This week’s blog post features MOVI Yoga, a yoga studio in Greater Moncton located at 1688 Mountain Road. The information in this blog post is mainly based on an interview 3+ conducted with MOVI Yoga’s owner, Candace Hayden.
MOVI Yoga is primarily a yoga studio, offering mostly warm yoga classes. However, they also provide fitness programs in general at MOVI. As Candace said, “we are really focused on well-rounded movement”. It is for this reason that MOVI offers fitness, including pilates classes, kettlebell classes, resistance band classes, as well as yoga, ranging from gentle to challenging yoga. Candace told us that she does not see MOVI as a business that solely provides physical health services to her clients, but instead sees MOVI as offering its patrons mental health services as well.
When Candace was younger, she did not necessarily know that she would own a business, or what kind of business she would own, but she always knew that the traditional job consisting of working for someone for 5 days a week and 8 hours a day was not for her. Throughout her life, she was also very active, doing many types of dances and playing competitive soccer. At around 20 years of age, while going to university in Halifax, she began doing yoga. After graduating from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, she was not sure about what occupational direction she wanted to move towards, and thus started working as a bartender. After a few years of working as a bartender, Candace at around the age of 24, went to Mexico to do her training to become a yoga teacher. This journey in Mexico lasted a month and involved living in a tent on a beautiful beach for the duration of it. When she came back to Canada, she started working at a yoga studio teaching fitness, while she was still working as a bartender. Working at this yoga studio encouraged her to pursue a healthier lifestyle than the one attached to bartending. As she explained, “I wanted a relaxed lifestyle, I wanted to meet a bunch of people who were like-minded and wanted to be healthy, and I wanted a relaxed job for when I had kids”. As such, she started the process of starting a local business at the age of 26.
She said that the process was somewhat difficult. Every time she sought out funding, it was conveyed to her that she needed a business plan. Thus, she started by creating a business plan, and she took this seriously because she wanted it to be as helpful as possible for when her business opened. Therefore, she started crunching numbers, determining a location, figuring out quotes, etc. However, for someone so young and without a significant amount of business experience, this was quite difficult. After approximately a year, her business plan was completed. Then she had to make sure that the renovations of the location went smoothly.
The battle was not won yet, as she explained to us that the first year of operating MOVI, was the greatest challenge of her experience as a business owner. As she put it, “for the first 6 months I was teaching around 32 classes a week, I was doing all the marketing, I was doing all the paperwork, and I was doing all the cleaning just to cut costs.” After six months of this, Candace mentioned that she finally hired some people and that it has been slowly getting easier since then.
However, with the advantage of hindsight she believes that the early headaches were very much worth it. Candace is genuinely passionate about yoga and helping people to live in a healthier manner. For Candace, one of the most rewarding parts of operating MOVI is being recognized by the community; the year before last, she won the young entrepreneur of the year award and won an award for being one of the top 20 entrepreneurs under 40 in Greater Moncton. For Candace, another very rewarding part of operating MOVI is hearing from her patrons that her business is helping them, whether that be with their physical health or their mental health.
Candace enjoys the Greater Moncton region, in particular for its interactive nature. She stated that she loves how the local businesses of the Greater Moncton Region are so supportive of each other, and how local businesses genuinely want others to succeed.
One piece of advice that Candace has for people interested in starting a business is that the beginning can be tough, but if one sticks to it, it will get easier and be very worth it. And she says that being passionate about what you are doing makes this process even easier.
Nicholas Caissie and Parker Barriault, 3+ Corporation