Local Barre, CYCLEBAR, and Motherhood: Jennifer DeMarco Talks Balance

Jen DeMarco has two sons, one daughter, a husband, three businesses, and in January, she’s opening a CYCLEBAR spin studio in Hoboken.

While I spent my late 20’s noshing on garlic bread in front of the television (whole wheat, for sure), Jen was founding Local Barre. And since then (LB opened in 2009), Local Barre has grown from not one, but three local fitness studios into a nation-wide franchise for hospitality & events and fitness studio space. (See rendering.)


But let’s talk spin.

CYCLEBAR is a cycling experience that seems to transcend traditional gym classes, primarily because of the way they set you up to experience the music.

Spin has a reputation as a workout that kicks your blast off! But when you add the right music, (the kind of music that’s loud enough, that beats alongside your own rhythm), it’s easy to get lost in the sounds and the spirit. Add the right music and spin becomes meditative and cleansing, offering sweat and movement as a path through the insanity of motherhood and insecurity.

And CYCLEBAR has that. They pump it at you through a sound system connected to a screen that meets the pace of the pedals. It’s strong, it’s intense and it’s fun. And also – after class, they email you the playlist. So you can listen to it while you’re vacuuming, or in the grocery store, or whenever you need a pick-me-up. Be back in that moment, disappearing into your own power.


I should note that the CYCLEBAR space is beautiful too. Just walking in the door makes you feel young and trendy. They call it a theatre: it’s tiered and holds 45 bikes with data monitors and sound, video, and lighting that all work together to create that sensory experience. Like I said – get lost in it.

So naturally, (and in awe of this amazing lady and her beautiful spaces and ideas), I asked Jen how she starts businesses and creates franchise opportunities and has three kids – all at the same time.

“Accept help,” she said. “I accept help from my husband, friends and family, and most of all the grace of God! I try to be present in whatever I’m doing.


“And as much as we fantasize about these Pinterest perfect lives, the reality for me is that at any moment our twelve year old couch cushions are losing their stuffing! And there is a certain peace and beauty in just embracing that season of our life. Motherhood requires a certain endurance, and so does the role of CEO. There are many days when I wish for relief from either one.

“In the end, I love what I do! Motherhood is the greatest gift that has ever been bestowed upon me. And I’m pretty darn grateful for the ways that God is using me in our community, too. I hope my children will learn that you don’t have to do it all. It’s ok to feel broken and vulnerable and to make mistakes. That’s where life begins!”

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Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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