Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Hirsch, Co-Founder of Empowered Yoga, located in Culver City, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a yoga studio based in Culver City, Los Angeles. Our customers are primarily local to the west side of LA but come from a 30-mile radius. They are both men and women, whilst predominantly women, and range in age from 20 to 75.

Tell us about yourself

The idea of Empowered began a few years back when I was the CFO of a large chain of yoga studios. It was my job to study the financial statements of thousands of fitness studios, and I could see the incredible profitability that they had. Unfortunately, that success was never reflected in the teachers' compensation.

At the same time, the pandemic hit, and most community centers and yoga studios began closing. Many of the local teachers who were bringing joy and support to the community were left without a place to call their home. In turn, I connected with a few teachers I deeply respected to see if they might be interested in more of a profit-sharing / co-op studio model. I love numbers, so I created a financial model outlining the potential investment, payout, and opportunity to pay teachers 10x what they had been making previously. After lots of discussions and brainstorming calls, we decided we needed to give this a try.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Empowered is a fully inclusive yoga studio where both our ownership and teaching team want all persons and bodies to feel safe and welcome in our space. Not only are we Latinx, Black, LGBTQ+, Female owned, but our leadership team is reflective of that as well. We have members of all ages, even six-year-olds, in our children's classes to our incredible students in their late 70s, all with the goal of feeling good in their bodies and minds. Our mission is to cultivate community and empower everyone. At Empowered, the community is at the heart of everything we do as we believe together; we elevate each other to the greatest versions of ourselves. We offer movement that serves every BODY, no matter your age or fitness level.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Getting people to commit. People aren't coming back to the studio the way they were pre-COVID. Many people are still working remotely or partially remotely, so we're seeing that reflects in our membership numbers. We're very much building an incredible community, and it will get there, just a bit slower than we anticipated.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't stop trying.
  2. Keep believing in yourself and your mission.
  3. Push past the BS and stay focused on your growth.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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