Lisa Marie Haley says, you don't have to be smart or rich to succeed in business.
Sometimes, you just need to be a good person, with genuine character, and you'll attract success.
Haley is certainly a good example of that - her new yoga studio, Be Yoga, recently opened in downtown Redwood City, just a stone's throw from Courthouse Square, and her other location in Palo Alto is already a tried-and-true success.
"In my business, it's just me," said Haley, who is single. "I don't have any big, impressive backers or anything. It's just me."
Haley said she was drawn to yoga as a grad student at Stanford.
"I was doing yoga on the side, and I started to really see how yoga was what was inspiring me, because it changed my life and healed me," she recalled. "When you do what you believe in, people surround you, and I was getting all sorts of jobs in yoga."
Haley said, it all just grew from there, and by 2008, she had her first small studio in Menlo Park.
"The space was so teeny-tiny though, I liked to call it more of my 'idea cooker,'" she said with a laugh. Haley said, it helped her get on her feet and learn the ins and outs of running her own business, though - and in 2011, she opened Be Yoga in Palo Alto.
Now, today, she is the proud owner of two locations, with her new space on Broadway in Redwood City, surrounded by other popular businesses like The Sandwich Spot, Le Boulanger and Pamplemousse.
Haley said, she was surprised at how easily everything came together, opening her Redwood City studio.
"It was literally like, it almost fell from the sky into my lap; it was just meant to be," she explained. "The whole process only took about a month, to find the space, get all the necessary permits and move in. We didn’t have to do anything to the space, and the City said a yoga studio already fit with the existing use permit, so we just moved in."
Be Yoga officially opened on Nov. 9, and is currently enjoying a "soft" opening, hosting some classes and offering introductory packages. After the holidays are over, by Jan. 1 Haley hopes to hold more of a grand opening celebration, and really kick things up a notch.
"Mommy and Me" classes, Pilates, and possibly even "childcare" classes in which parents can bring their child and a staff member will entertain and supervise the children while the parent gets to enjoy a class, are all possible offerings she is considering kicking off after the holidays.
Haley also hopes to start an occasional special event her Palo Alto location currently offers, called "Club Yoga," in which she brings in a DJ to spin lively tunes from the upstairs balcony while everyone enjoys yoga downstairs.
"It's really cool," she said of the Club Yoga events.
"Be Yoga is really a lot like a neighborhood coffee shop - we have our core business, which is yoga, but then we participate in community events, bring in live music, and other fun community things," Haley described.
"We're a broad business," she continued. "We do our best to bring in things that appeal to a broader set of the population. Maybe they’re yoga-related, but they aren’t just yoga."
Haley said the Redwood City studio has been receiving a very warm welcome by locals so far.
"Everyone’s excited about it," she said happily. "Local business owners are already coming by to take classes, and people are walking in off the street and saying 'wow, this is a great spot for a yoga studio!'"
Be Yoga is located at 2363 Broadway in Redwood City, and at 440 Kipling St. in Palo Alto. For more information, visit www.be-yoga.com.
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