Live Well Studio
ADDRESS: 971 NW Spruce Avenue, Suite 101, Corvallis, OR 97330
PHONE NUMBER: 541-224-6566
OWNERS: Kristina Ender and Lisa Wells
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 2
WHAT THEY OFFER: Group and private instruction in yoga, pilates, Feldenkrais, and QiGong, Ayurvedic consultations, yoga props and accessories, Ayurvedic herbs, and locally made oils
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: A wide range of class offerings in a peaceful, supportive atmosphere
Two years ago, Lisa Wells and Kristina Ender joined forces to launch Live Well Studio – a center for yoga, pilates, and other practices that enhance personal wellness. Their attractive new studio is tucked in the southwest corner of the former Richey’s shopping center, just behind Citizens Bank. Lisa and Kristina are passionate about their teaching, and they have assembled a staff made up of local practitioners who offer a range of classes that will help quiet the mind, increase flexibility, and enhance overall health. In recognition of being this week’s “Business of the Week,” Lisa and Kristina are offering $10 off their introductory package, which means you’ll enjoy 30 days of unlimited classes for just $40. Enter promo code ‘choose local’ when purchasing their introductory offer online or simply stop in and say, “I’m choosing local yoga!”
When and why did you start your business? I (Lisa) have been teaching yoga for 12 years in order to share my passion and love for yoga. It’s a way of moving and living that changed my life. I (Kristina) started teaching pilates five years ago. I found it to be a very grounding practice that deepened my learning and allowed me to inspire other people. We each had a small private studio in our home, and we merged the two studios into Live Well Studio, which has allowed us to do much more. It’s made the whole offering much richer. We now have 14 instructors offering nearly 30 classes a week.
What services do you offer at Live Well Studio? Coming together as co-owners has allowed us to offer a broader spectrum of services. In addition to weekly classes we offer, specialty workshops once or twice a month, and small group instruction for special communities such as athletes and equestrians, women going through menopause, and people with eating disorders, anxiety issues, attention deficit disorder, or specific injuries. We’re able to tailor small group classes to their specific needs.
We also offer Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations. These are very customized consultations with tangible recommendations unique to the individual. [Note: Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine from India. Its aim is to provide guidance regarding food and lifestyle so that healthy people can stay healthy and folks with health challenges can improve their health.]
Earlier this year we launched our Yoga Teacher Training program with a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified program. We’ll host another 200-hour training in the summer of 2013 and add a 500-hour certification element in 2013 as well.
What challenges have you faced as independent business owners? (Lisa) It takes a lot of energy to own a small business, but self-care is built into our business. Having the best business partner in the world has made a huge difference. (Kristina) Having a business partner allows us to offer a seamless customer service experience. We can go on vacation, and our customers are still taken care of! Choosing a business partner with complementary skills is key – complementary, but not identical.
What does the future look like for local independents? (Lisa) I feel very hopeful. Corvallis is a great community-oriented place. Locally-owned independent businesses support each other and we have one of the most thriving downtowns of a community this size. We’re very mindful to do what we can personally, as well as professionally, to support locally owned businesses. (Kristina) And thanks to groups like the Sustainability Coalition and CIBA, people are more aware of the impact of local independent businesses on the community.
How many people do you employ? All of our instructors are independent contractors, rather than employees. Each teacher who comes in has responsibility for creating the offering they are making, so it’s important for the teachers to offer the best of themselves and their own love of yoga, pilates, Feldenkrais, or QiGong. We don’t tell them what to teach. Many of them teach other places, or they have other obligations, so it’s a blend of employment.
What inspires you about your work? Our clients! The community of clients we have is just delightful. There’s nothing more joyful than the exchange of hugs and hellos, and hearing clients say, “I feel so much better!”
What has your business done to model sustainability? At the most fundamental level, we teach personal sustainability – empowering people for self care. Taking care of yourself means you’ll be able to relate to others and the environment in a more positive way. In terms of business practices, we reuse, re-purpose, and recycle as much as possible.
Are there other ways you contribute to the community? Live Well Studio belongs to CIBA, the DCA, the Chamber, and the Sustainability Coalition. We’re active supporters of Reach Out Yoga, which is a local non-profit that offers free yoga classes to at-risk populations in are area. We also actively support Linn-Benton Food Share and numerous area auctions and fundraisers.
(Interview and article by Annette Mills – October 28, 2012)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).