Yoga Heights DC in Washington D.C., was only open for a year when founder Jess Pierno started hearing buzz from her members asking when a second location would open up. Finally, after three years in business, she felt the timing was right to start the search for the location to house their second studio.
“Honestly, it had never been my plan, but it was an idea that got planted in my head and it’s been growing ever since,” said Pierno.
However, choosing the right space, designs and figuring out the operational side of the business can take some time. Pierno said she would guess she walked through nearly 50 different commercial spaces for lease before she made a decision.
With so many yoga studios in a close proximity to one another, Pierno wanted to make sure she didn’t step on any toes when choosing a neighborhood. She made it a priority to learn as much as she could about the different studios located near the areas she was interested in.
“In DC, yoga is everywhere,” said Pierno. “We didn’t want to get into a turf war with another yoga studio. This studio we selected, there’s really only one other studio in the area and my conscious feels OK about opening up there. We are offering a different style of yoga, it’s more Vinyasa flow and power yoga heavy styles, whereas, the other studio in the neighborhood isn’t centered around that style.”
After choosing the location, studio design styles were at the forefront of Pierno’s mind. The choice seemed to come down to making the second location be a completely different entity, or giving it the same look and feel as the first space to drive a stronger brand. The decision was quickly made.
“We definitely want to keep it in the same personality as our current studio, which is very unimposing,” said Pierno. “When you walk in you immediately see what kind of an atmosphere that studio is trying to create. For us, we immediately wanted people to walk in and say, ‘Oh, everybody is welcome here.’ You don’t have to look a certain way or wear a certain style of yoga clothes. We want to keep it very accessible for everyone.”
A big priority for Yoga Heights DC is to make sure the launch of the second studio doesn’t endanger the first location. Pierno wants to make sure the first studio can stand alone and be strong no matter what happens at the second location. With that being said, they are still keeping the exact same brand, membership prices and packages at both location.
“People can use those memberships at either studio because they aren’t too far apart,” said Peirno. “We do hope to see a lot of crossover from our students, so if there’s a hot flow class offered one day at one location, it will probably be offered at the other location the next day.”