Creating a Yoga Refuge for Busy Office Workers with Help from Kabbage
When Andrea Stern was a corporate human resources manager in downtown San Francisco, yoga classes were her sanity break. “I felt rejuvenated – like I had a better perspective on the day,” Andrea says. At the same time, she was counseling employees who felt burned out at their jobs and underappreciated by their bosses.
“I thought it would be amazing to have a yoga studio right in the financial district to help people be their best selves,” Andrea says. She opened Satori Yoga Studio in 2004. Now, she and 18 teachers offer classes in a variety of yoga styles such as Vinyasa and Iyengar, as well as meditation classes and in-office yoga sessions.
While there are plenty of yoga studios in San Francisco, Andrea has found her niche. “We cater to a diverse demographic range, and to people at all levels and with different body types,” Andrea says. “I think that the more people who do yoga, the better the world will be.”
Staying current with critical bills
After 10 years of running the business, Andrea faced an unexpected rent increase. Her landlord sold the building, and she moved into a new, more expensive, studio space. “I didn’t realize how long it would take to get back to profitability after a rent increase like that,” she says. “It was like starting a new business. It took us three years to grow enough to get where we needed to be.”
Andrea used merchant cash advances to cover occasional shortfalls in revenue, but the interest rates were high, and the minimum advance amounts were often more than she needed. “It was nice to find out about Kabbage since a line of credit worked better for me,” Andrea says. “If I’m short $2,000 I can just grab it and know that I can repay it.”
The funds from Kabbage help Andrea stay on top of necessary expenses. “Rent and teacher salaries are two things I never want to pay late,” she says. She also uses Kabbage loans to pay for postcard mailings and email newsletters.
Adding services and opening a second studio
With support from Kabbage, Andrea added massage and wellness coaching to her services and is considering opening a second location.
“We’re going all out, doing everything we can to make as much money as we can,” she says. Since Andrea started using Kabbage, she has grown her customer base by 15 percent every quarter.
Andrea is careful about her business finances. She kept her corporate job for six months after opening Satori to make sure she could keep the doors open. Whenever she uses her Kabbage line of credit, she talks with her Kabbage account manager. “It’s been helpful to have that partnership – I know Kabbage has my back,” Andrea says. “Kabbage gives me peace of mind.”