Tag Archives: JoyRide

Back-To-School Pop-Up Event Celebrates Shopping

The kids are back in school! Let’s celebrate! And shop!

Tomorrow (Thursday, August 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), a few Westport women who own businesses host a back-to-school pop-up shopping event.

See ya! Let’s shop! (Photos/Pam Long)

It’s set for the home of Lisa Savone (5 Adams Farm Road). Her actual retail location in Westport — Lucy’s — has closed. But Lisa now has a shopping concierge service. She curates clothes, and delivers them to doorsteps.

Other vendors include The Paper Alley (personalized stationery and gifts), Eleven11 (bags and accessories), Nina Clarke (a blogger and beauty counter rep), The Perfect Pair (shoes) and Joyride (workout clothes — and a free Pilates class on the lawn).

The women also offer bubblies, light bites and chair massages.

When the kids are away…

Gaelle Dudley Designs Westport

For decades, Swezey’s Jewelers was a favorite downtown destination for Christmas shoppers.

They didn’t all buy diamonds or watches. But everyone loved the winter scene lovingly created in the large storefront window, complete with an always-chugging model rail train.

Swezey’s is now Jack Wills. Model trains are out; “Mortal Kombat” is in.

But this year, strollers enjoyed an intriguing — if smaller — winter scene, on the same side of Main Street. Vita Design Group‘s display included an ice rink, skaters, benches, trees, and 3D-printed examples of a few Vita-designed houses.

A view from inside, of Gaelle Dudley's Vita Design Group winter scene.

A view from inside of Vita Design Group’s winter scene.

The display was the work of Gaelle Dudley. You may not have heard her name. But you’ve seen her creations all around town.

Gaelle’s business is GLDesign06880. A home and business interior and exterior home design firm, it — that is, she — is responsible for the planters and outside “look” of popular spots like Granola Bar, She la la, Joyride and Fitness Factory.

Gaelle is exactly what you think of when you hear her tagline: “live beautifully.” Young, lovely and energetic, she comes by her design chops naturally.

Gaelle Dudley (Photo/Irene Penny)

Gaelle Dudley (Photo/Irene Penny)

A dual citizen who was born and raised in Paris, Gaelle embodies sophistication, elegance and good taste.

But her career path was not always smooth. And “the good life” has not always been great.

After majoring in business at Skidmore College, and joining a startup during the first internet boom, Gaelle entered the corporate marketing world. She worked for KPMG and Starwood Hotels, and had amazing experiences.

But last year, she was diagnosed with cancer. Sitting at her desk after leaving Sloane-Kettering one day, she decided to make a life change.

“I’d always dabbled in design,” Gaelle says. “My mother was a sculptor. I wanted to apply my talents to ‘the real world,’ not the 0.5% of the world I was seeing. I wanted to help people express themselves through their homes and gardens.”

She began offering freebies — planters and containers — to friends. Quickly, the word spread: Gaelle was good!

A window box by Gaelle.

A window box by Gaelle.

She’s also resourceful. She sources nurseries and stores from Port Chester to Bridgeport. She does not mark up, or make a profit on, materials.

What she does do is add personality and color to homes and businesses. She loves enhancing curb appeal.

Indoors, for example, Gaelle transformed a drab attic  into a beautiful playroom. She created a reading nook, a boys’ nook and a girls’ nook, and painted the ceiling.

“I bargain hunted, packed up my car, went over and made it look like a million bucks,” she says.

One of Gaelle's interiors.

One of Gaelle’s interiors.

Outdoors, she swaps out plants every season. “Main Street is definitely improving,” she notes, looking at other store entryways. “But I still see a lot of dead planters. It needs more greenery.”

Gaelle plants as she goes. “I don’t do sketches,” she laughs. “I tell my clients, “let me be creative. Trust me.'”

After a career in marketing, Gaelle loves working with her hands.

“This brings me such happiness,” she says.

“And plants don’t talk back.”

Joy Riding

Some Westporters bike on the roads.  They take their lives in their hands — and spend much of their waking hours checking weather reports.

Others bike at gyms.  It’s less dangerous — but they spend plenty of time waiting for their favorite machine to be free, or signing up for classes that always seem to be filled.

Those are the problems 3 Westport women with young kids saw, anyway — and therein lay a business opportunity.

They’ve just opened JoyRide — what they call “Westport’s only dedicated indoor cycling (spinning) studio” — in the Crate & Barrel shopping center.  “You can sign up for a week’s worth of classes all at once, pick your bike, and not have to deal with all the other stuff you don’t want at a full-out gym,” they say.

Rhodie Lorenz, Amy Hochhauser and Debbie Katz’s 4,100-square foot space is tiered, stadium-style, with “dramatic lighting” and a killer sound system.

“We are the only boutique spin studio in town,” Amy says.  “This is a trend that is big in New York City and various markets across the country — but hasn’t yet reached Fairfield County.”

There are 26 Schwinn AC Sport bikes, with room for over 40.

Riders can sign up for the bike they want, up to a week in advance  There are no membership fees.  People pay as they go — 1 class at a time, or class packages of 10, 20 or 50.

Cycling classes incorporate light weights, during a 50-minute workout.  “Participants can burn between 400 and 800 calories, improve fitness and posture, and enhance mental acuity,” the press release says.

But wait!  There’s more!

Riding for joy.

“Known for its cult following and dramatic results, indoor cycling has revolutionized the exercise world with expertly choreographed workouts set to heart pumping, motivating soundtracks,” the press release continues.

Also available:  group and private Pilates.  And childcare.

Plus rental for birthday parties and special events.  A fundraiser for ovarian cancer research is in the works.

“Life’s a trip,” the press release concludes.  “Enjoy the ride!”