Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Karissa Brandhagen, Owner of Renu Hot Yoga, located in Yakima, WA, USA.

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

I own Renú Hot Yoga in Yakima, Washington. Our core customer base is women between the ages of 30-60. However, we see folks from many different demographics in different stages of life and various stages of their fitness journeys. At Renú, we are so fortunate to have cultivated an inclusive and supportive community that embraces and uplifts beginners, advanced yogis, and everyone in between.

Tell us about yourself

I purchased my studio in August of 2019, just before we experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, I was forced to shut down my studio by government mandate for 12 months. It has been a fight to come back from those dark days ever since, but we are slowly seeing the community ready to come back to their fitness goals and re-starting their journeys with us and elsewhere. Despite the immediate shift we had to overcome, my team and I chose this work because we are wholeheartedly devoted to guiding our community to discover the best version of themselves.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment in my business is surviving the pandemic. It was hard, heartbreaking, scary, and stressful. Some days I was sure it was time to throw in the towel and succumb to the situation I was dealt. Some days I was certain I could persevere because I had the passion to keep pressing on. In the end, we made it through the darkest days, but the road to recovery is still a path we walk. Against all odds, I am also proud to say my second business, a vegan cafe and juice bar, just opened its second location in my town this month!

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

One of the hardest things of being a business owner is wearing ALL the hats - Marketing, Finance, Operations, R&D, etc. I have 2 small businesses, so those responsibilities are doubled! At first, this was such a lonely and stagnant place to be. I was stretched so thin that I felt I was doing everything and nothing all at once. Over the last couple of years, I have surrounded myself with and cultivated such amazing teams that I am able to offload some of these responsibilities and have 100% confidence and trust in their ability to carry them out.

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

  1. Organization is key. There will likely be many things happening all at once, so be sure to prioritize, calendar block, make lists, whatever works best for you, and stay on top of it. The second you lose control of your time, you lose control of your day-to-day. My methodology is to make a list of EVERYTHING I need to get done. Then, color code what needs to be done today, this week, this month, this quarter, and/or this year. I then start dropping those tasks into my calendar. If I don't finish a task in that allotted time block, I add more time to work on it the following day or week and move on with the tasks I have assigned myself for the day. It's easier said than done - stay vigilant!
  2. Be prepared. Do your research, have a plan, have a budget, and just start.
  3. Take a leap of faith and go for it! The first step is to take action, it's exciting, nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and a bit intimidating - but overall, it's so rewarding. You've got this!

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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