Today we’d like to introduce you to Shastidy Ellerbusch.
Hi Shastidy, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My path to becoming a yoga studio owner was not traditional. I took several detours along the way, which ultimately led me on a journey of self-discovery. After graduating from college with a Finance Degree, I continued to solidify my path in the business world by furthering my education and later moving into management. However, I started to re-evaluate my choices and wondered about other possibilities. By this time, I had a husband, kids, and a mortgage — the idea of changing careers seemed complicated and overwhelming. As I reconciled the idea of staying on my current path or making a change, I had conflicted emotions of fear and excitement all at the same time. I could imagine something different but leaping into unchartered territories left me with many questions and no solid answers.
During this same time of inner uncertainly, my outer world shifted dramatically with the passing of my mom. I started to look at my life differently. I decided to really explore what I wanted out of life – out of a career. I took a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. I enrolled in an online culinary school and spent months cooking, chopping, and preparing vegetarian meals. And in between all this, I started having more Marie Kondo moments, such as “Does this bring me joy?” And when it came to my career, I finally knew the answer.
I strongly believe that the Universe hears your heart and has an ultimate plan for your life. I had been in management for 14 years, and there were layoffs happening again. Then fate opened her doors, and it was time for a new beginning. The choice that I had been wrestling with internally for so long had been made for me. I was relieved and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. During this time, I decided to take a pause and wait until my kids had finished the school year before plunging back into the workforce. I used the time to reconnect with my kids and myself. In between volunteering for center days at the school, I was slowly redesigning my life. This new road I was on was a journey back to myself. I was opening myself up to possibilities of what I enjoyed as well as how I could utilize my business background. I started creating vision boards of things that interested me. One day after looking at one of the vision boards I had created, an idea formed. I Googled “Yoga studios for sale,” took a deep breath in and hit “enter.” I told the Universe it was either this or something better. And with one massive and life-changing step, I walked toward a new beginning.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Within a few short months of owning the studio, COVID-19 struck and halted everyone’s daily life. As a new studio owner, I now had to navigate what a “stay at home” mandate meant for the business and my livelihood. There was no manual for being a yoga studio owner during a national pandemic. In less than 72 hours, our studio created an online platform to re-engage with our community. We worked tirelessly finding solutions to lighting, music, microphones, and applications that worked best for our clients. New schedules were created, teachers opened their homes, and zoom links were manually sent out three times a day. Through it all, our online presence allowed us to see and hear many of our students. Our teachers were able to re-engage with the community, hear familiar voices, and see familiar faces during this stressful time. The zoom meetings provided an opportunity for both students and teachers to connect and check-in with everyone. Owning a small business is not easy, by any means. Owning a small business during a national pandemic is extremely difficult, tiring, and unpredictable. There have been a lot of twists and turns, ups and downs, smiles and tears along the way. However, each fall leads me one step closer to finding solutions. Every moment of confusion allowed me to change my perspective. And when doubts crept in, I was reminded that I am a warrior on and off the mat.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a small business owner, mother of two, a wife, a teacher, and a yoga studio owner. Each role had helped me learn, grow, and navigate through uncertainty when answers didn’t exist. Because I am not your traditional yoga studio owner, this sets me apart. Shortly after purchasing the business, I rolled out my mat and started my 200-hour Teacher Training, all while learning the day-to-day operations. Since I had a strong background in business, I was able to navigate and resolve issues. I asked questions from a different perspective and utilized my financial background. Along the way, I made mistakes but stayed the course. I found out what worked, what could be tweaked, and what didn’t work. During this timeframe, I gathered input from the teachers and was open to their ideas and suggestions. Creatively, I looked at things I wanted to see in the studio, such as offering aerial yoga and specialty classes. And when I wobbled on and off the mat, I learned to breathe and find my balance. As the owner of Guruv Yoga with one studio in Dr. Phillips and the other in Lake Mary, we offer various yoga styles from vinyasa flow to aerial yoga.
Most importantly, Guruv is a place to call home, and this is what makes me proud. It is a sacred space, and when you step your feet on the mat, you are surrounded by warriors. Our teachers create a place of healing and support. We cheer our students on when they finally get that pose they’ve been working on. We laugh, encourage, support each other, create lasting friendships, and give back to our community. This is Guruv!
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My husband is the love of my life and my biggest cheerleader. He has been on this journey with me from the moment I said, “Honey, I have an idea. I want to buy a studio”. `He is my soundboard. He shows up, believes in me, supports me without question, and holds my hands through all the ups and downs. With his technical background, he finds ways to streamline and automate processes. And when I have my moments—because I am human—he motivates me with quotes that keep me going. Equally, my daughters are my world. They were my first clients who helped me during teacher training as I practiced yoga cues on them. They offer playlist suggestions for my class and get on the mat when I am working through a routine. Most importantly, when their momma gets a call that interferes with plans that we have made together, they let me know that it’s ok. It is because of their understanding and support I can keep going. My family is the reason I am able to do what I do. My Guruv Yoga teachers are the heart and soul of the studio. They are my experts, advisors, mentors and have been there for me in moments of need. When COVID-19 first impacted the studio, they came together and helped raise funds for the studio to cover fixed costs by donating private lessons, mats, intention bracelets, and much more. They helped turn my ideas and theirs and other “what if’s” into reality. They are out front each day, engaging with the community. They know the pulse of the studio and the heart of the students. I am blessed to have them by my side. Last but not least, I am grateful for the Guruv community. They have embraced me as the new studio owner and welcomed me into their tribe. They have provided me with words of encouragement and thoughtful ideas. They are out there continuously helping to promote the studio among their friends and loved ones to keep us going throughout these difficult times. Thank you for standing with Guruv and it is because of you we are stronger together! Love and Blessings. Namaste!
- $88 Monthly Unlimited Contract
- $45 for 30 Days New Student Promo
- $16 Studio Drop-In Rate
- Address:Two Locations: 142 Lakeview Ave Ste 1070 Lake Mary, FL 32746; 7606 W. Sand Lake Road Orlando FL 32819
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://guruvyoga.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guruvyoga/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guruvyogastudios/0
Allison Sackett (personal photo only)