“Everyone was like ‘You guys are going to open a studio and get married at the same time?’ And I said, ‘yeah, that’s how we roll’” said Becky Nickerson, co-owner of Infinity Yoga in Atlanta, Georgia.
Becky and her husband Matt had been together about a year and half before opening their first studio, all while simultaneously planning their wedding. Then, they got married about six weeks after opening up shop.
Becky said she started practicing yoga about 10 years ago and started teaching about six or seven years ago, which led her to open a studio because she felt there was a need in their community for a space to practice. When she opened the first location, Matt, who had a background in law, would help on occasion with the business side of the operations. Then, as the business grew and they wanted to develop other studios, Becky turned to Matt for more help so that she could continue concentrating on doing the part of the business that she loved, teaching.
“Then it just kind of organically grew from there and when we opened the second studio Matt quit his job and we just dove in head first to running the studios as our main source of income,” said Becky.
Becky said there’s no way she could manage two studios without his help. The couple agreed that while there are definitely things they differ on due to having two very diverse skill sets, having a common vision they’re working towards makes it easy for them to work together.
They both strongly believe the world needs yoga and the world will be changed for the better because of yoga. Becky said they rely on that common vision as their backbone, for their relationship and their outlook on life.
When asked how they manage to separate their business relationship and their personal relationship the couple explained they don’t strive to find the line that divides the two portions of their life, but rather work to make the two areas cohesive.
“The only way to make it successful is to dive totally in headfirst. It’s such a people-centric business, running a yoga studio. In order to make it successful, you really need to be operating pretty much every single day of the year and running from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you try to get too rigid about carving out work life balance, you end up doing detriment to your clients. So for us, we really endeavor to make our personal lives part of the studio and vice versa,” said Matt.
Becky said when you walk into Infinity Yoga it’s like “Cheers”— everybody knows your name, which for them, also means everybody is family. She said the studio is very similar to the yoga philosophy of having to live and breathe yoga.
“You don’t stop doing yoga when you leave the mat, so we have that same perspective when it comes to running the business. And that doesn’t mean to say that we don’t have time for ourselves, we have time to go out to dinner and see a movie. We still make sure that the studios are well taken care of. We have a staff that’s able to manage things while we’re gone,” said Becky.
Matt said having five full time managers helps them with most aspects of the business. On a daily basis, he said he typically works from home and Becky teaches. But whether they’re sitting side-by-side at home or at work, at the end of the day they come home and talk about what’s happening on both of their ends of their business so they feel like they work together every day.
As a couple, Becky and Matt said they feel working together so closely has been an accelerant for their relationship.
“If you have a good relationship it can make it that much better because you have to work through things together, you get to share successes together, you have to communicate a lot, you get to do a lot of things together and spend a lot of time together,” said Matt.