Sweats & The City’s Elizabeth And Dale On What To Expect From The Boutique Fitness Scene In 2021

by Freya Drohan

Any NYC-based workout enthusiast worth their salt is likely already a fan of best friends-turned-business partners Elizabeth Endres and Dale Borchiver. The duo established Instagram account and blog Sweats & The City in 2016 as an outlet to document the exploding fitness scene in New York City. Fast forward a few years and the pair have become a go-to, honest, and authentic authority on what’s worthy of your precious ClassPass credits in the wellness space. The Daily caught up with them to hear more about their recently-launched on-demand platform Sweat With Sweats and to get the scoop on what’s on their radar for this year.

Most people now know you met as roommates! What was the first thing that drew you to each other as friends and then business partners?
Yes—we were set up totally blindly! We both immediately realized how similar we were, especially when it came to our interests. Boutique fitness was something we bonded over daily, and from there we realized that this passion could turn into a business.

When you began blogging through SATC, did you ever see it becoming a full time job?
We used to dream about being able to workout for free one day. So, when studios started paying us to review their workouts. it was a massive shock to say the least. We truly created our dream job over time, and if you had told us the way the world would change this past year, and the way our company would adapt and grow, I think we’d be equally, if not more, shocked!

(L-R) Elizabeth and Dale of Sweats & The City (Courtesy)

How did you initially pivot when the pandemic set in? 
This time period was all about coming together as one. We truly didn’t care about making money. We wanted to be there for our community, and in doing so we started putting together a free live workout schedule— a compilation of all the live classes different instructors were putting on all week. People’s response to this was much stronger than we could have imagined, and it truly showed us the importance of both community and movement, especially during hard times.

What rituals proved to be sanity savers during this time?
Daily walks, daily movement, and self compassion. These are things we are still doing, but they were absolutely critical during the most intense months of isolation and COVID. It’s so important to take care of yourself, and to be kind to yourself in the process!

Tell us about the SWS platform—what do people need to know?
SWS is a newly-launched, custom curated workout destination where we feature 25+ live Zoom workouts, meditations, and more every month, in addition to a full on-demand library. We’ve spent the last five years vetting the top trainers in NYC, L.A., and beyond and this platform is a product of all our work.

 

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2020—what was your number one takeaway?
How you operate as a business during tough times is extremely important and will dictate the future of your business. When circumstances are good, businesses generally perform, but how your business reacts to unprecedented circumstances is truly important. You must be willing to pivot, adapt, and speak on issues that may make you uncomfortable. You have to gain trust within your community and always put them first.

What did the year allow you each the opportunity to work on?
Our goal was always to grow outside of our original Instagram model. We came up with so many ideas, but nothing we were ever 100% behind. The pandemic really changed the way people approached fitness and we believe the at-home fitness movement will only continue to grow. When we thought of the idea [of SWS], we immediately felt that it was a no-brainer, we didn’t hesitate and went full force with it.

 

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What are some new favorite small-owned brands you discovered in the last year?
In terms of fitness, all the new methods that popped up in response to instructors going solo and starting their own methods. A lot of new tech companies: NateApp, Covey Beauty, Partake Foods, Kween & Co Granola Butter Cookie Dough, Oswald & Co Chia Smash, Aerie Offline Real Me Crossover Legging…just to name a few!

Now that NYC is back open, what’s on the top of your fitness/lifestyle hit list?
Hosting in person workouts—we’re so excited about this!

Are there any new openings on your radar?
There’s a new Glossslab [nail salon] opening in Tribeca soon that we’re super excited about! We’ve been going to their West Village and Flatiron locations for years and we can’t wait to experience their next venture.

(L-R) Elizabeth and Dale of Sweats & The City (Courtesy)

What else do you hope 2021 will bring?
More innovation, small businesses, and opportunity for instructors and individuals to create their own brands. Prior to the pandemic, the majority of instructors were working for studios (which is also awesome!) but now so many have branched off to create their own businesses, and it’s been really incredible to witness. We hope that this continues to grow, while studios also evolve and become more dynamic!

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