Best Friends in Life & Business
Iowa ranks among the top 10 states in vitality of women-owned businesses as measured by employment growth rate and average numbers of employees from 2014 - 2019, according to American Express' 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. Doing their part: Lyndsey Fennelly and Kelsey Carper, owners of CampusCycle spin studio.
The best friends are former Iowa State women's basketball All-Americans, and both are married to members of the Iowa State women's basketball coaching staff. The pair started CampusCycle in Ames in 2016, opening a second location in The District at Prairie Trail a couple years later.
"We were really attracted to the growth in the area," Lyndsey says. "The District excels in creating great experiences, and that mirrored the feeling we wanted to create in our classes."
Lyndsey, a motivational speaker named one of the top five point guards in the U.S. by ESPN, is a passionate teacher and basketball trainer who has worked with over 31,000 athletes across North America since 2007. Kelsey is also a basketball player development coach, a Realtor and community volunteer. A couple of super busy women, so naturally, they were looking for more to take on. As the old saying goes, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."
"We wanted to get in business together," Lyndsey explains. "We have opposite strengths and weaknesses. I think as best friends we wanted to test that on a professional level."
The pair looked at a number of different business options, from a food establishment to a gym, eventually landing on CampusCycle after years of discussion.
"We had noticed across the country in major cities beat driven spin was really taking off," said Lyndsey, who said she and Kelsey travelled to a number of cities to try out similar studios. "We fell in love with it. It felt like a workout central Iowa would crave and enjoy and really want to be a part of on a daily basis. We wanted to be and were the first to bring it to Iowa."
CampusCycle is a high energy, beat-driven spin cycle studio that provides a total body workout fueled by motivating coaches, inspiring music, and a unique culture of community, fun and support. Cyclists of all ages and ability are encouraged to take part in classes. The studio also features boutique athletic wear, including the lululemon brand.
"It makes me emotional to think every time our classes meet people are bettering themselves mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually," Lyndsey says. "It warms my heart and makes me excited about the lifestyle we've created and provided for other people."
Dividing and Conquering
While launching CampusCycle, both Lyndsey and Kelsey were managing households with young babies as well as their other businesses. "CampusCycle is one of our many babies we are caretaking," laughs Lyndsey. "We've just tried to survive these last couple of years, but now we are working on thriving!"
To do so, the pair has divided up CampusCycle responsiblities, with Kelsey managing the retail side of the business and Lyndsey managing the coaching side. "We don't really touch each other's spheres unless we have a suggestion or a compliment," Lyndsey says. "It's worked really well. We are very much equal partners and contributors."
"It's probably been one of the greatest wins of my life being able to manage a friendship and partnership at the same time," Lyndsey says. "We are best friends but we separate our friendship from our business relationship. Sometimes we'll have coffee and we'll joke that the first 30 minutes is us working together, and the second 30 minutes is us just being friends."
"We both love the freedom, flexibility, the balance that entrepreneurial lifestyle can provide," says Lyndsey, who said the pair didn't view themselves as entrepreneurs until being named the Ames Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2017. "It allows us to do the one job that we both cherish the most which is being mothers."
Check out the CampusCycle blog here.