We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Daniel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachael, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My dive into entrepreneurship has challenged me to consider how I structure and balance my life. As an entrepreneur, I think work will always be a part of your life and vice versa, and I am not so sure that is something I need to change. I started working on my business plan to launch Hustle Studios when I was six months postpartum and the heavy lift of getting the studio off the ground has happened while pregnant with my second child and a full-time mom with my toddler.
I was first faced with the work-life balance question when I began my working life in healthcare IT. The industry being what it is required a level of commitment that constantly brought up these culture conversations with management about work-life balance. At the time, I was young, single, and my career helped provide me with a sense of purpose. I didn’t necessarily mind being on call 24/7 in case a website went down, or the long nights launching a new product for a client. As I have gotten older and grown personally, my priorities have of course shifted, however what remains unchanged is that there is always work to be done. Ultimately, work-life balance is a bit of a false dichotomy for me; I love all my work and I love seeing all my babies grow – including Hustle Studios. Having a content family and a successful business are not mutually exclusive in my mind.
Lists, time blocking, and delegating (and even Sesame Street) have been some of the best tools I’ve found to alleviate the stress and issues that come up while launching a business and being home with my toddler all day. Above all, I am very privileged to have a supportive husband, family, team, and tribe of mentors around me that can pick up my slack – and trust me, there is always slack. Work is part of life and I’m lucky to be in a position where my life can be part of my work. Being the best mom and partner I can be is always at the top of my list, after that I do my best to find space in the day for the things that must happen to move Hustle Studios forward.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hustle Studios is a boutique fitness studio offering indoor cycling, HIIT, and mobility classes. We are a community of positive, hardworking individuals who speak the language of movement and connection. Hustle features two studios under one roof – it’s THE place to get your cardio, strength, and stretch training! After years of working out at most of the best studios Dallas has to offer, I am so excited to bring the boutique fitness world to my hometown. A big point of pride for me has been the opportunity to give back to a community which has given me so much.
My family moved to Coppell in 1993, and it was a fantastic place to grow up. Situated between Dallas proper and DFW airport, it is a rare metropolitan suburb with one high school and a very tight knit community. I went to SMU for college and though I didn’t go very far, I am so thankful I stayed in Dallas. The city has been very good to me. Shortly before my husband and I got married, we found the perfect house in Coppell. However, I was still driving into Dallas daily to work out at my favorite studios (shoutout to SESSION Pilates) for about a year. It got to be very uneconomical and took too much time out of the day. I got to the point where I asked myself whether I should develop my own studio here. I began working on a business plan but soon thereafter I became pregnant with our first child and the business plan fell to the back-burner. When my baby was about 6 months, I discovered The Sound at Cypress Waters and I was astounded. Billingsley Company developed this amazing live, work, play space right in my backyard. At that point, I decided it was now or never and went headfirst into building out Hustle Studios.
The process of opening a retail business has not been easy by any means. Shortly after we executed our lease at The Sound, the pandemic hit. Faced with months of uncertainty, we were forced to slow down, regroup, and come up with a plan to move forward in the safest way possible. Originally scheduled to open in July of 2020, we drastically shifted our expectations and timeline for an opening in November of 2020. Luckily, we had the support of Lucy and Sumner Billingsley behind us and have been able to weather this storm. We’ve pivoted our product offering to adapt to the changing times and will offer outdoor classes leading up to and upon opening as well as digital programming. Since the Stay Home orders went into effect, we have been offering free classes on a small, socially distanced scale outside about five times per week. I will forever be grateful to our “Hustle at Home” crew for allowing us to hone our craft with their support and feedback. It was also a great way to get the overworked, over-stressed parents outside and moving their bodies for an hour a day. I know some of our biggest challenges are yet to come, but one of the core values of Hustle Studios is adaptability, and that is just what we will do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Let’s imagine a world post quarantine or at least something in between. Of course, our mornings would be spent at a fitness class at Hustle Studios. After we’d walk over to Ascension to grab coffee and breakfast on the patio and enjoy The Sound. Some of my favorite places to take visitors include the Arboretum, the Katy Trail, shopping (or more realistically, window shopping) at Highland Park Village, taking in culture at the Kimball Museum or The Modern Fort Worth. Tex Mex is a must at Mia’s Tex Mex, Mi Dia, Mi Cocina, or Anamia’s. We’d also order everything on Sasseta’s menu, the pressed sushi at Shinsei, all of the mezes at Sachet, the cauliflower at Sixty Vines, and the beignets at Boulevardier. After dinner, we’d finish up the night at Happiest Hour, Te Deseo, or for a low-key night, Bowen House.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is dedicated to my husband. Without his support, love, business savvy, and all-around partnership, I wouldn’t be launching Hustle Studios. His dedication to our family and drive to push us to our highest potential are just two of the many things for which I will forever be grateful. There are so many people that have come into my life and shaped me and I am thankful to them all – here are just a few. I must give credit to my parents for providing the inspiration to enter the world of entrepreneurship. For most of my life, I watched my father and mother build two successful businesses while raising two children. The lessons and discussions I heard around the dinner table have helped me and stayed with me more than they know. I must thank my family and my in-laws for being the best village a mother could have for her children. Finally, I have to thank the two people who have been the greatest mentors in this process – Barbara Chancey of Barbara Chancey Design Group and Sharif Abboud of Evolve Dallas. I am beyond lucky to have them on my team and in my corner.