Being a business owner is never smooth sailing. There will be curve balls thrown your way you would have never expected when you first opened up shop. Having someone to turn to who has went through the same thing can be a lesson learned much easier than if you were to figure it out on your own.

In Part Two of Mindful Studio’s 2017 Mindful Takeaways, Mindful Studio looks back on the cover stories of 2017, highlighting lessons the studio owners have learned on their way to success.

July/August

Owner: Faith Hunter

Studio: Embrace DC

Lesson: Allow your studio to create its own voice.

Faith Hunter has created a strong personal brand in the yoga industry. It would be easy for her studio to become about her, giving students the opportunity to take a Faith Hunter yoga class. But throughout the six years of owning Embrace DC, Hunter has worked to create a transition of sorts, allowing the studio to have its own personality rather than the reputation of Hunter preceding it.

“From the time I opened the studio until now, the studio is almost like a six-year-old, where it is taking on its own voice and really becoming a space where you are able to see the reflection of all my teachers, instead of it just being ‘Faith Hunter’s studio,’” said Hunter. “It’s not all about me anymore, which is great. It’s about my teachers being able to grow and develop.”

Faith and Holly Meyers, the studio manager, help Embrace DC’s instructors curate their own personal branding on social media and in their class styling. The teachers have created Embrace DC’s new voice, giving students reasons to try out the studio outside of learning from Faith Hunter.

September/October

Owner: Sarah Levey

Studio: Y7 Studios

Lesson: Consistency is key.

Y7 Studio — yoga studios driven completely by the beat of hip-hop music — has locations scattered across New York City and Los Angeles. With six studios, owner Sarah Levey kept one theme in mind while creating each location outside of the love of hip-hop music: consistency.

“I wanted to make sure we were giving our students something to rely on no matter what time of the day, what day of the week or what location they are going to; everything is aimed to be consistent,” said Levey. “We want to make sure that everyone, no matter the circumstances, can have a great experience.”

From streamlining processes on the operations side to a feedback system from the teaching support staff, Y7 works to custom tailor their experience for clients to be the same no matter where they go.

May/June

Owner: Peter Barbaresi

Studio: Yoga Six

Lesson: Get the right person for the job.

Hiring and placing key players to take the roles of studio managers at the 12 Yoga Six locations ensures communication between the executive team and the location’s staff runs smoothly. Ben Tucker, the chief financial officer and vice president of operations, attributes their hiring process to a famous Steve Jobs quote: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

“When I am hiring a manager, I make sure they are local and therefore know that market,” explained Tucker. “Having them tell us what needs to be done to build community, and therefore the business, is imperative. We have an overarching idea at how we want the studios to run and look, but within each studio some things might look or work better there specifically as opposed to other markets.”