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Women We Admire | Julie Harrish of 6ix Cycle

Here at PA, we’ve fallen in love with the community at a local spin studio 6ix Cycle. The positive yet kick-ass atmosphere is a mirror of owner Julie Harrish, who only a year ago was still working a corporate engineering job in Calgary. When her husband and now business partner Sheldon lost his job, they decided to sell most of their belongings, pack up the rest, and follow their dream of moving to Toronto to open a spin studio. We asked Julie about her experiences as an entrepreneur, her personal practices, and her journey since 6ix Cycle opened last year.

What's your current beauty ritual?
My beauty ritual is very minimal and my horizons have been broadened with the introduction to Province Apothecary, hello face serum! I have always been a ‘wash and go’ kind of girl but I now spend time doing a quick face massage with serum every time I wash my face. I use this as a way to de-stress at the end of a day or after teaching a class, it’s amazing what a difference 2-3 minutes can make.

What's your self-care ritual?
Again, I am not someone who has spent a lot of time on self-care in the past but since opening 6ix Cycle I have found it increasingly important to look after my mind and my body. I go to Ossington Chiropractic weekly for treatments to keep my body functioning at full capacity on the bike. I have also introduced monthly massages into my regimen again to keep my body functioning at it’s best. I set a 2018 goal to get more sleep and have been aiming to hit the 7-hour mark (as a minimum) nightly. While I am not off to the best start I continue to make sleep a priority and have multiple alarms on my phone to remind me it’s time to shut down and go to bed.

When do you feel most like yourself? When are you at your happiest?
As cliché as this is going to sound I am the happiest and the absolute best version of myself on a spin bike. When I am pushing a room full of people to their limits I am reminded of how strong I am and how far I have come and it pushes me to be stronger and do better. There is nothing I love more than helping someone else achieve a goal or fight a personal battle. It’s amazing what 50 minutes in a dark room full of like-minded people can do for your mind and your body.

What can you do today that you couldn't one year ago?
Make my own rules! A year ago, I was still a slave to the corporate world, today I am my own boss as a business owner and entrepreneur. It’s so hard to believe that less than a year has passed since I left that world and opened the doors at 6ix Cycle.

How would you spend a perfect 'day off'?
Oh man where do I start? Sleeping in, having breakfast with my husband (preferably one that someone else made!), relaxing and napping in the sun (ideally on a beach) all with my cellphone and laptop turned OFF.

What piece of advice would you like to offer to other women?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do or have something. My previous career was in oil and gas (a very male dominated industry) and often times I was the first and only female to have certain roles and do certain jobs. Every single time I would be put into a new role that was a female first I would be told that it was foolish and that I likely wouldn’t be able to do it. My response was always ‘watch me’ and I would go on to do whatever it was that I was told I couldn’t. I promise you that if you put your mind to it and don’t take no for an answer, you can achieve anything you want to.

What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur? What’s the worst part?
The best part is watching your business grow and evolve into something amazing. I often step back in awe and amazement at where 6ix Cycle is today and how far we have come since training in a makeshift spin studio in my Parkdale living room last January. There is nothing better than to know that the thing you created is changing people’s lives and having a positive impact on so many.

The worst part of owning your own business is that as your own boss you are also responsible for literally everything, which can be overwhelming to say the least. It’s a 24/7/365 grind and it is not something that you can step away from easily. The reward is always worth the effort though and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

What’s the most useful business lesson you’ve learned?
I’ve learned that not everyone will understand your vision and not all opinions about it matter. You can please everyone or you can change the world but you cannot do both. Staying true to our vision and our brand wasn’t easy in the beginning but as we continue to grow, more and more people are embracing the idea of community in a city where so many people place a high value on exclusivity.

If your business was a band, what band would it be?
I feel that if 6ix Cycle were a recording artist of any type we would be an underground hip hop act. Although I do keep Biggie Smalls alive each week in Spin Church…

What is your favourite 'indulgence'?
Glory Hole Doughnuts, did you really even need to ask? ;)


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