With so many yoga studios to choose from in Los Angeles, sometimes the original intent of the practice can get lost in the shuffle. Thankfully, Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon came together to create a studio in Venice that reminds us why we love yoga in the first place. Appropriately named Love Yoga, the design-conscious space provides an authentic place to practice. We chatted with the ladies of Love Yoga to learn more about how they launched the business of their dreams.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING 5-7 YEARS AGO BEFORE LOVE YOGA?
KM: I was teaching yoga in NYC at Yoga Vida, teaching privates all around Manhattan, leading my first retreats, and planting the seeds that have bloomed in my career now. I was working hard, studying at Jivamukti with my teacher Rima Rabbath, and basically engaging with yoga as much as possible.
IS LOVE YOGA YOUR DREAM JOB?
KM: It really is. I’m very suited to having my own space and welcoming our students in. Getting to teach in my own space makes me very happy.
SG: No. My dream job is to be a rock star but I have no musical talent so I’m happy to teach yoga instead.
WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR “AH HA” MOMENT FOR CREATING LOVE YOGA?
KM: I don’t know if it was one single “ah ha” moment for me. Sian already had the studio in Montauk and really the timing was just perfect. We had both moved to LA and knew of each other but didn’t really know each other. Sian slid up in my dm’s and was like we should be partners and open a Love in Venice. I was absolutely, perfectly ready and the rest is history.
SG: Many! But one of them was when I met Kyle. I didn’t know her at all but I had a feeling that she would be the prefect partner for me and every day I am grateful that I was right.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE IN THIS BUSINESS PRIOR?
KM: I had been teaching at studios and designing and selling retreats, but I had never owned my own business in this way. Our studio in Venice is a daily learning process. As for the concept, we work on that every day, too. Love existed, but we try to refine our brand and figure out exactly what Love Yoga means.
SG: I had 0 experience. I had been studying Education Psychology, working in offices and traveling. I had no idea what it took to run a business and I didn’t teach a yoga class until the day Love opened. Having great partners has helped a lot.
HOW DID YOU FUND YOUR START UP?
KM: All those years of privates and living lean! We are self-funded. Sian, our other partner Jeff and myself equally invested our own money to get our first studio open.
SG: Beg, borrow and steal.
KM: First, when we ran into permitting problems with the city. Second, I was super paranoid that I would have a hard time checking people in –it was where I directed all my fear and anxiety about our opening; now checking in people is one of my favorite parts. And third, looking for spaces was really scary and daunting. We saw so many spaces before finding our home.
SG: As a very shy person, teaching can be really scary but it’s amazing to me that it’s not scary anymore. I can get up in front of a room full of people every day and talk for an hour. It’s taught me that things become a lot less scary when you just do them.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND CREATE THEIR “DREAM JOB”?
KM: Do it! You’re going to have to work for along time and what you do really shapes your life. It’s worth following your heart!
SG: Be very specific about what you want to do. Set timelines and goals. Complete your goals on time. Exert discipline. It’s worth it.