Katy Henderson, the founder of Studio South, breaks down why and how she made a business from where she found pure joy.
How did your studio come to be? What was your vision or mission? I stumbled upon a yoga studio that made me feel so great about myself. It was the first time I remember feeling good about who I was. After a month of classes, I was hooked, but the studio was an hour away from where I lived. That studio let me shadow them to learn how they ran their business, because I wanted a studio similar in Williamsburg. That spark led me to open Studio South in Williamsburg, where our mission is to spread joy through yoga and barre. From customer service and going the extra mile in the small ways, we really aim to be the happy place for people and a space for peace.
What are some keys to your studio’s success? We have the philosophy that our studio is ever-changing. The business of yoga is a puzzle — the shapes of the pieces are always changing, but the picture remains the same. Our vision and mission is always going to be the same, but the way we deliver it continues to evolve.
Do you have any advice to someone considering opening a studio? One of the biggest pieces of advice I was given was from my grandfather when I was studying investment banking in college. He was a successful entrepreneur and I was all about making him proud. I was talking about how lucrative jobs were in this field and he looked at me and said, “Do what you find joy in, don’t focus on the money.” That has resonated so true in this line of work. When the days get hard, that passion pulls you through. Back up and wake up each day and do the right thing for the right reason, then go to sleep, and wake up to do it again.