Faces of Joy: Designer Gaelle Dudley of GLDESIGN: "Follow Your Dreams and Beauty Will Come of it!”

Connecticut riders may have seen the retail area of JoyWestport looking extra inviting, beachy and sophisticated recently! When we approached Fairfield resident and avid JoyRider, Gaelle Dudley of GLDESIGN to be a part of our #JoyCommunity series, she proposed a mini popup / transformation of our Westport lobby that showcases her skillful eye. We were blown away by what Gaelle did for us! We always say that when you attend our classes, it’s an escape — well, she extended that feeling to a mini-vacation space in our lobby!

In celebration of this special collaboration, please join us for champagne and other refreshments, including a special JoyRide Orange & Mint Joy Cocktail / Mocktail, recipe courtesy of our own Katie Diehl, on Monday, April 29 @ 7:30 p.m. @ JoyWestport, immediately following Rhodie and Mackenzie’s “No Pain / No Champagne” Team-Teach!

Can’t make it to the gathering? We will post fun photos! Need a design “refresh" or help with a coastally inspired indoor or outdoor project? Gaelle is offering a complimentary consultation to one lucky (local) JoyRider who drops their name in the dedicated margarita glass on the bar!

In the meantime, we thank Gaelle for always lighting up our studios with her big smile, killer work ethic — and her creativity!

Below she shares a little more about herself and her journey to JOY.

What initially brought you to JoyRide?  
When I first came to JoyRide in 2012, I was looking for a high-intensity workout. I had never spun before, but had heard that JoyRide was "where it was at.” And, boy was that true! My very first class, I sat in the back row of Mackenzie’s Tabata class before I even knew what Tabata meant! Well, let’s just say I got hooked and can’t imagine a better place to be, sweat, have fun and feel accomplished about my fitness goals.

Which classes do you usually attend?  
I am up for anything, but my faves are Mackenzie’s spin and Tony or Mackenzie’s JoyXtremes. All Grit.

Has exercise been a part of your life for a long time?  
I grew up playing competitive tennis, so yes, I have always been an athlete. But when I was almost fatally injured in 2000 after being hit by a car, I took to “gym fitness” as part of my rehabilitation and never looked back. The class and community environment is critical to my growth as a person and as an athlete.

What motivates you?  
Honestly, so many variable in my life motivate me, but it all comes from within. My dad always pushed me hard to be the best I can be, to give it my all and to make myself proud. I surround myself with strong women who motivate me, like my sister, my mom, my friends and instructors. My two boys drive me to also be the best I can be — and so does my passion for a healthy life. I am grateful each and every day to be able to use my body to accomplish what I need to make me strong mentally and physically.

How would you describe the JoyRide experience to friends and family?
Enlightening and empowering. A 'no judgement' zone where it’s ok to smile (or ask for a bucket!) and be your own person with your own goals — and be supported through it all.

What are/were goals that you wish to accomplish with the help of JoyRide or that you already accomplished? 
My goals when I first started were to perfect my form on the spin bike (still a work in progress!) and to make my way to the front row (which I did!). My goals now are to lift heavy or go home. Ha!

How did you get into the field of design?
I was born and raised in France where design and fashion are deeply entrenched in our culture. After majoring in business and spending years in design and marketing for a hospitality company, I decided to branch out on my own about four years ago and started GLDesign — focusing on coastal interior and exterior design only. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and how amazing the experience has been! Follow your dreams and beauty will come of it!

Supporting riders’ causes and charitable organizations is of the utmost importance to the JoyRide community, and a vital part of our mission. Is there a cause or organization about which you are passionate?
I am a big supporter of cancer awareness rides and thank JoyRide for all their hard work raising funds, not only for individuals from our community suffering from this awful disease, but also children that are impacted across the country.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself that could help/inspire others looking to get fitter/healthier?
Working out is not a punishment - I think of it as a reward. The more sweat, the more self accomplishment I feel. And that feeling is priceless. I’m not a diet fad fan I’m an everything in moderation fan. There is no success without failure, so give yourself a break and keep going!

Favorite Theme Ride or other? 
Rhodie’s Mumford & Sons Ride, of course (my fave band) and Mack’s Tacky X’Mas Ride!