Meet Erin Frankel, fitness enthusiast and co-founder of JETSWEAT, the fitness app bringing you boutique fitness classes from coveted studios in New York and around the world. Read on to find out how Erin and her partner are changing the fitness landscape & staying healthy and sane while running a startup in NYC.
Q: You describe JETSWEAT as a fitness platform that provides access to boutique studio classes wherever and whenever. What inspired you and your co-founder Alexandra to launch this app in April of this year?
A: It all started nearly four years ago. I was an entrepreneurial professional food writer living in NYC who ate out at least four times a week, which meant that I started exercising at least four times a week as well. Everything from travel, to hellish work hours, to a generally all-over-the-place schedule, contributed to putting the breaks on an exercise routine. I always found myself running to yoga five minutes late, and I thought: ‘I must be in the wrong field if all I’m thinking about is getting to yoga”
So, for me, JETSWEAT was a marriage between my busy professional life and my personal passion for boutique fitness. And as a frequent traveler, I could never find an app that could let me take all my favorite boutique studio classes with me.
I knew how important working out was for both my physical health and my mental game and I knew I needed to find something that fit my busy lifestyle so that I could make it a real, effective routine.
My co-founder, Lexi and I noticed the rapidly growing demand for high-quality health and fitness content. We researched the industry looking for numbers to back up the trend and found that In a time when everyone from ClassPass to Peloton is attempting to bring the studio workout experience home, we wanted to create a mobile first platform for people like ourselves who want access to our favorite boutique studio workouts while we are traveling- something we can easily do anytime anywhere with enough space for a yoga mat and a solid WIFI connection.
The idea behind JETSWEAT is to bring real studio experiences directly to your fingertips wherever you are, whether that be in your hotel room, your living room, your office, or the beach.
As busy professionals and boutique fitness enthusiasts, we know how precious time is, and the importance of staying active while on-the-go. We are invested in building a community of top studio partners, providing great workouts, customized training, and high-definition video content to our users at a low fee, and while making it accessible anywhere in the world.
Both of us frequent a variety of different studios. That’s the beauty of this new fitness culture and that’s how our demographic consumes fitness. However, if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t want to do the same monotonous cardio all of the time. I’ve always wanted to customize my workouts so I have the ability to adapt my workout regimen to different amounts of time and different types of equipment. And, every day, I want to work on different parts of my body. Ultimately, I wanted to create a technology platform curated around the boutique studio experience that allows people like me to adapt to their environment.
Q: With TV streaming becoming so ubiquitous (ie: Netflix, Hulu, etc), people love the convenience of watching TV whenever and wherever they want. It makes perfect sense to do the same with their fitness regimens. What kind of classes and studios are currently on the app and how often do you refresh them? What are your favorite workouts / studios you are into now?
A: JETSWEAT offers workouts in virtually every modality and range in length anywhere between 2 minute meditations to 75 minute workouts.
You can find everything on the JETSWEAT platform from Strength Training, Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Functional Training, Mobility, CrossFit, Sculpt, Barre, Cardio and very soon you’ll see classes from top-tier boutique fitness studios within the running, spin, rowing & boxing categories as well. Workouts are kept authentic to each studio’s experience while catering to a remote audience. So, we often limit equipment required and provide optional hacks, like using small towels for sliding discs or thick books in place of a yoga block.
Choosing my favorite workout on JETSWEAT is like picking a favorite child. Personally, I like to mix up my workout regimen with a variety of different studios so I have a favorite in every category. Most recently, I like to start with a dynamic HIIT workout like Switch Playground or Trooper Fitness earlier in the week and then move onto a low impact workout focused on sculpting a particular part of my body. At the moment, my go-to is a core workout from BodyRok that uniquely replicates the reformer experience within the classroom. I always like to end the week with a more multi-sensory yoga and meditation experience from Woom Center.
The best part of JETSWEAT is that, unlike other video on-demand fitness apps/sites, we draw our video classes from a growing portfolio of the top studios across the world. In other words, instead of having to pick and choose between high-intensity interval training at Trooper Fitness, a meditation workshop at MindFresh, total body yoga at Yoga Vida, dance cardio at IntenSati or a Jujitsu-inspired martial arts class at Masterskya—not to mention, having to actually go to those places—you can try them all from the comfort of your own home. Which is great, especially when you don't want to commute across town before or after work or when you only have about 23 minutes to workout one day and need to customize your workout to meet your particular allotted time slot each day.
Q: Do you think streaming fitness classes will lead to an increase in studio-cutters (like TV's cord cutters) or do you think there is room for both digital and group classes?
A: I think there’s still plenty of room for growth for both boutique studios and digital fitness - and that they can complement each other.
The fitness landscape has changed wildly over the past year, and the effects of this extend beyond consumers having access to more dynamic, diverse workout options. Working out is more social, customized, and experiential. And, I can personally attest that the in- studio fitness experience is satisfying and stimulating in a way that digital streaming can’t compete with; it’s impossible replicate the experience of a heated, candle-lit yoga class filled with 30 people set to energizing music with a regimen that changes every night. However, all of this comes at a significant cost. The price for one boutique fitness class ranges from $25 to $45. Boutique fitness is just not accessible to everyone geographically and financially so digital streaming technology platforms opens this experience to a broader market.
Technology enhancements/digital streaming are no longer options for fitness studios; they’re required. Consumers are increasingly placing more value on convenience, time, and money, not to mention variety. When we started JETSWEAT, we had to ask ourselves, how can we aggregate all of these popular NYC cult- favorite classes into one place? Streaming allows people to build a workout routine that is customizable and allows them to be untethered to one entity.
At JETSWEAT, we believe personalization within the fitness space will become more and more of a growing trend over the next few years. Consumers want short workouts online that they can easily piece together to form a workout that works best for them—in terms of time, intensity, body focus, and exercise equipment required.
You might think that consumers who are using digital streaming fitness platforms will disengage with in-studio classes, but I think the opposite will be true; people who stream classes to their T.V. also maintain memberships to boutique studios- the combination gives people variety and allows them to maintain the social engagement of the in-studio community while cutting their costs. Digital streaming also helps build brand awareness for the studios from new remote digital consumers around the world. It’s a win win for everyone involved.
Q: Nutrition is equally important as fitness. As a New Yorker, what are your favorite places to grab a quick healthy bite or lunch meetings?
A: My absolute favorite place to grab a quick healthy bite is Smile to Go on Howard street. I get my bone broth and veggies to go at this take-out only spot. The menu changes daily, but you can always expect superfoods like cauliflower, beets, and greens along with sprouted grains to make an appearance. You might have to wait in line (okay, you will almost definitely have to wait in line), but the seasonal salads, sandwiches, and vegetables are totally worth it.
Q: Finally, urban professionals are known to put everything they need into their bag to make it through the day. Tell us, #whatsinyourbag?
A: I will say that, as a busy entrepreneur in New York, my bag functions as a purse, gym bag, and office in one. So aside from the typical things (wallet, phone, sunglasses) I'm usually lugging (with an emphasis on lugging) the following:
- My laptop, laptop charger, ipad, and two double USB portable batteries to keep my phone fully charged for any situation, portable or wired, but I ALWAYS have one! Just in case of emergencies
- Two different notebooks - one for work, and one for my own personal writing - for jotting down information or inspiration when the mood strikes. You never know! I might need to scribble down an address, phone number, or a new idea for JETSWEAT that suddenly inspired me on my subway ride. Any kind of inspiration can happen anytime
- A container of Evian facial spray so you can stay hydrated and refreshed on even the longest travel hauls-Lifesaver when you are dehydrated and/or need refreshing.
- My Powerbeats headphones, for runs and for podcast listening
- Whatever book I'm currently reading - right now it's The Great Believers (on my kindle)
- A bag of Purely Elizabeth granola to snack on before or after my workouts
- A pair of regular socks (for spin class) and grip socks (for barre class). I keep these in my bag 24/7 because I ALWAYS forget to pack them.
- B.LXR BRAIN FUEL from Beekeeper’s Naturals - this caffeine-free, nootropic fuel your brain craves to fight brain fog, hack productivity, and naturally support memory, focus, and energy.
- Jetsweat promo code cards - always keep these handy in case I meet someone who hasn’t yet tried JETSWEAT
- My gym clothes and sneakers
- A small container of Coconut oil - like a bottle of coconut water for your complexion, this oil-free moisturizer delivers a quick hit of heavy hydration
- A small bottle of Caudalie Beauty Elixir - a powerful plant based anti-dull complexion treatment smooths away fine lines, tightens pores and gives the complexion an instant boost of radiance. I use this to refresh and hydrate my face whenever I need a pick-me-up. I use it as a setting spray once I put my makeup on, and then freshen up throughout the day
- Altoids - I always keep mints or gum in my purse
For more details on Erin's Transience bag, see our Swing Bag in Black Mesh w/ Iridescent details.