I had to be honest with Briana, the founder of Spiked Spin, a chic yet intense spinning class with a hip-hop touch. When I saw her post about how she felt like she played with her dreams for a while, and did it out of insecurity, I was like, “okay, I have to interview her.” That’s how I felt about my brand; and I feel like a lot of women probably feel insecure about chasing their secret dreams, too. A lot of us are silencing ourselves and suppressing our life’s desires from within because we’re afraid to be who we were meant to be. We’re afraid to do what we know we should be doing with our lives. When I saw Bri get super real on Instagram about this, I knew I had to meet her. That was May 2017. A year and some change later, and Bri is literally making Spiked Spin a name in the NYC area and has become one of my favorite girls to hang with.
Below is Briana’s story.
Was it an “aha” moment that made you feel like it was go time for your true passion, Spiked Spin?
Honestly, it was a combination of things. People started pouring themselves to me and saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m inspired by you.” But inside, I was not necessarily feeling like I was giving 100%. I couldn’t believe people were impacted by my 40%. That, for me, was not something to be proud of. In my brain, I’m like, if I have these people looking at me I need to be giving them 100% because that’s what I’m asking for when they come to Spiked Spin.
Secondly, it was an “aha” moment with myself. I can pour positivity into someone else’s life, easily. I see potential, and I’m like, “Girl, you better start that blog tonight!” But when it’s myself…naturally, I think of fear. I think of people’s [potential] opinions about what I’m doing. All these things play into my brain.
Sometimes, more anxiety comes from wondering what the people who know you best will say about you “changing”.
Those are the ones. They honestly are the ones who scare me the most. For the people who don’t know me, it’s like …I have nothing to lose from them. It’s the people that do know me, who honestly, I’ve felt the most uncomfortable with. I’m more nervous about them judging me. Whether they know that they may have judged me or not, I could tell at times. They’d say small things like, “Oh, you started your little business.” Like “little”?
I hate when people say “little”.
Right! So one night, I was literally sitting in my house alone, and I felt something inside. I don’t know…I think it was God. He was like, “Briana if you listen, and you follow, and you’re obedient, the things that I have for you are bigger than what you even see for yourself.” When people ask me what I see for myself, I’m like, “This is what I see, but I know that it’s so much more.” I believe that.
Where did the name Spiked Spin come from?
Another long story! Back in the day, when I was living in Atlanta, I used to want to have a dessert bar that had spiked desserts. It’s either go to the club in Atlanta or chill at the crib. I thought it would be cute if there were a dessert bar for the 21 and over crowd where you can have sexy desserts spiked with liquor.
I never ended up doing this, though. I’m not even a foodie. But I get these random concepts in my brain. When I was getting into fitness, I was at every other spin studio. Name it, I’ve tried it. Then one day I swear I was just like, “Spiked! That’s what I want to name it.” Then everyone was like, “Okay, well, what’s the concept [for Spiked Spin]?” I thought, “Well every other class I’ve taken is kind of bland, and regular. They’re all doing the same things and they all had the same types of people in class.
But when you come in here, it’s spiked. It’s not the regular punch; it has a little Ciroc in it. It has a little Henny in it. You know what I mean? It’s literally spiked. But instead of it being spiked with alcohol, it’s spiked with swag, with flavor, with flair, with culture.
Then I was just like, “I’m doing it”. That was it. I didn’t look back.
And this happened in April 2016? It crazy how your life can change in just one year.
Yep. I was teaching at other studios around the city before Spiked Spin. Then, as I said, I realized everything was the same. I had to keep on playing the same types of music and instructing the same types of people. I was just like, “This is great and I’m glad that I can make an impact on these people, but the people who look like me, I don’t see them. They’re not being touched.”
When I first started, I sent a blast email to everyone I knew. Seriously. Just a bcc like, “Hey, I’m teaching a [spin] class on this day, at this time. Here’s a link if you want to come.” I was sending mass text messages. I know people were probably like, “I’m about to block this girl.” I’ve taught classes to one person. I’ve taught full classes. Any day when only one person would sign up, I would think, “It’s only one sign up. I’m not doing this”, and my boyfriend would be like, “Yo, you better get in there and teach that one person. They wanted it. Go do it.”
How are you’re managing being the creator and the businesswoman?
I think that’s where my advertising background really helps me, in terms of the business aspect. I’ve been dealing with clients one-on-one for the past six years. I have learned to work with vendors and whatnot. I understand deliverables. I think that part has helped me, and I’ve been able to transition that background into Spiked.
You know, I have to work for what I have. And I love it. I don’t have anyone that’s saying, “Let me build you your dream studio for you.” Those are the parts of life that I speak to in my class.
Look, I know that it’s hard. I know that my class is hard. I know that life is hard. What I also know is that the moment that you’re in my class, or whatever moment you’re going through outside of my class, it’s not the first time you’ve felt like that was your lowest point. What you do know is that you’re still standing. That’s the entire point of why I do what I do.