A few years ago, Helaine Knapp was just like any girl in her 20s living it up in New York City, blending a high-powered job in tech with high-intensity group workout sessions. After a back injury brought her to a complete standstill, she found herself scrambling for a low-impact workout. She found rowing, and the seed for her next venture, CityRow Go, was planted. 

In this inspiring episode, Helaine connects with Brit on the trials and triumphs of running her own business, and the brutal and beautiful lessons she’s learned along the way, from the moment she knew she could make rowing sexy, to the emotionally draining fund-raising process, and why it’s so important to surround yourself with badass women who will always have your back. Take our word for it: Helaine’s jet-fueled success and boundless energy is going to have you running to the nearest CityRow studio. 

Question Highlights:

  • What’s your career backstory and how did you start rowing?
  • How did CityRow become CityRow?
  • How do you work through insecurities?
  • How did the last year impact CityRow?  

“Self-awareness is the #1 ticket to building a successful company.”

-Helaine Knapp


  • The benefits of rowing 
  • What it’s really like to build a business from scratch
  • Vulnerability and asking for help
  • Scaling business and pivoting during the pandemic
  • What’s next for CityRow 
  • Mental health maintenance 


Laura Hutfless

Laura Hutfless is a Co-Founder of FlyteVu, a Nashville-based full-service entertainment marketing agency founded in 2015 that connects brands to consumers through compelling storytelling, unparalleled experiences, and the power of pop culture.   

Under Hutfless’s leadership, FlyteVu has been named to Chief Marketer’s 200 List for 2021, Inc. 5000’s 2021 and 2020 List of ‘Fastest Growing Private Companies in America’, Nashville Business Journal’s 2020 ‘Largest Advertising Agencies’ List, and Adweek’s 2021 and 2019 ‘100 Fastest Growing Agencies’ List. Hutfless has also helped build an impressive roster of clients including American Red Cross, Barefoot Wine, Bumble, Carter’s, Moët Hennessy, Cracker Barrel, Drybar, Enterprise, Journeys, Jack Daniel’s, Norwegian Cruise Line, Spotify, Tennessee Tourism, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Victoria’s Secret PINK, and many others. 

In 2020, FlyteVu launched the FlyteVu Fund to continue the company’s commitment to giving back and serving the community. Over the past five years, and including the Fund’s initial investment, FlyteVu has donated more than $850,000 to a wide range of certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Recent notable FlyteVu campaigns include Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s ‘Gratitunes’ with Brad Paisley and 100+ artists and influencers, Enterprise’s “Share the Code. Hit the Road” with OneRepublic, Bumble’s “In Her Court” with Serena Williams, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple events with Kesha, Tayla Parx, and Saweetie, Cracker Barrel’s ‘Five Decades, One Voice’, an AR music experience for Barefoot Wine with Black Eyed Peas, and a multi-year partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line and Kelly Clarkson.

FlyteVu is known for creating first-of-its-kind campaigns that give back to the community and/or help shape culture. FlyteVu’s campaigns have collectively earned multiple awards including three Gold, one silver, and three Bronze Clio Awards, Shorty Social Good Award, an Emmy Award, a GRAMMY Award, Davey Awards, and named to the Cannes Lions Shortlist.

Laura was named to Billboard’s ‘Country Power Players’ list 2017 through 2021 and to Billboard’s ‘Branding Power Player’ list 2018 and 2019. She was also named to Billboard’s ‘40 under 40 Power Player’ list in 2012 and 2013 and the ‘30 under 30’ list in 2010.  Additionally, Laura has been a featured speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit and NextGen Summit, Advertising Week, Billboard Touring Conference, BizBash, Who Knew: Women Who Rock, and has been covered in Ad Age, Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, and more.  Laura currently serves on the Board of The Onsite Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that provides trauma-informed counseling and emotional health education that transforms individuals and communities, and served on the Country Music Association Board 2019-2020.

After experiencing the unexpected loss of a loved one due to substance abuse as a result of trauma, Laura’s philanthropic efforts focused on mental health, substance abuse disorder, addiction, and trauma. Together with The Onsite Foundation, Laura helped develop and launch a first-of-its-kind trauma-informed therapeutic program called “Triumph Over Tragedy” that provides tools, support, and a safe community for survivors of mass shootings to find hope and healing regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Laura has recently been elected President of the Board of Directors for The Onsite Foundation.


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