2023 is a year worth celebrating! 20 years has flown by! Our sweet, but mighty business has had many a transition, struggle, and expansion. Love of health, love of community, and the desire to serve beautiful people walking through our doors and see them transform right before our eyes is what has gotten us through.
Many of you don’t know the story of The Posture Project. Over this year, I will share some moments that made us who we are and how we got to this place in our business.
Picture it…2001, Woodstock, Ga.
Shalan began teaching yoga out of our home near Main St. in Woodstock. We moved the furniture out of the living room to hold class and put it back when we were done. She taught four classes a week to local students. We were already doing massage in the sun room of our home and building our clientele.
In 2003, we moved our home to Waleska which was too far for our students and clients to travel, so we decided to start a yoga and massage business outside of our home and call it “Breathe…A Yoga & Massage Studio.”
It was humble beginnings. We jumped in with four feet, no start up money, no business experience, just a dream and a desire to help people.
We rented a small room in an infrared sauna business on Towne Lake Pkwy near Main St. We did yoga and massage out of that 10 x 10 room. We would move the massage table out of the room to do yoga and put it back when class was over. Only one of us could do massage at a time. We could have 5 students at a time.
I remember saying to Shalan, “This set-up is backward. There are 4 sauna rooms in this office and one yoga/massage room.” I think it should be the other way around! Being in that space taught me the amazing benefits of infrared sauna and inspired us to eventually purchase one for our office.
And here we are today with the set-up the way I envisioned.
In 2004, the place we were renting with the saunas closed down and we were again looking for a new space. We found a 500 sq ft space located just a couple of blocks from our first place, on Main street in Woodstock. This space was in The Johnston Building across the side street from the pharmacy in the back. Back then, on the other side of Main Street, were giant 100 year old trees that nurtured the energy of that area. I always loved to drive in to work and see them in all of their glory standing like gentle guardians of love and support akin to kind and patient grandmothers.
Our little space had two rooms and a closet. The back room was a large massage room with plenty of space for storage of our massage linens. We turned the closet into an office. We had a computer sitting on one of the shelves and a filing cabinet squeezed in the back. We held our yoga classes in the front yoga/ reception room, which was about 260 sq ft, and we could squeeze in 9 students and one teacher per class.
When we both had massage appointments at the same time, we’d set up a massage table in the yoga / reception area room and put privacy screens around the massage table. The building had two bathrooms to share with all of the tenants. It was a cute, cozy and quaint little space with high ceilings. This is where Breathe…A Yoga & Massage Studio started establishing her roots.
It was then that I decided to quit teaching massage and commit full-time to building a business with Shalan. She shone at creating the structures needed and I shone at advertising and as a visionary. We were teaching ourselves how to run a business. Our business started to grow. Our yoga classes got consistently full and our massage books started filling up. We could feel the expansion in the air.
There was another buzz around us, a real estate buzz. Across our hall, the Woodstock Downtown Development Authority set up base. I would walk over on my breaks and chat with the head of the DDA. He was a young guy with a lot of ideas and a big dream. He would tell me of the future developments on Main St. It wasn’t too long after he got there, that we heard of little granny houses on Main St selling for incredibly high prices. I remember telling him that the real estate market didn’t feel stable. We had playful exchanges back and forth about that on occasion. I did feel a little uneasy.
We stayed in that location for two and a half years. One day we drove into work and almost all the big beautiful trees had been taken down across the street. They were just laying in piles on the ground. Our gentle guardians were no longer there. It was then we knew it was time to move.
To be continued…
Thanks for being part of our amazing community and for ALL the support and kindness you have provided and continue to provide! 20 years of yoga, massage, and well-being look good on you!
Throughout this year of celebration, we will be offering special discounts on our services in appreciation of you who support our beautiful business built with love.