According to Lauren Jones, it’s time to ride. The founding member and partnership director for Priority Bicycles believes that biking is an opportunity to integrate more wellness, movement and calm into our daily routines, helping empower us personally and professionally. And in an often male-dominated industry, she’s encouraging women to add a set of wheels to their lifestyle.
From Priority Bicycles’ origins on Kickstarter, Jones applied her creativity and logistical expertise to transform the company into a global powerhouse, with brand partnerships including Ritz-Carlton, Element Hotels, Marriott, Dunkin’ and Adidas. Priority Bicycles’ — and Jones’ — philosophy is simple: accessibility. She aspires to eliminate the traditional barriers to cycling by creating easy to use and maintain, high quality, and trendy bikes.
A busy New Yorker, Jones shares her tips for adding movement and mindfulness to your daily routine, as well as how to draw on confidence to overcome individual and institutional bias.
What kind of wellness practices do you most find helpful in your life?
I focus on taking time in the areas I can control, knowing that it will prepare me for all the areas I can’t. When the work day starts, it can feel overwhelming, like we are just playing catch up from overnight requests. I typically have fleet inquiries, logistics questions from partners around the world and general customer service questions that all need attention as soon as I sit down at my desk. While I can’t control everyone’s needs, I can control how I start my day. I make sure that I wake up, not rushing how I start the morning, have coffee, listen to music and get my movement in without feeling the strain of my emails over me. This gives me the time I need to feel in control, have a clear mind and be prepared to help others.
What is one of your go-to wellness tips?
Small things make a big impact. Replace your two mile drive to the gym or your five to six mile commute with a bike ride. Your wellness baseline increases in a way that doesn’t take much more time in your life, but helps with fitness, stress relief and mobility. If you can’t ride, for whatever reason, you can also walk or jog to places where you’d normally rely on a car or public transportation. Other small things — stretch while you watch TV, take 10 minutes to do mobility before you go to bed, compliment someone. All of this leads to better physical and mental health.
What led you to become Director of Partnerships for Priority Bicycles? What was your journey like?
We have over 400 different bicycle fleets with hotels, resorts, educational institutions and corporate campuses. I work with each partner to determine what bicycles, accessories and branding are best for their use. Then, I coordinate the logistics so that they can implement their bicycles on site with ease. My position is a combination of customer service, design and distribution.
It took time and patience to define the role. I started with a foundation of fashion and product development at the launch of Priority Bicycles nearly seven years ago. As a team of only four people at the time, we did everything — customer service, product testing, shipping, website management, email marketing, photography — whatever the day required. As our team grew, so did our interest from fleet partners and we needed to dedicate more time to it.
It was important for me to have the background I did, seeing all parts of our business, so that I could be a reliable resource for our customers through each step of the implementation process. Many of our fleet partners aren’t concerned with the workings of how they get their bicycles — their focus is on finding the right product fit and working within a timeline to offer the bicycles as quickly as possible. Being able to oversee the process from design to implementation enables me to be there from the start, to delivery and beyond as a true partner.
What is a significant challenge that you’ve overcome that has allowed you to grow in your wellness journey?
As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated industry, it can be very challenging. I have received calls where I have been asked to transfer my call to a different team member, as the person does not believe I have the technical or mechanical knowledge to answer their questions. As someone who has seen each of our bicycles from the inception of the idea to its mass production and distribution, I am confident that I am an expert in our offerings. I focus on understanding our products and our customers’ needs. I provide direct answers and move the conversations beyond male/female perception to being able to provide expert advice. Beyond that, personally, I feel I can be an advocate for women who are just coming to cycling or finding cycling as a part of their healthy lifestyle. I want women to feel confident when they come to us, when they go out on their bicycles and in their daily lives.
What is one reason you are passionate about the company and its influence on people’s lives?
We truly believe that our riders are the most important part of what we do. We aim to make it simple for everyday riders to get a bike that they love, that’s easy to own, and is of great quality. We know the feeling of frustration when you can’t get an answer to your question or something you need, so we make ourselves available to our customers. Our team shares an enthusiasm that borders on fanaticism for great customer service and it makes me feel like I am part of the collective happiness of all of our riders.
Please let us know anything else you would like to add.
Finding moments, if it’s five minutes or 50, to incorporate movement into your day is one of the most positive choices you can make. It makes you feel better, and that positivity is contagious to those around you. There’s probably science behind it, but I can tell you from experience it is true.
Your favorite quote
“We can do hard things” ― Glennon Doyle, Untamed