We had the good fortune of connecting with Yvonne Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yvonne, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think the most important factor behind the success of my brands is my ability to adapt and collaborate to bring yoga to people in new ways while still providing the foundations of the practice and connections to community. In 2011 I started by taking over Yoga Off Broadway from an owner that had moved to another part of the country. I jumped in and created some significant changes while keeping the sense of community and connection that it really deserved. In 2017, I saw a need to create a different kind offering for yoga. I have a degree in music therapy and felt there was a strong need to bring together the healing properties of music and yoga. I felt that there as a need in my community for a yoga class that provided a more masculine experience and had a larger social component. I met Kirby K (local house DJ) and Yoga+Beats was born. Originally Yoga+Beats was an offering through Yoga Off Broadway, but now it is it’s own company. Finally, this spring COVID-19 pushed me towards my latest adaptation. Now more than ever people NEED yoga… however, I was finding that more than half of our students weren’t practicing for financial reasons or fear of getting sick. After connecting with local videographer Nick Junker Stay@OM Yoga was born. Stay@OM is an unlimited virtual yoga subscription that gives students access to unlimited, professionally recorded classes from home. We brought the teachers we love (including Yoga+Beats) right into our student’s homes and gave them yoga tutorials, meditation, short practices, long practices… we continued my mission of bringing yoga to Every Body!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Yoga Off Broadway, Yoga+Beats, and Stay@OM Yoga are all yoga studios with the goal of offering yoga to Every Body while building local communities through yoga. I have always been an entrepreneur. I always knew I would work for myself. However, working for myself doesn’t mean working without a team. Over the years I have built an incredible team of people that not only are my co-workers but are some of my best friends. The yoga industry has been incredibly challenging over the last 6 months. My physical studio was closed for over 3 months. Yoga+Beats lost all of it’s summer event schedule revenue. There was a period of time where I really wasn’t sure if we were going to make it to the other side of the COVID crisis. After taking a moment to feel scared (and a bit sorry for myself) I remembered why I do what I do. People need yoga! They need it now more than ever. So I dug deep and got creative. We never stopped offering classes during COVID. When things shut down we immediately started offering virtual classes. When we opened back up the physical studio we continued to offer virtual classes so that students who weren’t ready to come back could still practice. Yoga+Beats took the opportunity to focus on our local community and we built a robust schedule this summer of outdoor classes. We have had a fantastic summer connecting and practicing together outside. Finally, the last few months pushed me towards my long time goal of setting up an On Demand offering for my students. Stay@OM Yoga has over 38 classes available now online and it just launched on August 1st! We are filming every two weeks and putting out some incredible content from some amazing locations. I think without the push of COVID this is a project that I may have continued to put off. I am so grateful I met Nick and got this project started when we did. I honestly believe that we are exactly where we should be right now. I have adjusted and adapted to stay relevant and still provide a quality product and experience for our community. I know my personal yoga practice has helped me stay grounded, optimistic, and moving forward through all of the latest challenges in the world which in addition to managing my yoga studio business included homeschooling and being a mom to my two young kids.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love playing host AND traveling! Some of my favorite things to do in the Vail Valley… Depending on the time of year we would certainly have to spend some time in nature. Our valley has some of the best hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, and biking in the world! Typically we like to spend the entire day outside before heading to dinner or happy hour at some of the great local spots to eat/drink. Some of our favorites include: The Assembly in Eagle (they just opened and have a fantastic menu), The Rose in Edwards, and El Segundo in Vail. If it’s the summer be sure to check out the Eagle River Whitewater Park. It’s a great spot for tubing (late summer), rafting, surfing waves, or people watching. After spending our days outside we would certainly need to take a day off at the Spa. I have a few favorites… The Lodge at Vail is one of my favorites because it has a float tank. If I am down in Eagle I typically head to Evolve Day Spa. Obviously, we would need to hit up a yoga class. I typically bring guests to a Yoga+Beats class as they have a social element to them (like Beats+Bloodies, or Yoga in The Park). After yoga we would head for coffee at Color Coffee Roasters or Yetis Grind in Eagle.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Kirby Koch: Business Partner in Yoga+Beats, Friend, Musician
Nick Junker: Business Partner in Stay@OM Yoga, Friend, Videographer
My husband and children for their patience, love, and support.
Website: www.yogaoffbroadway.com, www.yogaandbeats.com, https://vimeo.com/ondemand/stayatomyoga/
Instagram: yogabeats_ , yogaoffbroadway, stayatomyoga
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yogaandbeats, https://www.facebook.com/YOB2008, https://www.facebook.com/stayatomyoga