From Dream to Destiny: Tips for Opening Your Own Studio

From Dream to Destiny: Tips for Opening Your Own Studio

If you’ve always dreamed of opening up a studio (but not sure where to start), read on! Whether converting a space in your own home or searching for a public space in town, the following three stories are bound to inspire you to transform your dream into your destiny.

Divine Yoga, Fredericksburg, Virginia  20150215_103917

For Laney Walton, sharing her love of yoga with her community had always been a dream. So upon completing her yoga teacher training, Laney immediately went to work on converting her basement (12′ X 14′) into an inspiring space to practice with students.

Laney selected her basement because it had previously been used as in-home gym. It not only had interlocking foam flooring, but was also far away from regular household distractions.

Next came the décor: with Feng Shui in mind, Laney carefully researched the colors and layout of her studio. She chose lavender for the walls to evoke a sense of richness and quiet, creating a feeling of “royalty, wealth, and high spirituality.”  The white ceiling also improves indirect lighting.

20150215_103645Laney then selected a 3’ x 3’ two-piece decal of a Lotus in a green color to complement the lavender wall color and mounted wall mirrors.

A side table serves as an altar for prayers.

Climate control can be a big factor in the comfort and focus for students. Laney balances temperature in her space through a combination of the heating/air-conditioning system, as well as the addition of an electric fireplace. In the warmer months, she can also open the small windows in the room.

For storage, Laney uses a hallway closet to house yoga mats, eye pillows, blocks, straps and other props.

Fee structure can often be a conundrum when opening up your space to the community.
Divine Yoga classes are offered at $10 per class or 3 for $25. Laney also has a “Giving Jar” for donations of any amount for those students who cannot afford to pay themselves.

Laney’s Advice

Never let fear stand in the way of your dream.

Laney also recommends that if you have a limited number of spaces available (Laney is limited to five per class), allow students to sign up in advance so she can notify students when classes are full.

IMG_2320 (2)Mindful Yoga & Reiki, Midcoast Maine

When Mary Lou Newstead and her husband bought their wooded seaside property in Midcoast Maine, Mary Lou envisioned teaching yoga as part of the landscape.

Wanting to bring the outside in, they finished a space over the garage in shiplap wide plank pine — intentionally unfinished, with prefinished red birch flooring.

For colder months, Mary Lou installed a propane heater. And for summer, the venting skylights and ceiling fan invite the sea breezes in to cool the room.

With a space that can hold 14 students, Mary Lou has opted for simple storage with a bookshelf to store blocks and large baskets to house bolsters. In one corner, she has fifty stacked blankets and the other corner serves as a nook for 14 folding chairs.

Her fee structure is $12 per class or five classes for $50. She also does a Karma Yoga class in which half of the proceeds go to the local animal shelter or food bank.

Mary Lou’s Advice

While Mary Lou lives in a small town with strong word-of-mouth advertising, she recommends joining professional organizations. She also recommends carrying liability insurance.

Also, make sure your instructor certification and proof of insurance are always visible. To learn more about insurance, check out


Aligned Pilates, Santa Barbara, California

What do you do when your clientele has out-grown your space? For Pilates instructors Juliana Fabio and Erin Griffin, it was an easy answer: partner together and find a space that would feel just right.

While the two had known each other for years, (in fact, it was Juliana’s teaching style that inspired Erin to become a Pilates instructor herself), it was after a few years passed that they realized that they shared the same vision: to open up a studio that would offer a warm, and welcoming place to practice Pilates, yoga, as well as get a massage or facial – and socialize too.

When Erin learned that a charming Victorian home was coming up for rent, she knew that she had found the right place for Juliana and herself to open a studio of their own.

From the original wood floors and fireplace to the sliding wall in the mat room, the now-converted studio is full of warmth and charm, complemented by the beautiful antique furniture that perfectly adorns the home. In addition to the converted exercise and treatment rooms, there is also a wonderful parlor adjoined by a kitchen, which offers a sanctuary to sip tea and chat in-between classes.image3

Erin’s Tips

Once you have established your clientele, put the word out that you are looking for a space. Securing the space before it goes on the market is a coup. Be willing to put in your own sweat equity, such as painting. This allowed us to take the place “as is”, which helped seal the deal. It also saved us a lot of money in start-up costs.

Juliana’s Tips

Listen to your gut. Once I walked into the studio I knew it was the right spot. Also, make sure the numbers work. Many of the monthly costs can vary, but the rent stays the same. Make sure you aren’t working just to pay your rent. Also, the location is important. We are located downtown with freeway access and a lot of foot traffic.

Featured image: Aligned Pilates


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