Yoga teachers create new studio in just weeks in downtown Birmingham – Hometown Life
Missy Rush and Jacquie Ciavaglia may need to contact the Guinness Book of World Records, because they may have set a record for fastest opening of a new business.
The two women were saddened last fall when they heard Center for Yoga in downtown Birmingham would close by mid-January. After some discussions, the two — who both teach yoga in addition to their full-time jobs doing work in the auto industry — decided they needed to open another studio downtown in time for when the Center for Yoga closed.
Beginning just before Christmas, the two launched a GoFundMe page and collected more than $100,000 in two weeks. Working with the landlord to locate a space, getting contractors in to do the work and preparing the business to open took a span of just three weeks, a time frame that’s unheard of for someone entering the business world for the first time on their own after being asked by students of their to find a way to open a yoga studio.
“They (the yoga students from Center for Yoga) kept asking. Then we reached out to a few people and asked if it was a good idea. They said, ‘Just go for it,'” said Ciavaglia, who lives in West Bloomfield. “By the time we decided to do it, we had complete support of the community.”
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Today, Ciavaglia and Rush operate the Community Yoga Studio in the former Core Revolution Studio at 555 S. Old Woodward. The first day of classes was Monday and the center already has 200 students taking yoga classes.
They signed the lease for the space on Dec. 20 and opened the GoFundMe that day. They collected donations for the cost of the space from those in the local yoga community and from people out-of-state that believed in the cause.
“In order to raise the capital, we need a little bit of support. We had no idea what to expect,” Ciavaglia said. “We came up with a business plan in one night.”
Like a family
The stars aligned perfectly for the two, who were looking for the right space nearby to the old studio in downtown Birmingham. After seeing Core Revolution Studio closed, they quickly reached out to the landlord and signed a lease in a short amount of time.
“It’s really hard to get space that’s zoned for fitness,” said Rush, who lives in Birmingham. “This is the only space that would have worked in Birmingham.”
The yoga space can accommodate up to 70 people and has infrared heating coming from the ceiling to boost the temperature in the studio. It also has showers and a place for students to place their items right outside the room.
Many of the same people who took classes at the Center for Yoga have enrolled at the new studio. Stephanie Krawiec, a Bloomfield Hills resident who teaches classes at Community Yoga Studio, said it’s been great to reconnect with people she hadn’t seen in a few weeks once the new studio opened up
“Everyone really becomes this community and knows each other, so it’s not weird when you’re all up next to each other,” she said. “It’s like a family.”
Those interested in signing up for a yoga class at the yoga studio can inquire by visiting the space or by going to the studio’s website at communityyoga.studio.
For students like Stephanie Snider, the new studio feels like she’s been a part of it for a long time. The West Bloomfield resident discovered Rush and Ciavaglia’s teaching at the Center for Yoga and would make the drive to downtown Birmingham for the class. She still makes that drive now and is happy to see many of the same faces.
“Same route, my car’s on automatic pilot,” she said. “I feel like different home, same family.”
Contact reporter David Veselenak at [email protected] or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.