Sarah Larson Levey is the co-founder of New York based yoga studio, Y7 Studio and 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher. After five years living in NYC, Sarah traded in her job in fashion to devote her time to growing Y7. Sarah, along with her husband and co-founder Mason, have successfully opened 7 studios to-date, bringing the sweat-dripping, beat-bumping, candlelit yoga experience from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Los Angeles. Y7 Studio will continue its expansion with 2 new studio openings by early 2018, with locations in Silver Lake (LA) and Tribeca (NYC).
How did you get into the industry?
I got into this industry kind of by accident. I wasn’t planning on starting a business - I just wanted to create a yoga experience that I wanted to go to. Thankfully other people felt the same.
Any emerging industry trends?
I am noticing a huge trend in hybrid workouts. There are a ton of studios merging different styles into one concept or class. It’s really interesting to see and as a client really fun to take.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
There is a lot going on in the fitness space right now. One of the biggest challenges we have is navigating through all of the new technology that is out there. There are things we want to test but it can be challenging if the technology isn’t your own and you are relying on someone else and their system.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
Y7 was inspired by what I felt was lacking in the yoga space. I wanted somewhere to practice without worrying what I looked like, somewhere I could go where I wouldn’t feel left out if I didn’t know the chants, somewhere to feel free to fall and not be judged. My vision is to bring this option to everyone - especially to all those who think yoga isn’t for them.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We are really excited to enter new cities. We are currently in LA and NYC but are looking on expanding to other cities soon so stay tuned!
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
We have an NGO that we work very closely with called buildOn, that works to bring education to all. Its important to me to grow that aspect of our business and give back. We have already built a school in Haiti and work closely with the NYC team on projects throughout the city.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
My toughest moment has been learning how to manage a team. As we have grown and added more employees its been challenging to give everyone the time and attention they deserve. I am still working on being a better manager and striving to give my best self to everyone.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I think our clients most appreciate the consistency of our experience. Knowing that they can come into any studio across the country and count on having an amazing class.
How do you motivate others?
I listen. When you let someone know you hear them it empowers them to do their best.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Be ready to work. This is not a 9-5 industry...there is going to be late nights and early mornings, be a team player and you will succeed.