Harness Collective - OH

2020 brought hardship beyond what I could ever imagine. Seven years prior, I opened the doors to Harness Cycle in Cleveland, OH: an indoor cycling studio rooted in community and empowered movement. One of our core values was to be a neighborhood anchor, and our success grew year after year. We grew to two studios, launched a running group, paddleboarding on Lake Erie and ultimately built a community that felt like home.

But when I was forced to close my doors after the COVID-19 pandemic, I was faced with a harsh realization: my success as a tenant had quadrupled the market value in the neighborhood, but left me with a business that evaporated overnight. I realized the importance of ownership and equity in the spaces I helped to build. And I could see a path to reopening, but decided right then and there that a reopening non-negotiable was owning the physical space.

I spent the next two years recovering and barely getting by like most of the world. I sold bikes, produced a digital ride platform (which I said I’d never do) and hosted events to make money. I also started to make a plan. A plan that would allow me to reopen my studio doors, own the physical space AND help other female entrepreneurs launch their daydream. I could use my 10+ years as an operator, community builder and leader to provide resources and actionable steps to open new storefronts in my neighborhood and beyond. I could help them build a path to equity in a space they help to create. All of our tides would be lifted as we rose up together.

In 2022, I officially launched Harness Collective - a neighborhood development firm that would invest in real estate, partner with local community organizations, be a resource and coach for small business owners and make big impact. We acquired our first commercial property shortly after forming the business, a historic building just two doors down from our original studio. It was the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career so far. After hundreds of nos, I found the right financing partners that were willing to take a chance on my community vision. And in 2023, after six months of renovations, The Vitrolite opened as a community space rooted in supporting brick and mortar entrepreneurs. The first three tenants were all female owned and operated: Harness Cycle, Soul Yoga and Patron Saint.

Harness Collective's space making and coaching will continue to be a launching pad for entrepreneurs in Cleveland. We believe that neighborhoods are culturally vibrant when storefronts are locally owned and operated, and when business owners have equal access to opportunities and financial resources.

The last four years have been a testament to staying aligned with our values and vision. And to our unwavering commitment to never let go of our daydream.
Harness Collective