I was just 16 years old, lying in Savasana in a Bikram yoga class when I had my first vision of opening “Yoga Joint.” My vision was a studio where people could come to practice yoga, connect with other like-minded people, and reconnect with themselves. In 2010, I was a single mom on welfare. I had been teaching yoga for ten years at local studios when I finally decided to take the leap and open my first studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2013, I opened my second location and teamed up with my best friend Kelly Green to offer 200-hour teacher trainings and retreats. In 2015, a yoga studio owner in West Boca had reached out because she was moving and wanted to sell. I wanted to expand my brand and continue to help people through Fusion Flow, so I decided to take the risk and buy my third studio.
Opening three studios was very challenging. I did not have the financial resources or the business acumen to expand my brand. I had investors through the years that helped me grow from one location to three, but there were challenges because my investors did not always agree with my vision for Yoga Joint. I was frustrated. I worried that I couldn’t do this, and it felt like no one believed in my vision. There came a point when I considered selling my studios.
In August 2016, in the midst of turmoil, prayers, hard work, and determination to keep building my brand, I met Bernie Zarco and David Lopez. I realized that throughout the years, I grew the Yoga Joint with investors, but what I needed was partners who were going to be aligned with my vision for the Yoga Joint and who were going to help me — not only with capital but with strategy and operations as well.
We blended our teams, expertise in yoga, and business operations to put us where we are today. I am so grateful for these amazing people I get to work with every day. Currently, we have four successful Yoga Joint locations, with two new locations set to open in 2018. Our mission is to provide a career development opportunity to Yogis by training them to deliver the Yoga Joint experience.
All I can say is that it has been one hell of a ride (so far!) filled with many ups and downs. I now know that all of the downs were creating the foundation I now walk upon. I finally feel like I have the perfect partners who share my vision and who are ready to take this next journey with me. We are excited to have you along!