Meaghan Severson stands out, far out. She’s a boots on the ground entrepreneur who knows all the things that make a studio tick: clean design, well-trained, charismatic instructors, and a community that is as welcoming as it is close. Beyond all that, Meaghan is also someone we’ve looked up to since first meeting her at Rev’d Dedham (without warning as we usually like to do) last February. Despite having a business to run and classes to teach, she sat down with us for nearly two hours and shared invaluable insights that we refer back to to this day.
We admire her attention to detail, and truly selfless, genuine approach to building relationships. From customers to instructors, to two random guys looking for advice, Meaghan is hands down one of the most accessible, authentic founders we’ve ever met.
All of these characteristics make Rev’d a very special place. We’re excited to see it continue to grow and couldn’t be more confident in its success. Thanks for everything Meagan, you’re the best!
Check out our conversation below where we spoke to Meaghan about her roots, entrepreneurial journey and plans for the future!
Can you share a bit about your background that people might not know – what was your childhood like?
I grew up in rural CT! I am the 2nd oldest of 5 kids- 1 sister and 3 brothers! We grew up VERY active thanks to my father Jim who is an avid sports enthusiast. We played 3 sports every year through high school- it was an incredible childhood.
How did you get into the fitness space?
After years of playing on teams, there was a void once college got into full swing after some shoulder and knee injuries. I began working out in a gym and quickly became addicted to the weights, the rush and the community of group fitness. I became a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor and fell in love with helping people change their lives and put wellness first. I traveled with my first career in Sports Television from Boston to Miami and New York City, keeping fitness as a part-time passion until I decided to take the jump and open Rev’d with my partner Clyde Simms in 2014. We took the approach of “everyone is an athlete, everyone can do this and EVERYONE is welcome” and created the warm and exciting environment you see today!
What’s the back-story? How did Rev’d come to be?
Clyde and I met through mutual friends in NYC and shared the passion for spin and fitness. As he decided to retire from his 11-year career in professional soccer – he looked for his next steps. Simultaneously, I too was looking for a new direction in my career. We decided that indoor cycling was our mutual passion and could be the catalyst for change and wellness that we could to bring to the Boston suburban market. Rev’d was born from there!
How do you balance being a trainer and also an owner? What are the unique challenges that this presents?
Working full time in fitness requires discipline. We have found a balance over the years between teaching classes, managing a team and finding time for our own wellness. While this balance is a full-time job to maintain (trust me it ebbs and flows!) we have the opportunity to set an example to our community. It’s not always easy to make time for yourself when you spend your day teaching others to do the same thing! I lean on my husband and my team to help me see clearly through the stress and pressures that this industry and job can create.
Was it always your goal to start your own business? If not, what did you envision yourself doing?
I have always lived and worked opportunity to opportunity. I have taken advantage of every open door- even though every door was only slightly cracked! I’ve fallen down a lot and gotten back up. I did not set out to own my own business, rather be the best I could be at everything I did. When you wake up every day and you are the grease on the wheel, it’s a great deal of pressure but also pride.
You and Clyde are such dynamic individuals and also have such a different background – what is your working relationship like and how has it evolved over the years? How did you guys end up being partners in the first place? What have been some specific peaks and valleys?
Clyde and I are incredible partners. We know how to motivate one another, and we find our strengths in very different arenas. Clyde is the idealist and the fire behind the unknown. I love to execute and I find myself being the conservative thinker- the “what if-er”. Together we set high bars and continuously land beyond our goals. Being as different as we are, we hold our team together by the glue of respect. Some days we may disagree more than we agree, but that is only because we care so deeply about this movement and one another.
What are some of the hardest parts about owning your own business and also what is most rewarding?
Some of the most challenging pieces of owning a business come from the worry and pressure to take care of those on my team. My priority is to provide for those who are doing their 100% every day for Rev’d. Start-up life is NOT easy – otherwise, everyone would be doing it! Therefore, we go through hard times, frequently. The hardest part is when the burden is felt not only on you but on your team. I know if we keep our eyes on the horizon, learn from the storms behind us, we will end up tapping into our fullest potential. THAT is the prize. Being the best we can be.
One of the things that we think makes Rev’d so special is the in-house instructor training – can you tell us a bit about this process and why it’s so important to you?
Every one of our teachers has been through our enriching and grueling Development Program. We are incredibly proud of the weeks and months spent creating this powerhouse team. Our program consists series of workshops and auditions all aimed at creating the greatest instructors in Boston. Of course, there is some special sauce we can’t tell you about☺
Where do you see the fitness studio space going in the next few years? What are some of your short and long-term goals for Rev’d specifically?
Rev’d will continue to grow and shape the Boston Fitness market. We see ourselves as flexible and nimble in the ever-changing market. I foresee the continued growth in the individual serving fitness market where consumers create and develop their own routine for their own interests and needs- not relying on the big box gyms but rather experiencing the best of each outlet within the boutique fitness space.
What are some of your personal goals for the next year? Next five?
Well, I just got married last week to the greatest man and we are excited to start a family soon! Anything is possible when you have the love and support of your family. OH, and I love teaching spin, a lot, so I’ll keep doing that!
Any sneak peaks or Rev’d news that people should keep their eyes peeled for?
Rev’d is GROWING! We are excited to be finding some new homes in the next two years. Take a look at where we are popping up and stay tuned… it is going to get really exciting!