Brandon Cox greets a blonde woman who walks into his CorePower Yoga studio from the pouring rain.
“Welcome to CorePower Yoga,” Cox tells the college-age woman entering the State Street studio around noon on a Saturday. “Beautiful morning,” adds Cox, flashing a smile while she sheds her high-top turquoise rubber boots.
With its gas-burning fireplace and crème-colored leather sofas, CorePower resonates as high-end modern, hip and cool. Outside the large square picture windows, the raindrops create puddles and small streams on the Mediterranean yellowstone piazza.
This Santa Barbara studio is one of 95 CorePowers nationwide, the largest national yoga studio chain in a field dominated by mom-and-pop players.
Women of all ages fill the lobby, chattering and stripping their rain gear as they put their belongings in the neat little black cubbies below the window ledge.
“The idea of CorePower is to make yoga accessible to everyone, make a lot of people feel good about doing yoga,” says Cox, who owns the studio with business partner Cara Ferrick.
In Santa Barbara, the yoga marketplace has thrived even in tough times. Several local studio owners weathered the economic downturn while three new studios opened in the past year and another is on the way.
Among these new storefronts is CorePower Yoga. The Starbucks of namaste is the first formula yoga studio to set up shop in Santa Barbara, a market predominantly occupied by local small businesses.
“There is always enough for everyone,” says Ann Averbach, who opened her own DiviniTree Yoga last summer shortly after CorePower set up shop in town. “More and more people are continually taking their first yoga class and coming back for more. Real yoga that follows the tenets of honesty, integrity and service comes from a place of abundance.” Continue reading >>