- Rachelle Dejean, 31, is the chief marketing officer of Rumble, a boxing and fitness brand.
- She’s helping change the landscape of luxury fitness by making it more inclusive.
- Her days start with a walk at 7 a.m. and end with either a workout or an episode of “The Office.”
Rachelle Dejean doesn’t look like many other executives at the top tiers of the boutique-fitness industry. That’s something she’s working to change.
Dejean, 31, is the chief marketing officer at Rumble, a chain of posh boxing and group-fitness studios. Dejean and other executives at Rumble are trying to shake up an industry that has long had a diversity problem and where racist practices have at times made it unwelcoming and even hostile to people of color.
For Dejean, who is Black, diversifying high-end fitness isn’t just about increasing representation but about changing the culture.
Take the company’s location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, for example. Open the large glass doors, and you’re hit with hip-hop and rap blasting in the lobby. Pictures of Black icons like Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Kanye West, and Whitney Houston decorate the walls. Many of the instructors walking from class to class are Black, Asian, or Latin.
This boldly diverse, proud urban feel is by design. Dejean, who takes classes regularly, says the company’s inclusive culture is working. The company has 25 locations across the country and is planning to open dozens more in the next few years. Rumble is backed by celebrities Justin Bieber and “Rocky” star Sylvester Stallone.
“A lot of us have opened our eyes in the past few years to the lack of representation, the lack of diversity in the industry and how there are holes that we could be filling,” Dejean told Insider. “But personally, for me, I don’t want to just check a box.”
For Dejean, who is of Haitian descent, being a C-suite leader at a growing fitness company means she can help create opportunities for others historically underrepresented in the fitness industry.
The executive, who lives in Huntington Beach, California, grew up acutely aware of obstacles stacked against her as a Black woman active in sports and bodybuilding. Dejean’s parents encouraged her fitness career, though they often warned her she would have to work harder for the same recognition as those who didn’t look like her.
“My parents instilled in myself and my sisters at a really young age that you might be overlooked, doubted, or stereotyped because of how you look,” she said, adding that they would say, “Without question, let your work speak for itself.”
That’s part of what drives Dejean to work hard every day. Here’s a look at her typical day as a top executive at Rumble.