Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Rebecca Weible, owner and founder of Yo Yoga!, explains how this image represents her business.
Located in a quaint corner near the east river in New York City, Yo Yoga! is a yoga studio that features seasonal outdoor classes on a secluded roof deck. Designed to cater to all yogis, each class provides options for beginner and advanced students. Yo Yoga! also offers an array of restorative and stretch classes to help target those looking for a more gentle practice.
This photo is representative of our clean, white space and instruction of accessible yoga postures. The space is minimally decorated to help students focus on their practice and encourage them make the space their own - solely focusing on the physical aspect of yoga, or bringing with them a sense of peace or spirituality. By allowing yogis to make the space what they wish, it allows us to make the practice accessible to as many people as possible, both in how we teach and letting students make their practice secular or spiritual.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I always imagined I would also open my own business. Working in the corporate communications world for a few years sealed the decision. Opening a yoga studio appealed to me as a way to offer a calm and peaceful environment while also providing a service to make people healthier, mentally and physically.
After leaving my corporate job, where I had been teaching yoga on the side, I rented a space with my brother. We renovated it ourselves (we laid the wood floor out with our own two hands) to make a simple, clean studio with the basic necessities for offering yoga. We threw the doors open on February 15, 2011 and learned how to run a business by doing just that.
The biggest challenge is being a very small business in a very big city. In NYC, a million dollar startup can be classified as a small business so it's easy for a mom and pop shop to get lost. Necessary overhead such as rent and advertising are overwhelming costs, and word of mouth spreads slower when the city has so much of everything, including yoga. Growth can be incredibly slow, no matter how steady, and waiting that out is costly for business owners.
Yo Yoga! Has found its footing and is making a mark on the NYC yoga scene. Our next steps are to start offering regular yoga retreats (stateside and internationally) and to expand our brand to additional locations.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Taylor.