Fueled by Nourish: Helaine Knapp, CITYROW

People all over the country are fueled by Nourish Snacks. We’re constantly inspired by the passion, creativity, and drive that we see in our customers. Our “Fueled by Nourish” series highlights some of these inspirational members of the Nourish family.

We caught up with Helaine Knapp, founder of CITYROW, and multi-tasker extraordinaire, to learn how she juggles it all.


1. Meet Helaine

I got hooked on boutique fitness when I was working long hours at a startup, Buddy Media. Booking a spin or bootcamp class with friends became the only way to spend time with people outside work while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle (it didn’t hurt that most classes ended with a night of sushi and wine!)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t seeing results from the workouts and I was having serious lower back pain which led me to search for something else. A personal trainer friend suggested rowing, which I initially thought of as the ugly dusty machine in the corner. Well, turns out rowing is hard – and most people can’t (and probably shouldn’t) do it for that long. So, I decided to pair it with total body sculpting movements off the machine and the concept for CITYROW was born.

We found there was a serious appetite for a high intensity, total body, yet low impact workout. Months of research, trial workouts, training and program development followed before we opened our doors in Union Square in January 2014 and then on the Upper East Side in January 2016.


2. You’ve had an amazing journey to success. Tell us some of your biggest milestones.

To me it’s all about the people. Some of the best moments for me, and for CITYROW, were finding our amazing Program Director to bring the concept to life in the room and bringing on our COO. It’s also exciting every time we hire a new instructor or hear from a client that CITYROW has changed their lives in a meaningful way – it’s how we know we have a product that really works and that’s what fuels everything we do.

And if we’re talking milestones, I can’t forget our appearance on The TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda!


3. What does a typical day look like for you?

No two days are ever the same, which is part of the reason I love it! I try and keep early mornings relatively free for email catch up and phone calls. Then depending on the day, I’m running between studios, talks with possible investors, conducting team meetings at each location, or brainstorming new marketing ideas. I always squeeze in time to grab a salad (at Sweetgreen, our latest obsession!) with our COO Ashley, then it’s more meetings, interviews and hopefully a workout and dinner!


4. What is the most nourishing part of your job?

I get to work on something that really does help people and change their lives. I built CITYROW because I knew there had to be a smarter way to workout. Everyday we get to empower people to lead a healthy lifestyle, get the results they’re looking for while keeping their bodies safe and smart – that nourishes my soul and hopefully those who are experiencing it as well.


5. How do you stay energized during a busy day?

It starts with a healthy, protein-filled breakfast and coffee (I would drink 4 cups if allowed but normally have 2 iced coffees and never after 2pm!). I don’t always have control over my day or where I’m eating lunch, so I always have lots of snacks on me (I love the Nourish Snacks granola bites since they’re so easy to eat on the go) and they always get eaten – mostly by our Program Director, Annie, who’s known to get a little hangry 🙂


6. What is inspiring you right now?

While the Rio Summer games have just come to a close, I have been truly inspired by the athletes, particularly the women this year. I couldn’t get enough of Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross and the USA Gymnastics team. I’m in awe of both their physical and mental toughness and their dedication and perseverance despite any obstacle – not to mention immense pressure! It fuels the notion that if you work hard enough, for long enough, with passion, you just might get there (…hopefully with a gold medal and world record).


7. How do you get it all done?

I think the big secret is that you’re probably not going to get it ALL done, but if you’re organized and understand your priorities, you’ll get done what needs to get done. Things that aren’t mission critical might not be necessary. To stay organized I keep my inbox very clean. If it’s still in there, it requires action and I archive or delete those not requiring a separate action or response. On top of that, I also keep a daily to-do list for things that must happen on that day.


8. How do you nourish the ones you love?

I listen and I try to empathize – they happen to be two things that I love doing for the ones I love and they come naturally to me. There’s also nothing better than shutting off electronics and just talking with one of your people – shall we call that nourishment of the soul?


9. What do you snack on in the morning? Afternoon? Night?

Morning: Banana / almond butter or a smoothie

Afternoon: Green juice / Coco’nilla Crunch granola bites

Evening: Popcorn & wine


10. What is your favorite Nourish Snacks flavor? Why?

Mr. Popular is Mr. Popular for a reason. As a huge popcorn lover, it totally hits the spot with salty and crunchy. Sometimes I’ll switch it for Miss Popular if I have a sweet tooth. Otherwise in the afternoon or pre-workout I find the granola bites (Coco’nilla Crunch, Berry’d Treasure or Monkey Love) to really hit the spot and give me that boost to get through a killer class.


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