there? What is the rate of which you are opening new doors? How many new locations are planned for 2018 and beyond?
2 locations at the moment. With Upper east side and Los Angeles opening in Summer. San Francisco, D.C, Philly opening in Fall. We’re going to open 8-10 Rumbles in the next 20 months
5. The four Rumble founders have very diverse backgrounds. Can you tell us a bit abut each and how they helped shape the business plan?
The founders of Rumble have incredibly diverse backgrounds. From Anthony DiMarco who was one of the original employees of Google who retired to run 17 Ironman, Andy Stenzler who founded Cosi sandwiches and has an amazing entrepreneurial track record, to Eugene Remm the founder of CATCH restaurants and the iconic club TENJUNE, who is one of the best experience makers in the nightlife and hospitality industry, to myself who rose to the top of the NYC fitness scene to become the most highly sought after group fitness trainer in the country. We all had such strong backgrounds and unique contributions to make. I’m so honored to get to work with these visionaries and our bond is something not often seen in business; and that really resonates culturally at Rumble.
6. Is Rumble self-funded or are there investors? Can you share anything unique about the fundraising process or any investors behind the company?
We have an incredibly robust and diverse group of investors. It’s “fun money” meaning we had such a strong reputation and plan going into this thing, we had the ability to choose backers that would help contribute to the culture of Rumble and not just simply write a check. From Sylvester Stallone to some incredibly reputable funds. When you open a boxing gym, and have ROCKY himself believing in your vision, you know you have something special.
7. Rumble seems to have particularly struck a chord with women. Can you tell us why you think that is? Where there any strategies to target bringing women into the Rumble world, or did this happen naturally?
We wanted to make boxing more accessible. Polish the experience up. We have a message of inclusivity, equality, and empowerment that resonates with the messaging, aesthetics, and execution of the Rumble brand. Couple that with the unique and welcoming design, and I think you have a recipe that tastes delicious to our female customer. I am incredibly proud of how welcomed women feel at Rumble, and how they are using Rumble to hone their skills. Using a Rumble class to find an endlessly flowing well of positivity, support, and their own self confidence.
Here, you spend half the class on the bags and half on the floor
Boxing can be intimidating and male dominated, so it was important for us to keep the authenticity of a boxing inspired studio, but be cognizant that we wanted everyone to feel like they could let loose and throw punches without fear of judgement.
8. Can you tell us a little bit about how you market the brand/gain new customers? Is social media a big part of the strategy?
We have an experience that people love to share, so a lot of our social media marketing comes from our rapidly expanding customer base sharing their experiences to their engaged following authentically. That authenticity and home grown marketing is the strongest form of promotion. Provide a great time, and let people share it with their spheres of influence. We also make sure to keep our own marketing material and content incredibly fresh and engaging. We constantly have shoots to keep promoting our brand on social media in a fresh way. We don’t do stale or normal at Rumble. We have to stay fresh to death!
9. Any learning lessons/unique challenges you've faced on the road to launching Rumble that you can share with entrepreneurs looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be true to your vision. To touch back to your first question, everyone sets out to be DIFFERENT. We set out to be authentic. Building a brand is a job that you can’t clock out of. We’re so fortunate to absolutely love what we do, so you might catch all of the founders of Rumble taking a class at 830 pm on a Thursday night supporting a new trainer on schedule. We are heavily involved. Being an entrepreneur is a lot like boxing. It's not about not getting hit, it's about rolling with those punches, taking it on the chin sometimes, and knowing you have the dedication, training, team support and work ethic to persevere.
The glam behind the success, Rumble doesn't look like a typical gym
10. Are there any unique trends you are seeing in the fitness world these days? With all the options going on (from phone apps to Classpass), is today's fitness consumer more discerning than ever? If so, what is she looking for?
Of course. You can be when you have so many options. At the end of the day though, people want fun and convenience. People will pay a premium for fitness if they feel like they are getting their moneys worth. So for us, it was important to provide the most premium experience ever so that we could warrant our price and a discerning fitness enthusiasts time.
11. Can you tell us little about your trainers/founding trainers? It seems you have some amazing ladies there. Can you tell us a bit about them and how you selected the team? (What is the percentage of men/women trainers?)
The talent of the Rumble trainers is undeniable. We were so fortunate to naturally have connections to our founding team and everything came together very serendipitously. Joe Ferraro, Rob Sulaver, Andy Stern, Erika Hammond, Dani Burrell, and Ashley Guarrassi. When you know, you know. Confidence is never a problem with us founders and we trust our gut. When we were meeting with potential trainers to launch this brand, we knew without a doubt the star power of this group of individuals.
Their passion and dedication to the craft is unrelenting, and it shows with every class they teach. Same with all of the trainers at Rumble; they bleed their love, passion, and care for the people in their class. Sweat pouring off their bodies as the drive the arch of the class. I may be a little biased but simply put, its just special. A special place, filled with special people, and an incredibly special culture. I couldn’t be more proud and humbled that Rumble has had such a profound affect on New York City in such a short amount of time.
Universally loved, and, (especially at this time of year) drunk merrily and in excess, wine is the answer to much if not all our prayers, on a regular basis.
The wine industry also happens to be home to some major female leaders, and it's become apparent, that the barriers to entry women face in almost every other industry don't apply here, as long as you've the work ethic and brains behind your operation.
"This is a people's business," says Delia Vader, CEO of Viader Wines, who's vehement about the gender neutrality of the wine industry, and hopeful for it's future, (even with the hefty factors of global warming, and recent wildfires, contending with the grape-producing vines).
Naturally, we were all too excited to sit down with five leaders in the industry working throughout the globe, that are innovating and shaping the future vintages from California to Italy and beyond. Below are five such women, ranging from vineyard to store owners, and one woman who's completely shifting the way we think about wine consumption.
Francesca Planeta, Wine Director, Planeta Wines
Francesca Planeta has been a rising star on the Sicilian wine scene for the last few years. Planeta is devoted not only to promoting her own vineyard, but promoting all the wines of Italy's largest island, which is most famous for the wonderful, Nero D'Avola.
Sicily's wine scene veritably boomed around Planeta as she was growing up. So when she finally began working on the Planeta Wines vineyard in her early twenties, she quickly learned the nuances of the land and the grapes she would ultimately come to produce. “I had begun to help out at the winery, using a graphics studio to create the logo and the first labels, and then I returned to Sicily, during the time of that first harvest. (This) was the moment when I decided that I would take on the challenge of working with the business that bore our family name."
Given that the business was family owned, Planeta did not encounter any barriers to entry because of her gender, but instead made sure that women are integral to the process on the vineyard. “Women have a fundamental role in our business," says the winemaker. “They are entrusted with many responsible positions; from wine making to directing exports and from the hotels to the entire marketing and communications office."
A worrying factor for both Planeta and the women at the vineyard however is global warming, something which has plagued wineries across the globe in recent years. Given that the taste and production of wine depends heavily on its “terroir" (or, surroundings), changes in environment are immediately a factor for anyone in the industry to consider when its coming to harvest season. “It generally seems to us that global warming presents not only a problem of warming in itself," she comments. “But in extremes of weather phenomena, with heavier rainfall – when it occurs, and rather longer periods of drought. (However), living and working in the centre of the Mediterranean gives us better conditions and the last twenty years have shown greater climatic stability."
Selling upwards of 2.3M bottles of wine a year, her chief markets (apart from Italy), are the United States, Germany, England, and Russia, followed by Canada, Switzerland and Japan. And she recommends that for the chillier months, if you're drinking a Sicilian wine, to go for Merlot, Syrah, or Burdese.
Delia Viader, CEO, Viader Wines
Argentinian-born Delia Viader was in the midst of an M.I.T degree, with three children at home, when an opportunity arose to purchase a vineyard in Napa Valley. “The timing was perfect for relocating my very young family," she says, who quickly got to grips with their new surroundings as their mother began constructing a powerhouse wine team to launch Viader Wines.
It hasn't always been easy for Viader and her team however. Before the financial crash of 2008, Viader was sold in every state throughout the U.S, and exported to 24 countries abroad. Since the crash, and an arsonist fire at a warehouse of theirs containing the entire 2003 vintage, they've changed their business model drastically. Now, they sell 90 percent of their collections direct-to-consumer, with the remaining 10 percent sent abroad or to the bigger markets of New York, California and Texas.
She has also become naturally concerned by the Californian wildfires of late, and their threat to both the vines, and the warehouses where the barrels are kept. “The biggest impact on our vineyard has been the change of weather pattern we have been experiencing for the past 35 years that we can speak of," says the CEO. “We are learning a lot about how resilient affected vines can be, and how wine made from those grapes needs to be processed to perhaps reshape stylistic performance of the resulting wine. The winegrowers as an industry will be learning a lot from this."
Learning and innovating are at the core of Viader's vineyards, where her son, Alan is championing new ways to irrigate their 92-acres of land, and fine tuning an understanding of “the exact optimal time to harvest at each vines' peak ripeness." And while she may be the CEO, she heavily depends on him for his expertise and blending capabilities. “I am the owner and CEO but I call myself the wine mother because I am the mother of the vines (I had them planted myself, my way); the mother of the wine (I 'created' our Cabernet-based wine to be highly influenced by the terroir with a high dose of Cab franc and remain, highly influential at the final assemblage-blend); and I am the mother of the winemaker, my son Alan Viader."
What is Viader most likely to be drinking at this moment? “I am very susceptible to a vibrant Pinot Noir from Burgundy most times," she says. “But my choice really depends on two variables: the food I am going to have and the company, the people I am going to share that bottle of wine with. I love harmony in the wine, the food pairing and the conviviality that springs from sharing a great wine."
Julia Jackson, Propietor, Jackson Family Wines
As one of the largest family-run wine groups in the U.S, The Jackson Family has garnered quite a name for itself. Leading the way within the group is Julia Jackson, daughter of mother Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson who built the group up from the ground, which is now worth an estimated $2.3 billion.
Today, their portfolio boasts wines from 52 wineries throughout the world, and integral to that is building relationships from within and amalgamating abroad. For Jackson, that means working in almost every facet of the business in order to cover all the projects she wishes to pursue. “I wear a few hats in my family business," she comments. “I'm spearheading my first acquisition project in another country, (and) I work with our international sales team to be one of the faces for Jackson Family Wines." On top of this, she's also involved with the group's environmental and philanthropic efforts, which, given the wildfire situation in California, will be work much needed in the years to come. “All my philanthropic efforts are focused around our environment and I created a charitable program that gives grants to women within the eco-space through our Santa Maria based winery Cambria."
Jackson's favorite wine at this time of the year? Gran Moraine from Willamette Valley Oregon.
Hortense Bernard, General Manager, Millesima Wines
Hortense Bernard was working with global industry leaders Moet Hennessy Diageo in Paris as a brand manager before she made her big move to the U.S. Now, she stands as one of the youngest female General Managers in the world of a large international firm, atop the Millesima USA group.
Millesima, a leading retailer in Europe, who branched into he U.S in 2006, owns upwards of 2.5M bottles of fine wine that are housed in the company's cellars in Bordeaux, France, (which is also the largest AOC vineyard in the country).
Bernard, who had her first glass of wine at eight years old, works primarily with direct-to-consumer retail and educating the U.S market about Bordeaux wines from their shop on the Upper East Side here in New York. "My goal is to educate as much as I can," she says. "In store, we speak about Bordeaux, and try to explain (because Bordeaux wine can be really complex), the wine."
"When I arrived here, I didn't know anything about American consumption," she laughs. "So it took me quite a bit to learn about it and understand how Americans see wines, and what they mean when the ask for a Chardonnay."
On top of chatting with customers, Bernard plays host to a lot of cultural events throughout the city, accompanying her wines whenever there might be a chance to express the history and significance of the wine for both France, and the industry at large.
So naturally, when asked what she'll be drinking on the celebratory occasions of December, it will be a big full-bodied Bordeaux " because that always takes me back (home)."
Marian Leitner, Founder, Archer Roose
Once it dawned on Marian Leitner that Millennials were drinking more wine than beer, she saw an opportunity to modernise the way we purchase, consume and enjoy wine.
"In the U.S, you actually pay more for the shipping and the packaging than you do for the wine itself," says Leitner. "So I started to ask why and learn more about the alternative packaging market."
Branching away from bottles, Leitner looked to packaging wine in every way beer is packaged - from cans and kegs, and then also, in boxes.
"You have to separate consumers into two buckets - the super high-end collectors, who make up less than 1 percent of the population, and then you have people who are drinking, "value" wines. And then the rest of America are basically beer drinkers."
Upon the realization that Millennial wine drinkers are more than beer drinkers, she also came to understand that they're also very brand-loyal. Brands that represent qualities and values they share, are the ones they're consuming the most. "So we decided to leverage the alternative packaging movement (which is keg, can and box), to cut through all the noise of the bottles in the wine store, and really connect with consumers." In doing so, she launched the company, Archer Roose Wines.
This move means, that apart from the ultra-hip way the wine is presented, you're also economizing. One box of Archer Roose wine contains the equivalent of 4 regular bottles. And inevitably, the kegs contain a huge volume.
Wine kegger, anyone?