Beyond Mom Interviews

Debra Strougo Frohlich

Co-Founder of Row House NYC

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Debra Strougo Frohlich is equal part fitness pro, savvy marketer, businesswoman, and mom. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for well-being, she has over 15 years experience teaching at NYC’s premiere gyms including Equinox, Crunch, SCLA and NYSC, and has consulted for numerous national fitness brands, including SELF. Debra and her husband Eric founded Row House NYC– home of the high energy, low impact, full-body workout that leaves you with the leanest, strongest, sexist arms, legs, core, arms and back. Debra is offering Beyond Moms 20% off all classes and memberships for 7 days. Check out the end of this interview for more details! Find out more about Debra as she explains the ways she has grown since becoming a mom.   

1. What makes you a Beyond Mom?

Well, being mom is the most important job there is – and we all know that.  There is no one other than mom that can fill mom’s shoes… My kids are what I wake up with and go to sleep with each and every day and mean the absolute world to me… But having two kids, age 12 and age 4 has certainly helped me see that doing things beyond being a mom is what makes me “me”.  The kids love that I am mom and also “own Row House” and teach “Row House classes” and “go to yoga”.  Without meaning to, my husband and I have certainly created leaders and little mini entrepreneurs.  My son (4 years old) is all about lemonade stands and daughter (12 years old) watches Shark Tank and tells them how to negotiate.  Remembering to keep things for myself (career and friend time) has been key to developing them into who they are! The kids don’t love when I spend time with my friends instead of them, but I remind them that this is why I still have friends from when I was their age… And that they will have the same.  

2. What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?

1- The Art of Being Specific! 

When you have kids you know that things can get misinterpreted 80 different ways.  You have to be very specific and clear about expectations – make sure they are properly understood and follow up to make sure that they were properly executed.  If you don’t, you will have a bad case of the telephone game.. Or a “I didn’t know”… In launching our businesses, this skill has proven HUGELY important. Without being super clear, and specific we would have some very expensive mistakes on our hands. I have learned how to do this from having kids!

2- The skill of Managing my Time Smartly!

My husband, Eric Von Frohlich, and I still wonder how we filled up all our time when we didn’t have kids (and the two pets we have)… Once you have kids you have to manage time smartly because there is no other choice! You must fill it all in and prioritize. Last thing you need is a phone call from your child’s school that you forgot to send their lunch! And, sometimes when time just isn’t on your side is the other part:

3- The Ability to Know What to Delegate

You always need to be the one there to care for and listen to your kids, but when time just isn’t on your side, or you feel like you need to burst – we’ll, that is when you can call in help to make lunch, walk the dog, etc. Delegate what someone else can do for you. 

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3. Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?  

My good friend since Kindergarten, Sarina Appel, introduce me to Randi Zinn. She is a wonderful publicist and all-around networker. We always tell the story about how her younger sister was born when she was at my kindergarten birthday party. Anyway, Sarina and I collaborate in lots of untraditional ways from referring each other to events to helping each other stay in the know in the community we both live in (UES), to making our kids are buddies for life… Collaboration is a part of every relationship I have.. This isn’t a business one per se but I think it is still relevant!

4. What relationships help you stay connected to yourself? 

The ones with my family and my long term friends.  Simple answer. 

5. Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share… 

Growing Row House to a national brand. And we are well on our way…We already have lots of recognition as a huge value add in the fitness industry. Now we just need to open more studios and get more people (of all types!) to try Row House out and understand what everyone else is raving about.  Part of this is to continue debunk myths that rowing is too hard/ lower body only and part of it is that we need to bring on our first investor and raise some capital to expand quicker than we can do with only our own capital!

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6. What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you? 

Row House of course. Nothing is more relaxing and endorphin-releasing! I love to escape to the great sound track and the rhythm of the machine – plus its a great workout!

7. How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer? 

TOUGH question:  I will never be seen without my Jo Handbag. We actually did a collaboration on Jo meets Row.. The bag is perfect for a light day or a heavy day… And on some days I go from dusty walkthrough at our upcoming Chelsea studio to fancy shmancy developer meeting, so I need very versatile clothes.. Of course we all love Lululemon, Bandier, Athleta for comfy clothes that you can dress up – oh, and Born shoes are the best!


Favorite NYC Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:

Beyond Cocktails and/or Food: 

Avocado in my purse with a fork.. Makes everyone happy when they are hungry!  Beyond cocktails are tequila with soda and a splash of lime.. No sugar = no hangover!

Beyond Workout:

Row House of course. Efficient.  Will give you the best body ever. 

Beyond Shopping:

ONLINE everything!

Beyond Inspiration: 

My former boss Jane Reiss, CMO grey advertising who ran a family and did it all!  Her quote which I have adopted: life is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Beyond Mom Row House Discount Code

Code: RHBeyondMom

Discount is 20%, valid for classes and memberships

Valid 11/2/15 – 11/7/15 – Can be used multiple times before expiration. Attending class 2-3 per week is recommended to see maximum results.

Code can be used online at RowHouseNYC.com or at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/admhome?studioid=146718