With its shed-bound studio booked up, a young yoga company has rolled out a new model to keep pace with demand.
The Yoga Shed, which founder Jane Ellington operates out of a custom-made shed in her backyard in Richmond, launched an online subscription service in late March to complement her in-person program.
Subscribers pay $12.99 a month or $119 a year for access to an on-demand library of yoga and meditation routines. Ellington plans to add new videos to the library every week. Classes run from 5 to 50 minutes.
Ellington hired a professional videographer to film her going through the routines, and she built up a library of 10 videos before the launch.
“There’s already so much out there I didn’t want to add to the noise. It was important to be professional and something you’d be willing to pay for,” she said.
Though the Yoga Shed was born in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — a time when online offerings became a staple for many yoga operations when in-person classes became trickier to hold amid public health orders — Ellington initially didn’t have interest in virtual classes.
She changed her feelings on the subject in part because of the demand for time slots at her shed studio. The shed tops out at only 200 square feet.
“When the pandemic hit, there was so much of everybody trying to figure out what yoga looks like online and I was initially not drawn to teaching online. I liked the human connection,” she said. “As I grew and as capacity in my studio reached its limit, online became more appealing.”
Ellington, who runs the studio full time, said she has 65 regular clients in her in-person program. Earlier this week, the company website notes that the schedule is filled until July. Yoga Shed offers private or small group hourly sessions at $70 and $45 per person, respectively.
The studio officially launched in June. Ellington previously worked as an instructor at The Hot Yoga Barre (which has studios in Willow Lawn and Midlothian) and Humble Haven Yoga (which shuttered its Shockoe Slip space in the fall but continues to operate in Henrico County).
She has relied on word-of-mouth, organic social media marketing and her existing client network to build out her studio’s customer base.
In-person sessions and recording for the virtual sessions takes place in Ellington’s studio.
Around the time the pandemic hit, she was instructing private lessons at clients’ homes in anticipation of opening her own brick-and-mortar studio. The pandemic made a traditional studio an unappealing prospect, but a personal custom studio made sense as a more practical means to work through her schedule.
“I think especially right now people are looking for an outlet and somewhere to go. While going to peoples’ homes worked for a while, you can only be so efficient with your time,” she said.
Ellington declined to name the contractor who built her studio and did not divulge the price.
With an online arm added to the studio, Ellington said she will be able to cast a wider net for customers both locally and beyond. She is exploring partnerships with local brands and local social media personalities who can bring more awareness to the studio but declined to offer specifics on those efforts.
In other yoga news, new-to-market YogaSix opened at Regency in January.
This is a great idea, I’ve signed up for the free trial and have already watched the meditation video, thanks for this option of staying in my home and being able to practice yoga and meditation at this time. Best of luck with this new venture.