- John Mills joins us to discuss the Sex And The City controversy.
- Peloton stock takes a hit after SATC.
- Ryan Reynolds helps Peloton craft a response.
- Peloton competitors try (and fail) to get snarky with Peloton.
- The New York Times asks if Peloton can sue HBO.
- Canadian news channel CP24 talks to Crystal.
- Dr. Jenn –
- The Strive Score is now available on the app.
- John Foley’s lavish holiday party gets lambasted.
- Foley responds to rumors of Peloton halting new product development.
- The New York Post writes about Howie Godnick.
- Business Insider ranks the best company cultures.
- Yahoo writes about Peloton’s music investment.
- Self Magazine spotlights the best treadmills.
- iFit announces lay-offs.
- Angelo joins us to talk about the best on-the-go breakfasts.
- The New York Post spotlights Jess King.
- People Magazine has a feature with Robin and Athena.
- We have a past guest update from Carey Socol.
- We have a new artist collaboration with ABBA and a teaser for the next artist series.
- The co-creator of HBOMax’s “Sex Lives of College Girls” has a Peloton.
- Selena Samuela has a glutes and legs challenge.
- Birthdays – Marcel Maurer had a birthday on December 12.
All this plus our interview with Brittany Allen!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here
Unpacking the ‘Sex And The City’ Flap plus our interview with Brittany Allen
I opened a million tabs.
I know. There’s so much to talk about in this episode.
Many tabs are open. It’s crazy.
This might be the busiest week ever.
Eighty percent of it is Sex And The City. It’s a crazy town.
We’re going to have John Mills join us for that, so we can do a deep dive into what happened.
We will take you through, beat by beat, what the week looked like in terms of the Sex And The City controversy. If you’re not a Sex And The City fan, I don’t think you need to be worried because it’s more about the machinations that happened, how they responded, what that means, and all that sort of stuff. It’s not going to be like a boring recap of an episode of a show you don’t watch.
No, that’s not the show.
It’s going to be walking you through what happened, and the responses from around the various aspects of the connected fitness industry. Also, we should say, if for some reason you don’t know what happened on Sex And The City and you care, just come back later or something.
Don’t at me. I had enough of that. For the record, I’m sorry. I was not trying to upset anyone.
As someone who hosts a show all about spoilers, once the major outlets start putting the spoiler in the headline of the article, it’s a fair game.
That was honestly my thought because I waited for hours to put it up, but I know that it upsets a lot of people and I am sorry about that, but people got mean.
I deal with it all the time with the movie thing and this show spun out of Reel Spoilers. Once other major publications start saying, “Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father” in the headline, you don’t have to hold that close to the vest. Other than that, what pray tell do you have in store for people?
Unfortunately, it’s not been the most stellar week for Peloton. We’re going to talk about the Peloton party or I should say the Foley party because it’s not officially a Peloton party. We also have a visit from MetPro. We’re going to talk about on the go breakfast like what’s good whenever you’re on the go. There’s instructor news and there’s some competitor news, and then we’re going to hit some artists collaborations, birthdays and things like that. Lots of good stuff.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, TuneIn, Google Podcasts. Wherever you get your podcasts from, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us, first and foremost so you never miss an episode. If you would be so kind, maybe leave us a review. That’s always helpful for the people that come along after you to know that we’re worth checking out. We have a new review. This is from Tonal For Life.
I think they are Tonal users.
It says, “Greatest podcast of all time. This is my favorite podcast. I never missed an episode. I listened to The Clip Out on my hour round trip drive for both my COVID vaccines, and Crystal and Tom were like supportive friends who kept me company and helped me smile through the anxiety. Also, thanks to them, I am the proud owner and active user of a Tonal. Crystal and Tom and The Clip Out have brought me countless hours of entertainment, fun information and inspiration. Thank you for all that you do. I appreciate you both.” Thank you so much. We appreciate such a nice review. Other ways that you can interact with the show, you can find us on Facebook, Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group.
Don’t forget, you can sign up for the mailing list so you can get all these links. We’re going to pepper you with Sex And The City related links. If you don’t want to have to go hunting for them, you can sign up for the newsletter and it will get sent right to your inbox. You can do that on theclipout.com. If you would like to watch these episodes, you can find them on YouTube.com/TheClipOut. If you are so inclined and you want to help the show out, the easiest thing you could do is tweet an episode, post it on your social media page, Instagram, Facebook, whatever. It lets other like-minded people know that there’s a show out there that talks about Peloton all the time. There’s all that, let’s dig in. Shall we?
Joining us here to talk about his favorite television show of all time, it’s John Mills.
What is going on?
You liked that show.
I figured we’re about to talk about Happy Days or something.
We’re going to talk about Sex And The City, specifically, Sex And The City reboot.
I’ve watched it a little bit. I watched the clip where Big died. That’s my entire experience with Sex And The City to date.
I have watched a couple of episodes here and there of the original, including one with my parents when I was in college. Don’t do that. It’s a bad idea.
When you watched it with your parents, you didn’t have cable, so you were watching the cleaned-up version that they would show on free TV.
It was cable. It was bad.
This show had a clean version?
I’m pretty sure HBO toyed with cleaning it up and selling it into syndication, because I think it locally aired for a little bit on Channel 11, which is our CW affiliate at the time. I guess it would have been the WB affiliate, but on Saturday nights at 10:00 PM or something.
Sex And The City was like ‘90s hip hop. I didn’t know that. There’s the explicit version, and then there’s the radio edit.
The kind you buy at Target, and the kind you buy at the real record store.
This was the real thing, I assure you, because it was not edited. There were a lot of things that I did not want to talk about in front of my parents.
I have not seen the new show yet but in the interest of full disclosure, I have seen every episode of Sex And The City. I have seen both of the movies. The second one was awful, and I’m a Charlotte.
I haven’t and I don’t care. I didn’t care about any of it, but I did watch this entire episode because I needed to understand the setup. I needed to understand what I was going into for research so I did watch it. Now we have established our credibility here that we each have different levels of where we’re coming from.
I have also heard that it’s not very good.
I did not care for it at all, but I know that since I didn’t watch it, I don’t have that nostalgia value.
A lady I know that this was her jam back in the day, she live and die by this show. She tweeted like, “This is cringe-worthy.”
That’s tantamount to me being like, “This Monkees album sucks.” I think in this segment we should play a game. This is the game we’re going to play while we go through this. Let’s see how many sweepers we can play during this segment because it touches on so many different elements of Peloton in one specific area. We will start out here.
This is how we started our week, breaking news.
Was it? I started getting rumors of this. Honestly, I started getting it that he was on the show, and then separately, I got rumors that he died, and then there was an article that said, “Oh my God, I think they killed Mr. Big.” I kept all of that to myself. I didn’t say a word to anybody. Honestly, it’s not because I was being altruistic. It’s because it was so hard on my heart after this just happened with Howie. I couldn’t deal with it. I was like, “I can’t. They cannot do that,” but then they did. We start off the week. Mr. Big gets on his bike. He takes a ride, then he walks to the shower, drops his phone, and had a heart attack. He doesn’t instantly die though. That would be too easy. He hangs on until she makes it home hours later, just long enough to have one more “ugh,” and then died. She didn’t call the cops or call 911. She didn’t do CPR.
She didn’t call 911 because as John would say, touching on ‘90s hip hop, 911 is a joke. We all know that.
Everyone knows that. Flavor Flav is part of that. I understood that part.
I didn’t, so thank you. Thank you for filling that it was Flavor Flav. I love that crazy guy. Everybody was left with, “Oh my God, Peloton just killed Mr. Big.” Everybody just jumped to that conclusion. I was still over here going, “Oh my God, Howie,” but the whole world was having a completely different reaction than I was. That’s when the stock dropped.
“Peloton stock ticker.”
The day it aired was Thursday, and it dropped 11%.
People who are having difficulty separating reality from fiction thought that the bike kills people. They started selling off their stock just like they do when characters die in a car crash.
I wasn’t sure that that was related to the stock drop. We could align it to that.
Credit Suisse also dropped its valuation the same day.
Do you remember when elevator stock crashed after Penny almost fell down the shaft in Good Times?
No, I did not.
I remember when she fell down the shaft. I don’t remember anything happening from it though.
I was just being facetious.
John fell right into that trap.
I fell down now shadow.
Peloton has been up and down. We know that we’re in an environment where things are iffy, and then you have that downgrade. I didn’t relate them, but I get why you could use that as an excuse.
It didn’t help that all of the articles started saying that because whether it was true or not, there was a correlation. Maybe not causation but correlation.
Certainly, the appearance was there’s this storyline on Sex And The City, and then the stock dropped. Whether it’s true or not, that certainly was the perception for a lot of people.
I get how this narrative of you got your bike and it’s in the scene, and he’s holding his chest after taking a ride. I get how that’s probably not the storyline you want to be presenting. That’s probably not how you want to be selling your product. Maybe it could hurt you in some ways. I just didn’t think that dropping that next day was related to that.
The articles were saying it dropped 11% the first day and another 5% the next day. That’s where we were left at. Peloton comes back with their first response via one of their medical community. What do they call those guys?
The council. I don’t remember the name but I got you.
They say that it’s based on his lifestyle. If you’ve watched the show, you would know that in Season 6, Big had a heart attack. He had angioplasty. He’s a big drinker and he smoked cigars.
He smoked a cigar before he gets on the bike. Who does that?
They call him Mr. Big for two reasons. They do, it’s Sex And The City. They call him Mr. Big for the obvious reason, and then they also called him Mr. Big because he was a big shot. He lived a big lifestyle. He had limos and lots of money. He would have big steaks, wine, bourbon, and smoke cigars. He was your quintessential New York City big shot.
They even refer to his nitroglycerin at one point during the reboot. She talks about his nitroglycerin. They were setting you up for that. He has this pill that Carrie is not going to use, FYI.
Nitroglycerin doesn’t actually stop or prevent heart attacks. It’s something you take to stop chest pain. If you have a heart condition, the nitroglycerin tablets are more for reducing the pain, not actually stopping or preventing the heart attack. In one of the articles that you sent me, there’s a doctor that’s literally saying it.
I love that article, by the way. I’ve never read so much about the medical history and possibilities of survival of a fictitious character in my life.
Sorry, Tom, I don’t read all the articles I sent you.
I don’t read the one’s you sent me either.
The reason I was cautious about that is because they keep nitroglycerin in such a very protected area of the pharmacy. I did work in a pharmacy for a few years. They say that it’s super dangerous to be using. You don’t want the wrong person to be using that. I assumed it actually had an effect on the heart or it wouldn’t be that dangerous.
I am obviously not a medical professional. All I know is what I read in an article you sent me. The doctor in that article was like, “That’s not what nitroglycerin does. It’s more about reducing pain if you have persistent chest pain.”
She still could have done chest compressions, Tom. She still could have done that.
What the doc said in that article that you talked about, the doc was like, “It was her fault.” It completely cracked me up when I read that line. We’re talking about a dude that doesn’t exist. “She could have saved him,” the doctor said and an actual doctor.
The doctor was like, “I don’t know what the hell she was doing.” She should have called 911. That’s what you do. You don’t stare at him for ten seconds.
It was the longest ten seconds of my life like, “Oh my God, it’s so long.”
Anyway, people who are watching our YouTube channel, there’s the cardiologist that says, “You call 911.” When in doubt, call 911. Don’t err on the side of a romantic gaze. Err on the side of saving his life.
From a show writing standpoint, the dude had to go because she had to have sex. It’s Sex And The City. She can’t be out getting lots of different partners if she has this guy at home.
Nobody’s watching Sex And The City to watch a 60-year-old married couple do it once a week. That’s not what a good TV is made of.
That’s why so many people were irritated that so many people had an issue with this whole thing, to begin with.
“Checking out the competition.”
Let’s start with Jennifer Jacobs. “If only Mr. Big would have taken my endurance ride.”
John, I know you’re saying that they cracked you up and good on you, but this upset me. She was a friend of Howie. This was bigger than that in the community. I don’t understand how you can say something like that.
That one came after those others.
It was the last one.
I saw Jen as more opportunistic like, “This aligns with what’s happening in my industry. Let me align with how the other players are.”
None of these people seems to get much traction with their snark. She has 157 likes on this.
It’s not that many.
I got more likes on my picture of me and Mike Nesmith the day he died. For somebody who’s a social media influencer to get 157 likes or something like that, it seems like it should be better than that.
That’s a part of it though because, at the time that Jen posted it, people had already seen that 3 or 4 times. I don’t know why she didn’t get the traction.
Keep in mind, these tweets are 4 or 5 days old at this point, and just like that, “Another reason to buy a Hydro,” which has 59 likes. When you’re capitalizing on a hot topic, you would think that would be getting more engagement. The thing that irritated me about these is that one, we all know that exercise is going to make you less likely to have health issues. Whatever lifestyle he lived that might have led to this, if anything, the Peloton was kicking that can down the road. He would have died or had a heart attack earlier had he not been on the Peloton. Two, if the exertion did play any sort of a role, you can just as easily get your heart rate up on the Hydro.
That’s it. Cardio is cardio. It will get your heart rate up, whatever. You had nothing to do with what he was on or wasn’t on.
The visual of this one is hilarious. They are doing the high five but they have 59 likes. It’s like telling a joke at a family reunion and nobody laughs. That’s the visual I get from that one.
We don’t seem to have the SoulCycle tweet, but SoulCycle had tweeted, “We couldn’t help but wonder. Maybe Mr. Big should have gone to SoulCycle instead.” My tweet is, “Also, SoulCycle, remember when cool shows wanted to associate themselves with our brand?” I then have George Costanza from Seinfeld looking out wistfully at the ocean. For comparison, their tweet has 255 likes. My sub tweet has 32. That’s pretty solid considering I’m in the thread. Also, I’m talking to people that are following SoulCycle. They’re like, “Yeah, SoulCycle.” If you read the thread, SoulCycle was getting lit up. There’s also the issue when it comes to SoulCycle which they have found themselves in similar positions. They had a SoulCycle rider die from bacterial meningitis. They did not cause it.
Nobody jumped on them and made it sound like they did something.
Also, that person potentially exposed 300 other people in SoulCycle to bacterial meningitis.
Let me be clear. I know this for a fact. I can’t put it out there who told me or where I got the information, but SoulCycle has had people die in their classrooms on their bikes. For them to call out Peloton when they know that, first of all, it’s rude to their employees. The people that actually had that happened, it’s very callous to them, and then the people that it’s happened to, it’s callous to them as well. I realized that we’re talking about a fictional character but, are we? It could happen to anybody. It’s still cardio. It could have happened anywhere, anytime.
I saw a lot of the ads, tweets and messages post this. It’s a little odd that Peloton showcases their lead in the space that they would be presented in the show like Sex And The City reboot.
Sex And The City is all about opulence. The whole show is her lusting after $1,500 pairs of shoes and $2,000 purses. I don’t remember what Big did, real estate maybe. He had money out in Wazoo. I mean everything about Sex And The City is high end, New York Manhattan.
When you present the bike in that setting with that background, it’s a win. When I see those shots coming in, that feels like the Harlem Nights where there’s a scene with Arsenio Hall. They’re shooting at the guys in a broken window and everybody has machine guns. There’s the one guy that has a single shooter. That’s what that feels like. It’s like Peloton has got the machine gun and then here comes SoulCycle with the tweet.
Orangetheory had a tweet. You posted it, John. Tell them what it was.
It was, “That’s why we like having the coach in the room with us.”
That was the only one that probably had some relevance.
It wasn’t necessarily the funniest zinger in the world but it’s the only competitor who I saw differentiate their product and say, “If you’re exercising in a room full of people and this happens to you, you have the safety net of a room full of people.” They’re piling on and it’s also like, with all due respect to Howie, that was an awful story. This is not something that’s going to happen with a great deal of frequency. It’s not so frequent that you should completely change how you exercise. It’s not a frequent occurrence. There are things you can do if you’re concerned about it. You could get the medical or bracelet or what have you. At least Orangetheory was differentiating their product. Instead of just saying something crappy when the same thing could have happened on a SoulCycle, a Hydro, or what have you. They were like, “You will at least have people around with us.”
I would agree with that take on it. Do you know who did not weigh in? Do you know who did not pile it on? Do you know who did not go to that low tacky place? Tonal.
Tonal did not say a word.
I thought you’re about to say Echelon.
If they did, nobody would have seen it, John.
Let’s not get Echelon too much credit. Echelon didn’t tweet because they only have basic cable.
They didn’t even see the show.
They’re very careful not to get the movie package. They just get the basics.
We had an experience or an incident that just happened within the Peloton community. There’s this touchy nature to then see a similar scenario play. I get that. I was talking to a bunch of people in my group and people were coming at it from a different perspective. The people that knew Carrie had that perspective. There were others that were like, “Wait a minute, this is just good press. Press is press.” There were others that were fans of Peloton. They were torn. They didn’t like seeing the bike into the scene like that. That’s why I’m listening to different perspectives.
It’s like, “They are crackpot and this is us.” Except the difference there is the crackpot was faulty. There was a short in it and that’s what caused the fire. There’s nothing wrong with the Peloton. The Peloton didn’t do anything other than what a Peloton is supposed to do.
What the faulty thing was his heart. The lifestyle choices that character had made had exacerbated that. We all make unhealthy lifestyle choices at some point. It’s a fictional guy but I’m not trying to be like, “If you got a heart attack, you deserve it,” but it certainly exacerbated that.
“Peloton celebrity sightings.”
Peloton teams up with Ryan Reynolds for their official response after 2, 3 days of relative silence and having the internet have a field day with them. Out of nowhere, Ryan Reynolds tweets out a produced video with Christopher Noth, who plays Mr. Big, and Jess King. She was probably like, “I’m going to be in Texas City and everybody’s going to be talking about it,” and then nobody tweeted.
What I found incredibly fascinating about this is that Ryan Reynolds had been pitching a product of his from his company created as a service product. He had talked to Peloton on December 2nd. I don’t know if they subscribed to that product but this is a perfect situation for it.
Whether they did on that day or not, they do now. This was art. This commercial was the best.
He has a marketing company. He’s actually a big fan of marketing. He enjoys that. What kind of weirdo is into marketing? I don’t know. He certainly enjoys the creative aspect of marketing. Not just like writing a Tide commercial saying that it cleans your shirts, but figuring out a way to do something in ways that are funny, creative and different. His company is trying to come up with a subscription service. You pay a monthly fee instead of paying project by project, and then when you need something. You reach out and they do it for you.
He just proved his worth.
That’s what I was wondering. Did the Peloton subscribe on the 2nd, or did they subscribe on the 8th?
I don’t think it matters because if they were talking to him, they were considering it. This occurred and then they were like, “Now I see it. Now I get it.”
“Now we get the reasoning why you would have something like this.”
It’s hard to believe that because Darra and Ryan Reynolds talked for the very first time on December 1st, that on the 2nd, they signed up for it.
When had Peloton ever moved quickly? Does Ryan Reynolds have a rowing producing service that they could subscribe to? This has led to a lot of conspiracy theories as to whether or not Peloton was in on this the whole time. I would say, no.
They’ve come out and cleared the air. The answer was no.
I was hard in the camp of this had to have been planned.
I know you were. I was like, “No, John.”
Logistically speaking, if that was the case, they would not have sat there and let their stock crap the bed two days in a row. They wouldn’t have filmed the response spot on a Saturday and released it on a Sunday. They would have had it in the can and ready to go. I am starting to wonder, because we had talked throughout the week about somebody messing up by not getting script approval. I’m honestly starting to wonder if that’s not true. I am starting to wonder if maybe they did get script approval and they didn’t envision people losing their crap like this. Especially, in the second episode, they flat out say, “This Peloton didn’t kill him. He had a heart condition. This is not anything Peloton caused.” I almost wonder if they saw those scripts. I believe those two episodes dropped back to back. They thought, “This will get addressed and it won’t be a big deal, but then it ended up being a big deal anyway.”
The reason I don’t think that is true is because in one of the billions of articles I’ve read, Dara was quoted as saying that they did not have an agreement for their product placement. There was no agreement in place. That’s why I don’t think that is true.
That’s the only reason that I have to not believe that either. The immediate response and the article I read immediately after didn’t include who made the statement. It just said a representative from Peloton is stating that they weren’t given the approval to read how the product was going to be placed. That’s why I assumed they didn’t know, which is where my question was. That’s why I was questioning all of this. I kept thinking, how do you not know? They could be using your product for anything. This has ended up being really bad.
Tom and I have talked a lot about this. He keeps saying that that’s part of being a young company. At the end of the day, Peloton has only been around for eight years. That’s not that long. It’s not like a small group of people overseeing all of the decisions anymore. They have a lot of people that are leadership, and they have a lot of people under those people making decisions because you delegate. That’s what a good leader does.
The same parts of your company that slow you down and make you sluggish are the same parts of your company that protect you for moments like this. They have a foot in both worlds at this moment in that they’re still younger and more streamlined than a lot of companies, but they’re also starting to bloat. Right now, I feel like they are almost in a position where it’s the worst of both worlds.
That’s where I was in this place of it’s either they didn’t quite catch that. Because they didn’t have access to the script, then this happens or it’s all planned. I was doing it like this. I started with, “It’s all planned.” I was in that camp. I was like, “It’s all planned.” You remember 2019 when the whole Peloton’s wife gifts came out. It was the first week of December as well. It’s almost to the date.
Do you remember that actress’s name was Monica Ruiz? We had her on the show. We follow each other on Instagram. She was so funny because she loved whenever I put the ad out there that Ryan Reynolds group made. I was like, “Should we make this an annual tradition?” She was like, “Only Ryan Reynolds is the one doing me that.” I was like, “Yeah, it’s a key ingredient, clearly.”
That was genius.
You can’t use Ryan Reynolds every time there’s a controversy.
The only reason this worked is because the other one had been so funny last time.
The other one wasn’t a Peloton response. It was an ad for his Aviator Gin. It was him piggybacking a hot story. Also, his wife Blake Lively had a funny tweet in the middle of all this.
“To my mister who always goes BIG or goes home. I love you so much, but not as much as Peloton loves you.” A couple of key things about this. She sent him cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, which my understanding is Carrie’s favorite bakery in the show. That was one. Two, she signs it Serena Bradshaw, which apparently was a nod to Carrie’s character and her own character playing Serena in whatever show. There was a whole lot going on here. She did spell Peloton wrong but we’re going to let that slide.
We’ll let her get away with it.
“Peloton in court. Who’s suing Peloton now.”
There can’t be a Peloton controversy without somebody asking if they can sue. New York Times wrote an article about whether or not Peloton could sue HBO and the creators of that show. It sounded like if they wanted to, there was maybe a case. We had talked off air about what are the rules about using a product and when can you get in trouble. Do you have to have the right to use a product? Do you not have to have the rights? From reading the article, because I’ve read it before. I guess I clicked on it too many times and now I can’t read it.
The tone of it seemed, to the best of my understanding, was that you don’t have to get permission to use a product as long as you’re using the product in the manner it was intended, and you’re not disparaging the brand or making some sort of inflammatory claim about it. If you show someone drinking a can of Coke, that’s appropriate. If you show someone ramming a can of Coke down somebody’s throat, then you might need to get Coke’s permission. If you show that the Coke is poisoned and it killed him, then you could get in trouble. Also, as the show says, the Peloton didn’t kill him. I don’t necessarily agree with the tone of the article.
I don’t either. Even if they could, the dialogue that was generated off of this and all the different posts. I created two parodies from this. To me, it turned out all positive from a Peloton perspective, I would think, with all the publicity and all the movement.
I’m good with the positive after they came up with their response, the new ad. I wasn’t there until that happened. I’m still processing.
They definitely turned it around. I saw someone in your group, John, that was like, “This response ad didn’t sell any bike.” I replied to them, “It’s not about selling bikes. It’s about changing the narrative.” The narrative was all about Mr. Big getting killed by a Peloton. That’s not an accurate description. They reversed that story, so good for them. We should finally say before we move on that the story made it all the way to Canada. CP24 which is a Canadian news network, and from what I can gather, is a pretty big one. They had invited none other than Clip Out Crystal onto their show.
They don’t need that other person. I don’t know why the other person was there. I was listening to Crystal.
Thank you, John. I appreciate that. I appreciate your support. She approached it from a stock market perspective. It was clear that she doesn’t follow the way we follow. She doesn’t know the things we know about Peloton. That’s okay. I was honored to be asked and so excited. I was also so nervous. This was live television. Do you have any idea how incredibly scared I was, John? I was so scared.
She kept trying to get me to do it.
I’m not sure who the other person was. I know she was a stock-based person. They had a position based on the markets that I didn’t agree with. You tell them the story and align to what was going on in the community, what we were feeling about it, and what was the messaging going on relative to it? I thought you killed them.
Thank you. She’s their business analyst at a sister station. I believe she’s a business correspondent. It’s another station there in Canada. I have to say that I was so surprised because the person who asked us to do this was one of our listeners that listens in Canada every week. Thank you for listening. That’s pretty cool. She gets to hear all of the funny quips that we do and all of our tickety tock.
She’s probably listening right now. It’s like inception for her. She listens to the show. She talks to the show, and the show talks about her listening to the show, and in the next episode, we’ll talk about that.
I don’t know if it’s okay to say your name, so I’m not doing that. I was very honored to be asked.
I thought it went really well. I thought that was cool. It’s awesome
There’s all of our Sex And The City stuff. We get up to five of our fancy sweepers.
Do you want to leave off with Peloton’s tweet about getting your workout in? I thought this was a good way to continue the positive narrative that Peloton did well. I love this, “If we can put that spot together in 48 hours, you can do your workout today.” I love this for two reasons because one, it says, “We didn’t plan this ahead of time.” It shut that narrative down. Also, it’s a good reminder that hard things happen. We all deal with hard things.
Harder things than this happened to people for sure. This is some bad news story that didn’t hurt anyone.
I want to know how many subscriptions to his service Ryan Reynolds have received since that happened.
I agree. You need to add that to your list of things that you watch, with the little growth and all that because I bet it went up.
I got to think that subscription is probably hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to have an ad agency of that caliber.
Look what he did for Peloton. I’m just saying large businesses.
There’s a finite number. If he signed up two, then that’s a coup at those price points.
I get your point. That’s a good point.
Do you mean to tell me, we’re not going to be seeing an Echelon, Ryan Reynolds commercial?
I don’t think they can afford it.
My guess is an agency of that caliber offers exclusivity. They are taking one in each product category.
That would be smart.
There is your Sex And The City recap. It was a lot. Thank you, John, for joining us for that very lengthy discussion. Until next time, where can people find you?
They can find me on my Facebook page or group, Run, Lift and Live. They can find me on Instagram @RunLiftAndLive. They can find me on TikTok Run, Lift and Live, or they can find me at RunLiftAndLive.com.
Joining once again is Dr. Jenn Mann, licensed marriage, family and child therapist, and sports psychology consultant. You may know her from VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn, or VH1’s Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn. She also has a long-running radio show, The Dr. Jenn Show. She has written four bestselling books including Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. It’s Dr. Jenn.
It’s so good to have you here. We need your advice. You are probably familiar with a death that the community has been experiencing with Howie Godnick passing away. I know that we’ve touched base on the fact that it got mirrored in pop culture by the recent Sex And The City episode, where Mr. Big takes a ride and then he passes away shortly afterwards. We were wondering, what advice could you give people to help them process, what do you do when pop culture does something that’s so close to you and it feels so personal?
First of all, I want to send my deepest condolences to Howard’s family and to his friends. I took Jenn Sherman’s ride where she talked about him and was moved to tears. He sat there like the most amazing human being. I was so inspired. I went and watched his Ted Talk and felt such a sense of loss that the world is not as good of a place without this wonderful man in it. First of all, I need to say that. Secondly, when you have a situation where pop culture mirrors a loss that you’ve gone through, or a trauma or a tragedy, it is a great opportunity to use that to help you with your grief process.
At the same time, it’s important to be able to pay attention to, are you even ready for it? For example, my best friend lost her husband to a heart attack after exercising at a gym. I reached out to her and said, “I don’t want to do a spoiler alert but I think you may not want to watch this. You may want to get some more information before you make a decision.” She wrote back to me and said, “Thank you so much. I thank you for thinking of me. I am aware of that. I’m going to wait until the whole season plays out to make a more informed decision about what I want to do.” You need to respect your process. You need to respect whether you feel ready for something like that and feel like, “Is this is going to help me process my grief?” or if it feels too fresh and too traumatic.
One of the things for people to keep in mind is we typically go through all the stages of grief and loss, Elisabeth Kubler, Ross talked a lot about this denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Be prepared to go through those stages, and understand that we don’t graduate from one before we move on to the other. Sometimes we can go back and forth between two different phases. You can be angry and then an hour later, you can be sad. You can then go back to anger. We don’t graduate and then never go back to any of these. It’s a very normal part of our process.
It has to be difficult if you have had a traumatic event when it’s in pop culture because typically, traumatic events are surprises in a narrative, whether it’s a book, a movie or a TV show. A lot of times, you would enter into this world completely unsuspecting that you’re going to have that foisted upon you.
For the early Watchers of And Just Like That, the Sex And The City new season, it was probably super shocking. Most people I have spoken to in my private practice of my friends in the Peloton community had gotten wind of it before they tuned in, which in a lot of ways, it sucks in terms of having the storyline ruined, but it can be very helpful if that is something you are struggling with right now.
I make a lot of jokes about my ex-wife but she was on a camping trip where a small child was accidentally killed, and it was rough. It was a complete accident. I’m not a fan of my ex-wife but nothing negligent had occurred. When she would see something like that in a movie or a TV show for years, she was down for a day or two days, which I totally understood. It was difficult sometimes to navigate watching a movie or TV show. I would get into the habit of before we would watch a movie that I was unfamiliar with, I would go and read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia if I could just to yes to this or no to this, or yes but asterisk. It can be difficult to navigate.
There are some traumas that we have to walk through, and there’s this more of a sense of completion than others. There are others that we are coping with for the rest of our lives. Especially traumas that happened to us when we are younger, or losses that happened when we are younger because we have these milestone events that occur. For example, if you lost a parent, you grieve one way when you’re a child. It would be a different way when you’re an adolescent. It would be a different way when you’re in your twenties. Also, all of these different milestone events, one being walking down the aisle, your graduation, your first job interview, all these things that you would have shared with that parent otherwise become these milestone events where grief can come back up. A lot of the time people are surprised when that happens, but it’s a very normal part of the process.
I feel like it depends on the day. My sister had passed away suddenly when I was thirteen. It was this whole mysterious thing that I don’t want to get into. My point is that when we watch certain shows, most of the time, I’m okay. Every once in a while, the tears start flowing and I’m reprocessing everything all over again. There’s no rhyme or reason to when it’s going to happen. It just does.
It’s important to use those tragic moments when they get triggered as an opportunity to process them because processing grief is a lifelong process. Crystal, I’m so sorry that you went through that. Your whole family went through that. That’s one of those things that you’re going to experience at different events throughout your life. You’re going to process that differently at 20 than at 50 or 70 or 90. It’s something that you don’t complete. You just continue to grieve it. I’m sure in your experience, it haunts you less over time but it’s always there.
Absolutely. Thank you.
Thank you so much for joining us and giving us some tips on how to contend with things like that. Until next time, where can people find you?
You can always find me on social media @DrJennMann, and especially on Instagram where I post all of my Peloton workouts.
The Strive Score is now available via the Peloton app.
Now it automatically calculates like I was wearing my Apple Watch and I went to go do yoga, it automatically gave me my Strive Score at the end when I was done. I didn’t see it calculating on the screen. I wasn’t looking at my iPad. I was looking at the TV because I was doing airplay. It’s a little bit different than it was before, but it still gives you all the information you need.
It’s nice to see that it’s going to be in both versions.
Peloton took some heat over a party that was thrown by John Foley.
I want to say I’m laughing because as the screen came up in front of me, I started shaking my head, which made me laugh because I saw myself shaking my head. I wasn’t laughing at the situation. Let’s break this down. The title says, “The CEO of Peloton apologizes for causing frustration and angst among employees after throwing a lavish holiday party on the same day as the stock plunged 11%.” That’s not the issue, to be honest. It wasn’t about the stock. It’s about the fact that they are on a hiring freeze. It’s about the fact that they had cut all holiday parties. Don’t forget, they had cut all the commission for all the people in the stores, which is cutting pay. I know somebody will be pedantic. It’s those things and then having a very swanky party at the Plaza in New York City. I think the other issue is that it was paid for by the full lease. Let me be clear, this is not Peloton.
It’s not an official Peloton event.
Where the angst is coming from is a couple of things. One, not all the employees were invited, but several of the instructors were invited. It came across as elitist, especially because all of the instructors that did go, or at least it seems that all the instructors that did go posted a ton of pictures. It is what they do. They were beautiful. They were dressed up and it was fancy. I’m sure they felt like $1 million and they wanted to share it because they made great pictures. Let’s be clear, they were beautiful pictures, but I think that there were hurt feelings.
I feel like this article is its own kind of tone deaf, where it’s like, “They had this big lavish party on the same day that the stock plunge.” It’s like it’s not the stockholders that are suffering. Most people, if you can invest in individual stocks, you’re probably doing okay. It’s by and large the people on the front lines or the Peloton employees that are watching this play out. I would also like to say in a mild defense of this party, that my guess is it was probably planned when Peloton was riding high way before all this. It’s not like you can be like, “We had a bad day at the stock market so let’s cancel this event.” They will still have to spend all the money.
What would have made this easier for people is if it hadn’t been all over social media. If they had gone into their party, big deal, they went to a party.
Phones down, people.
Again, not all of the instructors even could come because not all of them live in New York. Not all of them were in New York. I don’t even know if they were all would have been invited anyway because you had to be vaxxed. You had to be on their personal guest list is my point. Because some instructors were invited and not all of the employees, it came across that you don’t care about the rest of the people. Honestly, we’ve met John. I don’t think that’s where his heart was. He was in his mind doing a nice thing for people that he loved because he couldn’t do the big company party this year so he was doing a different thing.
Anytime you throw a party, you draw the line somewhere. We’ve all seen house parties. We know what happens.
It gets out of hand. It did come across as unfortunately tone deaf. It came across as not hearing their employees. My understanding is that this issue was raised in a company Slack channel. That’s why he apologized. He apologized but he did it the day before a company meeting which also upset some people because they felt like he avoided having to say it to their faces. He sent an email instead of talking to them. That further upset people. Peloton is having a rough year.
The first half was solid.
They are having a rough fiscal year. It’s not going great.
There was also an article from CNBC, Peloton CEO John Foley touts product pipeline and the company refute to report that it’s halting development. We were starting to see some stories circulating that they had canceled all product development for 2022.
It’s so weird. DigiTimes, of all things. They acted like they had some in on this. It came out of nowhere to me. Certainly, none of the rumblings I have heard has indicated this. Saying that the company stopped their product line is not anything I have heard, not even the slightest rumble. I don’t know where this came from or where they got this information, but John Foley came out and said, “Not true.” He said it like that with the clap and all. He did the clap back. I’m just kidding. He said it in a tweet.
The clap tweet. The New York Post had a nice article. We’d talked about Howie Godnick. At this point, people are aware of the situation that he passed away. He was a very well-known member of the Peloton community, enough so that John Foley wrote a nice letter about him and his passing. The New York Post had a very nice article about all the memorial rides and things surrounding his passing.
It was a beautiful article and a beautiful tribute to Howie. It was well-deserved.
How about some positive Peloton coverage? BusinessInsider has 25 large companies that are rated highly for their company culture. Coming in at number 13 is Peloton.
It was number 13. I thought it was cute because I saw that Jill Foley tweeted it and was like, “I’m so proud.”
They’ve had some rough goings in the press as of late so I would cling to that as well.
John Foley tweeted about it as well. He also talked about how wonderful his employees are. I do believe his heart is in the right place and he means that.
Yahoo had an interesting article, Peloton is betting big on music for its connected fitness offerings. That’s been their MO from day one. I don’t know if this is breaking news.
I don’t either. I didn’t think it was, but I guess they’re just highlighting the fact that they have these agreements with Usher and Beyonce and things like that. Maybe somebody over there noticed.
I thought it was odd in terms of you could have written an article like this at pretty much any point in the evolution of Peloton. I do think it’s one of the things that differentiates them from their competitors, which is how much they value the music as part of the overall experience, and spend the money to get it. Finally, Self magazine had the nine best smart treadmills, according to running experts. Coming in at number one is the Peloton Tread.
It is amazing and it belongs there. I have to say though that I had no idea there were any other smart treadmills out there. Let alone nine.
I didn’t really drill down on this. These days, they’re probably all technically smart treadmills so much that they can connect to the internet and they can stream video. They might not have the content.
We have a different level of smart. I got it.
Joining us again is Angelo from MetPro.
It’s so good to have you. We need some help for one of our community members. We have a question from Stephanie Swan and she wants to know what is a good on the go breakfast that she could eat during work.
Stephanie, if you’ve listened to any of my segments before, the answer is it depends. It depends on what you should be eating. That’s going to depend on your goals, but I think we can safely assume that you would want a clean breakfast. I’m reading between the lines here a little bit. What you’re thinking of is something portable. The attributes that I look for with an on the go meal like you described that you can eat at work are it needs to be quick, it needs to be clean, and it needs to not be messy. Those are the key elements.
One of the things that you can do in the mornings, I’m presuming you’re starting at home, so you have access. A lot of my clients do like to turn their breakfast into a shake and take that on the go because that is quick. You can do protein powder. You can put Quaker or even steel-cut oats right in the blender. You can use a little almond milk, and then depending on how much additional carb you may want, you can add some banana or some berries. If you’re trying to cut carbs in the morning, then you could go with the protein powder and a little bit of oatmeal for a lower carbohydrate count. If you want some fats, almond butter or peanut butter, or you could literally take a handful of nuts with you, and then you have that balanced breakfast.
The other things that clients do are they can make up conveniently homemade whole wheat English muffins with some eggs. You could do a few egg whites or one whole egg plus an egg white. Throw it on an English muffin, and you are good to go. If you want a fat with that, I like avocado. You can put that in a little cellophane wrap and take it to go. You can make a few of them in advance and throw them in the microwave or the oven before you head out. Those are convenient. Depending on the temperature where you’re at, you could do a dairy, cottage cheese or yogurt, and throw some fruit into that, and sprinkle little nuts on. That’s quick but the reason I say depending on temperature is if you’re in a hot climate, that’s not going to keep without refrigeration. You’ll want to consider that as well.
The last option that’s always quick, easy and convenient is you can get some non-messy whole foods. You can go and get a small apple. You can get turkey jerky, and you can get nuts. That’s a great combo that we actually use often for mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks, but it will work for a quick breakfast on the go. Hopefully, you’ll be able to read in between the lines. Some people want a bar and you can do that. Generally speaking, I prefer bars for my clients who are actually trying to gain mass, not lose weight. Generally speaking, if it tastes good, it also has a lot of sugar, even if the sugar is from good sources like more of fruit-based fructose. I prefer other whole foods, but if you are going to look for a bar, I’m a big fan of things like RXBARs. There are some whole food bars that you can find that are similar to that. Usually, I veer towards those when I’m trying to get extra calories in my clients, not for cutting phases.
No to pop tarts. It says it has a fruit filling. Thank you so much for joining us. If people want information like this tailored for their own fitness journeys, where can they find you?
Please come visit me, MetPro.co/tco.
Instructors in the news. You thought we’re done talking about Sex And The City. It is Sex And The City but it’s adjacent. Jess King was featured in a profile in the New York Post because of her appearance on Sex And The City.
They did a profile on who exactly she is. It was nice to see some positive press come out of that.
Speaking of positive, press Robin Arzon was featured in People magazine.
First of all, just a reminder that her new book comes out in January 2022. She’s making a lot of rounds right now. She was talking to People about motherhood, movement, and more. It was an exclusive and they had lots of new photos of Robin and Athena, some pretty risky photos of Robin. They are her without clothes on but it’s in a loving way with her baby.
They are in a maternal way. You’re being tongue in cheek.
I was totally but I know somebody will take it the wrong way. It’s neat to see somebody be so strong and also be a mom. It is cool.
iFit, the makers of NordicTrack, laid off an undisclosed number of employees before the holidays. I guess that’s worst than pay cuts. That has to be frustrating considering what a strong year it had been for connected fitness products because of the pandemic. Now it’s one small bump in the road or one small return to normal and they have to lay people off. What were they doing?
That’s the interesting thing because they didn’t disclose the number of people. They haven’t disclosed a lot of their numbers. It is very interesting because they talked about how great Black Friday was and they had these amazing sales but then all of a sudden, this.
Not so amazing that you get to keep your job.
Some of the employees that worked there were not happy. They were blaming the layoffs on poor management, worker mistreatment, and struggles with their initial IPO. I have a feeling we’re going to see more on that. I don’t think that’s the last article we have seen on that at all.
That is my guess as well. If you’re looking to incorporate boxing into your workout for 2022, you should give FightCamp a serious think.
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We had talked in regards to the passing of Howie Godnick that his girlfriend was working to complete her marathon. She was also a past guest. She was doing a marathon in every state and her final state was Hawaii. She was set to do it on December 8th. She plowed ahead even with everything that she’s been contending with, and completed the marathon.
This was her 50th state and the goal was to have 50 before 50 and she did it. She said in her post that she knew that Howie would have wanted her to finish. There’s no doubt anybody was a bigger supporter of Carey than Howie. I hope that she knows that we were with her in spirit, and we were cheering her on all the way from Missouri. It’s so cool that she was able to finish this amazing accomplishment, especially with everything going on.
We should also point out that Howie’s sons showed up to support her at the run.
There are amazing pictures. I had trouble deciding on one to show, but there was a picture of her with both of Howie’s sons. It got me right there in the field.
Congratulations, Carey. I know it’s a bittersweet achievement but it’s an achievement nonetheless. You should be proud of it.
We have another new artist collaboration, this time featuring ABBA.
This is going to be absolutely epic. People love the ABBA. Hopefully, everyone is having a great time and I can’t wait to take this one.
Before, it’s Queen. Now, it’s Dancing Queen. Also, we got a tease for the final artists series of the year. It’s dropping on December 25th and everyone is guessing.
The guesses are all over the place. My guest is Taylor Swift. I am very much putting myself out there. I think it is because it’s a red box. It was announced on her birthday. I’m feeling like this is Taylor Swift.
She’s doing the full press for the rerecord of her album. It would not surprise me if she would have worked out a deal like this. I know some people will guess Mariah Carey because it’s Christmas day. I was like, “You don’t start playing Mariah Carey on Christmas day.”
That’s my take on it too. Somebody did say that they took a class with Robin and they got the vibe that it was Mariah, and she almost let the cat out of the bag. I don’t know why you would start playing Christmas music on Christmas day.
Mariah Carey is more than just one Christmas song. She’s one of the bestselling female artists of all time, but it is odd that that would drop on Christmas day because she’s also very associated with one specific Christmas song. I know it’s overplayed and people love to complain about it. It’s overplayed because it’s one of the best Christmas songs ever written. It’s overplayed because it’s that good.
I honestly love it.
There was this gap when that song came out before it completely took over your Christmas airwaves. In that interim of 3 or 4 years before it kicked in, I remember thinking, “Why aren’t they playing this every third song?” It’s the perfect Christmas song. It sounded current and contemporary, but it also sounded classic. It’s a brilliant piece of songwriting and production. It’s a brilliant piece of production in terms of how it sounds. I think people forget about that aspect of it.
We’ll see what it is.
Let’s talk about an HBO show that’s not Sex And The City or And Just Like That, whatever they’re calling it now. They have a new show called The Sex Lives of College Girls. The co-creator and showrunner, a guy by the name of Justin Noble, is a Peloton lover and is in some of the groups.
This was on the OPP and it cracked me up because he posted, “While you’re all tuning in to watch Peloton scene in Sex And The City, maybe stay on that app for a bit and check out The Sex Lives of College Girls. I hear the co-creator and writer showrunner of that show is in this very Facebook group.” Spoiler, it’s him. I’m not sure most people got it when they read it. I don’t think they know that it’s him. They’re interacting with him.
That’s so funny. The show did get picked up for Season 2. It’s got quite a bit of buzz. The best part is now that we know that this guy owns a Peloton, Crystal will let me watch a show called The Sex Lives of College Girls. I think previously that probably would have been a non-starter.
It does sound like the title of a porn. I don’t know anything about the show.
The title is so salacious that I would think that there would be a lot of women who would be like, “Really?” There’s Red Shoe Diaries. Is that what we’re doing?
Selena has a challenge for people to close out December.
Twelve days of glutes and legs. These are great because they are ten minutes. They are easy to stack with other classes that you’re taking. I was putting all of my notes in and I accidentally deleted the other one because Matty is also doing a challenge, but it’s all about core. These two would be great together. You could do Matty’s core challenge and Selena’s glutes and legs, and you would be doing great. Tom stays away from all that.
I will definitely stay away from exercise. It’s my superpower.
Finally, we’re backing up to wish a happy birthday to someone we missed in the last episode.
Marcel Maurer is one of our German instructors and he wasn’t on our list yet. Now he is. Next time, we’ll tell you ahead of time. Happy birthday, Marcel.
Happy birthday, Marcel, but in German.
Joining us is designer extraordinaire, Brittany Allen. How’s it going?
I’m good. How are you?
We’re good. We’re happy you’re here. It’s exciting. It’s been a long time coming. For people who don’t know, when Tom says, “Designer extraordinaire,” tell us about all the things that you design.
I had some woman DM me and was like, “My daughter loves Project Runway and Peloton.” I’m like, “I’ve never done in kids before.” It’s a new thing every day, but mainly, I started my brand back in 2012. I rebranded it after the show commenced in 2019. It’s taken a hard right into activewear, whether I liked it or not. I was more women’s ready-to-wear, but I was filling this like niche gap in the market and in the industry that people were starving for exciting activewear. I’m like, “I guess we’re going to do this.”
As a boy, what’s the difference between ready-to-wear and activewear?
Ready-to-wear is like your everyday pieces. It’s more casual, but it’s not evening wear. It’s like, you’re going to brunch on a Sunday with the girls for champagne and mimosas because we’re not looking forward to the food at brunch. We put on a dress for pants and a top. My category is contemporary women, so it was in the price range of $300 to $900. It’s more of like Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s a little bit more not quite luxury, although I feel luxurious, but it’s much more like, “I’m going to grab this out of my closet.” It’s in my closet and I always have it.
Activewear has a purpose. It is more for working out and for fitness. It borderlines leisure, which is a very new term, it is thrown around like willy-nilly. As leisure, it is either you are wearing activewear because you work out or you’re wearing activewear in a leisure way because you’re strolling through the frozen food section. You look like you just walked out of SoulCycle, but you came straight from home. You didn’t work out. You have mascara on and your eyelashes are still attached. Let’s be real. You don’t smell like recess. What were you doing?
I’m going to switch gears on you then. How did you come across Peloton originally?
My husband and I had this conversation. I was on a ride with Jess, the EDM ride. It was right in the middle of the ride and she was like, “So-and-so.” I don’t know what his leaderboard name was, but she was like, “Happy 3,600.” Derek came running in and he was like, “How does one get 3,600 rides? They’ve only been a company for a few years.” I’m like, “No. I’ve had my bike for four and the OG Peloton group is going on almost an 8 or almost 9 years anniversary. If you took like a warmup ride, 5-minute warmup, a 30-minute ride and a 5-minute cooldown, that’s 3 rides in a day.” I bought my bike in 2017.
It was a neat thing then. It was all about the technology back then.
I was riding when they had the big puff microphones, the black ones. I’m like, “This looks like a Britney Spears situation.”
Did you get the white shoes?
No, I had the black shoes. I did an old ride and I was like, “We’ve come a long way.” The growth is right there where everybody can see it. I’ve found that I hate the gym, despise going to the gym. I love the idea of being able to work out at my house but having some source of accountability that’s not texting a friend every single morning. My husband has this quote, “Everybody loves a leaderboard.” If it’s a game, it’s addicting.
Does your hating of the gym mean that you weren’t exercising prior to Peloton or you were going but suffering through the indigenize of the gym?
I was not a big workout person. It serves a purpose. It helped my clothes and I was a catchall for all of my stuff. She collected dust for like two years.
Are you saying that you hung clothes on your Peloton?
It’s a great way to dry blouses that need to air dry. I hang them up on the handlebars. It’s an absolute shame.
I feel like it’s different when she uses her Peloton as a clothes hanger because it’s like the height of fashion.
Don’t use that. It’s absolute blasphemy.
Think how trendy her Peloton must look.
It’s the best-dressed Peloton. You mentioned Project Runway. Tell us about that. What year or season were you on?
We filmed from June 30 to August 1, 2019, and then we were announced as the cast in October 2019. I had to come home and keep that a secret for two months. It’s absolute misery. Our first episode was in December 2019. They aired episode 4 or 5 of the latest season, which is season 19. I was on season 18. Our last episode was two days before the lockdown.
That feels like a lifetime ago. Everything’s changed.
That whole experience goes by so fast. It feels like yesterday. I feel like I’ve been dealing with the pandemic my whole life.
Pandemic fatigue is a thing.
I’m like that lady on Titanic and I’m like, “It’s been 84 years.”
I got to circle back around now to putting clothes on the Peloton. You, legit, own mannequins.
It’s my studio space. This is the production side, all the sewing stuff. It’s disgusting. Now, you know why I close hung up on Peloton because I’ve lived like a slob. This site is like packing, merch, embroidery and sublimation. These are swimsuits. This is every month that scraps. We keep them because we’re sustainable. It’s hard to figure out sometimes what to do with them, but I’d rather keep them and find a place for them later. This is my spot. It’s only about 1 mile away from my house. I got into this studio in 2020, but before that, it was in the guest bedroom of my house.
It was so hard to separate work and home because if I get in the zone of sewing, I’ll be like, “I’m skipping dinner. I’m skipping going to bed.” It’s given us a whole week and I’ll get into my thing so, but I needed that break up of like, “This is work and this is home.” As a creative, you can get fully immersed in your work. It’s easy to do.
As somebody who is so creative and it’s your job, I assume this started off as something you loved. It was a passion. That’s what I feel from you.
It’s a much relatable and realistic story. People always ask me, “How did you get into fashion? Were you five years old, sitting there sewing with your grandmother, pushing the pedals?” I’m like, “I’m not that old.” Nobody taught me to sew when I was a kid. I didn’t start sewing until I was nineteen. It was only that I got into fashion because I went to the University of Arkansas for my undergrad in 2007. From 2007 and 2008, I was a Nursing major.
I hated it. I love people, talking and having those relationships. That’s why I think the COVID situation has been so hard for me. I failed in Anatomy like 47%. I couldn’t even limp away from that wreck. My counselor pulled me and was like, “We should have a talk.” If you can’t pass Anatomy, you probably shouldn’t be a nurse. That fundamental like, “Here’s the basis of this entire profession. Either you got to retake it and like give your all.” I’m like, “I can’t because I hated it.”
She was like, “Let’s go back to undecided and start taking some electives.” I was like, “We’ll try it out.” I took a sewing class randomly as one of my electives. I was like, “I loved it.” I’m good at these fashion classes. I’ll keep taking these fashion classes as my electives because it’s useful to know how to sew. I’m like, “I guess I’m just going to switch and be in fashion.” My grandmother was like, “You had a guaranteed paycheck.” You were like, “Screw it. I’m going to wing it and try to be an artist.”
Is it true that your first pair of leggings ended up being a shirt? You are like, “This anatomy haunts me.”
That’s a pretty stunning turnaround to go from, “I’m going to be a nurse,” to “I’ll try some fashion stuff.”
It was a stunning turnaround because it’s not like Arkansas is the pipeline to high fashion.
How did you end up on Project Runway? That’s not something for just anybody. Not just any old person can do that.
At the U of A, it was much more like merchandising and buyer-driven. It was much more like the business side of fashion. Sometimes, you got to be a redneck when you have to be. That was the thing in Arkansas. It was like, “What is Arkansas known for? Poultry Science and Business.” I’m like, “Let me go into fashion.” This is not like it’s this big known program there but it was so merchandise and buyer-centric. I felt that I got that part of the business, which is starting a business, doing the business plan and how you buy inventory if that’s what you want to do. I had essentially no design experience.
I was like, “I want to dive a little deeper into this design and see if that’s what I want to do.” I applied to SCAD in Savannah. I got my MFA there and that was 100% design, but there were hardly any business classes. I felt like I got the best of both worlds, but since I was heavily in design at SCAD, I was like, “This is definitely what I want to do. I want to be the more creative in the industry.” I had applied for Project Runway four times over a span of ten years. It was 2011 or 2012, right after grad school. I made it to the semifinals. I took a long pause, tried it out and made the cast of Project Runway Season 17.
I literally got that phone call. I was super excited. They called me a few days after that. “Because of the whole like Harvey Weinstein situation, Project Runway has been bought by Bravo.” They’re going to revamp it. It’s leaving Lifetime and that means a new production and casting company. Essentially, you got what you wanted and they are going to take it away. I turned around and auditioned for the Bravo people whenever they started casting and made it to the finals. The final group of that little small pool that they pick the final sixteen. She was like, “It’s not going to be this time this year.” I’m like, “I’m never trying out for this shit. I’m over it. I’m done. The heartbreak is real.”
They called me whenever they started casting for 18. She was like, “You want to show up for this.” I’m like, “Are you winking or something? What’s going on? I can’t see your face.” She’s like, “You’re going to want to show up for this.” I’ll try out again. I went through the whole formal process. I got the call and I was like, “Are you sure you have the right number?” She was like, “You’ve been cast on Project Runway.” It’s serious imposter syndrome. I’m like, “Who did I convince that I am good enough to do this. Holy crap.”
Especially, when you’ve already had the rug pulled out from under you once.
You are starting to expect the worst. You’re like, “I’m going home on the first episode. I better look cute in that first challenge.” I won the first episode. My life is full of 180s.
How does that work on Project Runway? You win, but do you get points? It seems to me every time I watch stuff like that, I think the way it works is that you win, but you move to the next level. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee your spot. You could win one and you’re in the next round, but you have to start from scratch all over again. They have in their heads as judges what you’ve already done too.
Up until episode eight, if you win a challenge, you have immunity in the next challenge. Since I won the first challenge in episode two, I had immunity. No matter what I made, I could not be eliminated, even if I was at the bottom and had the lowest score. It does get you immunity but episode eight was the last immunity. Let’s be honest. It’s a reality TV show.
In the end, whenever it comes to picking the final four or whether or not, if you’re in the bottom and it’s between you and somebody else going home, it would be hard for me to believe that they don’t have in their mind the track record of your wins and how good are the garments that you’ve produced. If you’ve got like a few wins under your belt, it’s only going to validate their decision to keep you. That being said, I was tied for the most wins and went home the episode before the finale. It’s a contradiction.
What does that look like post Project Runway? How does that impact your career in fashion? Does it turbocharge it? Does it vary from person to person?
It does. I felt like I was one of the only contestants that took and ran with it. I took the opportunity to monetize after every single episode. I did like launch hoodies. The night that the episode aired or right after the episode ended, I would launch something because people were right after the episode coming to my Instagram page and checking out my website. Even if it’s not something that correlated with the episode, it’s like, “This is new. This is cute. It’s an $80 hoodie. That’s an easy buy for me instead of a $300 dress.”
It started with that and it’s been a slow growth. I had 18,000 followers at the end of the season. It’s keeping that momentum going afterward and keep growing your brand because it’s not going to come to you. I always tell people that are trying out for Project Runway or some of the contestants that got announced and their season started. It’s like, “You have to take this as an opportunity to propel yourself forward because no one’s going to come to you for your growth. You have to use this opportunity to blow up your brand yourself.”
There are no magic bullets. There’s no like, “You did this one thing and now you’re huge.” It’s consistency and lots of little things to move the ball forward.
It propelled you forward. It definitely helped. I can’t complain. Essentially, it was free advertising.
Is it a lot of pressure? Tell us about that.
Our shortest time to sew was nine hours.
I’ve never created a garment because I have no creative ability whatsoever, but I would think that’s not a lot of time.
Our longest was 17 hours and our shortest was 9. For the episode that is nine hours, I did a corseted gown for one of the Olympics for Tokyo. That was our challenge.
I feel like they misnamed the show. I think they should call it Project Sweatshop.
It was during the summer and it was so hot because it was in the Navy Yards in Brooklyn. You’re dripping sweat. There’s so much pressure because you want to do well. You want to get as far as you can, but you also don’t have any time to guess yourself second. They give you the challenge, sit you down and give you 20 or 30 minutes to sketch. That’s the time that you have to come up with your design. Even your sketchbooks are taken away from you at the end of the twenty minutes.
You go to Mood and you start fabric shopping. There’s very little time to be like, “I don’t know what I want to do. Let me just sit here and think about it or marinate on it.” It’s like, no. Back to back, once you start sketching, you better feel pretty good about it because you’re about to go and buy fabric for that and if you go back to the workroom and change your mind, there’s no turning back.
I have seen the show. Isn’t there like a giant fabric room they put you in and you choose?
Mood is this huge place in New York. It’s always been Mood that they’ve been fabric shopping at. It’s so big and you only get 30 minutes.
I can’t even imagine. I can’t even pick out curtains for my home.
You don’t just need fabric. You need zippers, buttons and closures. You need any trims that you’re going to use. You’ve seen my clothes. I don’t use solid black or taupe. I like prints and bright colors. That makes it even harder because it’s not like I can sit there and have the time to pull out all these fabrics looking at all the prints. You got to run to the section, find a color, pull it out and hope for the best. They don’t assign you cutters. You have to find somebody that can help you cut. You run around the store and be like, “Can you cut this for me?”
I would think that would be very stressful.
When you have to create something like not thinking about it can also be a freedom of like, “Go through as fast as you can and let it happen.”
You go with your gut a lot more, which I learned later. “I want to do it. I’m not going to come out of here safe.” You don’t have a whole lot of time to second guess it. Also, I had an amazing experience. You’re getting one side of the story. I’m very positive about my experience because I made it 12 out of 14 episodes. I won two challenges. I also feed off of pressure. I love the adrenaline rush. I love the dramatics of not meeting a deadline. I was right up my alley the entire time. I feel like you’re completely cut off from the world, no phone, no computer, no TV or radio.
Do you go to a hotel?
They have a penthouse. Once you get there, then they take it all away and you’re fully immersed in it. The only people you can talk to are your castmates. As they start going home, you’re like, “I have six people to talk to.” You’re completely cut-off. You can’t leave. You have 24-hour surveillance.
That sounds awful. I’m not going to lie.
Going to the bathroom was interesting.
Did they watch you?
No, but you’re mic’d. They come in and they’re like, “You have fifteen minutes before cameras get here.” Let’s be honest, not everyone is regular. In that fifteen minutes, I’m not like, “Let’s get it together.” I’d have to wear my mic and be like, “Now’s the time.” It’s weird.
At some point, you have to let it be. You can’t control it. It’s not like they haven’t heard it. I’m sure they’ve heard everything there is to hear.
These are the same people that do like Top Chef. Some of these people worked on Love Is Blind and Big Brother. Those people literally are mic’d and have cameras on them when they’re sleeping. It would have been weird.
Didn’t you get to see your husband the entire time?
We had two phone calls, but every time that you have a phone call, it’s on camera because they want to capture that time.
Even prisoners get conjugal.
Is there anything that you can show us that you were working on that isn’t confidential? I love your designs and there are people out there that may not have gotten a chance to see the stuff that you do. Is there anything sitting around?
We’re doing a lot of orders. We’ve had many orders. I launched a new fabric. I have to shoot it because it looks like it’s silver on taupe, but there’s a rainbow sheen that you can see every now and then.
It’s not picking up the true versatility.
It’s amazing. It’s stretchy. It’s good. I’m obsessed with it and I did this Galactic but it’s very rainbow and incredible.
That can be a workout outfit. I also love that you have different styles of bras. There’s a lot of companies that they’ll only make like 1 or 2 styles of bras. I like that you have a variety because not everybody wants to wear one shoulder.
We’re learning a lot and everything that we make, everything that you find on our website, when it comes to athleisure or any other ready-to-wear stuff, we sew it here in-house. Our machinery is a little bit more limited than large manufacturers in New York City. Every woman out there is excited that we now have the crotch panel.
What does that mean?
That means that there’s not this huge seam where all four points meet that are like a cameltoe. It’s like a flat surface. I’m trying to introduce stuff very slowly, looking at other activewear. I’m not taking any design ideas from anybody but trying to figure out what people want. People want a pocket in a legging, so I’m trying to figure out how to do that.
I want to do a bra that is high-impact. I don’t know how that’s going to work out because I feel like those high-impact bras are developed. The fabric and lining are interesting. The way that they stitch those together if I can figure out how to do that, that’d be game-changing. I’m also doing some strappy style and crosses on the back or something. Those tiny little straps are so hard to make with spandex. I’m trying to develop to be very versed in the industry and trying to offer something for everybody.
I love that, especially the high-impact stuff. A lot of the high-impact stuff doesn’t have fun or unique patterns. They’re almost always just solid and boring.
It doesn’t change it. Some of it is such a snoozefest.
You have a lot of stars and butterflies in your designs. Does that come from somewhere? Is that something that you personally love?
I love pop art and pop culture. I feel like having those very strong motifs, like big stars, butterflies and prints, that’s a way that I can express that whenever I’m working with more traditional silhouettes. The pencil skirt isn’t something that’s revolutionary, but the fact that I can apply these super exciting prints to it makes it different. If our clothes are making us happy, then it’s definitely one of those sources of self-expression that we still have left. Now you open your mouth and there are ten people that are pissed off at you. It’s a way that we can dress that we don’t have to worry about making anybody else happy. It’s what we feel the best in.
I enjoy the bright colors and the prints that you do. Going back to Peloton, what are your thoughts on the Peloton community? You’ve been part of it for a long time. Do you have any general thoughts about how it’s grown over time and how it’s affected you personally?
I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Peloton. My bike’s never broke and I never had a problem with my touch screen. I ordered it in 2017 before Peloton was the thing to do. When I ordered my bike, I had it the next week. I’m like, “I don’t know why you guys are having to wait two months.” Invest in the company at the right time and you’ll make a fortune. I love the community because I’ve been in it for so long.
I joined all these Facebook groups, which has been very eye-opening for many people that complain about the smallest stuff. Overall, everybody is super supportive and wants to see you succeed. It’s anything like Project Runway and Peloton and people in a specific city. You’re going to get people that come through these like Facebook groups, get happy behind the keyboard and think that they could type whatever they want without any repercussions. Overall, I feel like it’s a place for positivity. I haven’t experienced much of the negative.
Stay out of the official one.
It’s a dumpster fire.
That’s an insult to dumpster fires. It’s another one of the class action lawsuits against Peloton. It’s from dumpster fires that are which to disassociate.
Everybody on the Official Peloton group thinks that my bras are too pricey. I’m like, “They’re hand-sewn.”
I don’t get that because it’s not that much more expensive than Peloton bras.
Lululemon leggings are $108.
If you put a price on something, someone will tell you that price is too high.
It can be free and you still couldn’t get rid of it.
There will be somebody that will complain.
My father-in-law has always said, “If you want to get rid of something, don’t put a free sign on it. Put $20 on it and it’ll be gone the next day.” Nobody’s going to be happy with any price. It’s like, “You’re giving your work away for free. Is it cheap?” It’s like, “Is there a good price point?”
I book concerts for a living and sometimes I’ll do concerts where like, “I want to have like a $20 ticket. These prices are too high.” I’m like, “You can barely go to the movies for $20.”
Do you have a favorite Peloton instructor?
I know so many of them. There’s not one that’s not the absolute treasure and salt of the Earth that’s too pure for us. Jess King always holds a very special place in my heart. I love her. I like it because I’m weird and she makes me feel more accepted because she puts it all out there. She’s like, “Be who you are and don’t apologize to anybody for it. Live your life.”
That’s a great example of you can’t please everybody.
If you’re unapologetically yourself and you know that you are yourself, then that feels better than trying to please every single person.
You’ll find your people. If you’re everything to all people, ultimately, you’re nothing to nobody. It’s a variation. I always tell the kids, “All italics is the same as no italics.”
He believes specificity is central to humor, so he does that a lot.
Are you comfortable sharing your leaderboard name with people?
My leaderboard name is OhHeyBrittanyA. It was Brittany Allen, but people are like, “You got to get cheeky with it.”
Do you get a lot of shout-outs with that?
Not really. I’ve only gotten 2 or 3 shout-outs ever.
I think Jess King needs to work on that.
Sometimes when I’m on Jess King, I’ll change it to like a different leader board name. That’s an inside joke and give her that entertainment. We have this joke that we have laughed many times over, like how you pronounce Worcestershire. For my 200, I changed my leaderboard name to Worcestershire and she was like, “Oh my God. Happy 200, Worcestershire.”
Do you have any advice for people who are just now entering the world of Peloton?
Don’t take Robin until your first 50 rides. I take Robin when I need to do a kick in the ass and I don’t need to be feeling sorry for myself whenever I do it. Don’t take any floor with Jess Sims until you’re ready. Her stuff is harder than HIIT stuff. She’s so fast, but I get the best. I know that I’m going to be out of commission for like 2 or 3 days afterwards.
The more specific Facebook groups and communities, obviously not the official group because it’s insane. Finding your niche group where it’s like Peloton Mom, Jess King’s Collective, Kendall’s Knockouts or something that’s smaller, the people have the same interests as you. Find one of those groups, post on it and ask questions because everybody’s been so willing to answer the questions with actual, explaining, they’ll post links to how to do this or that or what to keep in mind.
If you can find that niche Facebook group or a way to like reach out to the community, do that because it will save you a lot. Not that you don’t want to get on the bike and explore, but you also don’t want to waste your time taking rides that aren’t going to benefit you in the best way possible. I find that those groups are helpful. I’m part of the #hardCORE group. It changed everything. I’ve been doing that since August 2021 and I’ve lost like four inches on my waist. I’ve gained 1 inch in my butt and that’s huge because it imitates a book because it’s flat. It’s completely straight, nothing. My waist and hips were the same measurements. I cannot make that up.
My butt is 1 inch bigger and I am absolutely #Blessed for that. Thank you, #hardCORE. It’s finding those accountability groups, but also people that you can just like b**** to, ask questions and get information from. It will help you like so much, knowing that you’re not alone. It can be very secluded. You’re at home. You’re on the bike and you’re looking at a screen, but you and I both know, it’s a one-way mirror. It’s nice to know that people are simultaneously doing the exact same things that you are.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day of sewing to join us. We greatly appreciate it. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you and all of your things.
My website is ShopBrittanyAllen.com. If you find me on Instagram, it’s @BrittanyAllen.ATX. You can find my links through Instagram. I try to stay off Facebook as much as possible. I’m not on Twitter because that is also a dumpster fire.
Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate you.
Thanks for having me. That was fun.
I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until the next episode, where can people find you?
People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, the Bike, and the Tread @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget to follow our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TheClipOut. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.
About Brittany Allen
Brittany Allen grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and strives for perfection and excellence in her unique designs. After receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas and her MFA from SCAD, she moved to Austin, Texas, where she is currently an adjunct professor of fashion courses at a local university. She works on her brand full time, and is simultaneously in the final stages of her PhD in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design at Iowa State. Brittany’s designs mix powerful shapes with feminine prints, and she incorporates French seams throughout every garment to add couture refinement, and emphasize her formal training and techniques.
Brittany’s goal as a designer is to bring fun and excitement back into the fashion industry, and her designs are meant to make women feel more empowered and beautiful. She describes her brand as if Dolly Parton and Betsey Johnson had a baby who was then raised by Anna Wintour. Her designs have been showcased at Austin Fashion Week 2017-2019, 2017 Houston Fashion Week, and September 2019 Style Fashion Week, along with WWD and Footwear News.