YOGA LAB



Who:
Jasmine Chong
What: Chain of Yoga and Barre Studios
Field: Fitness
Where: Singapore
Website: yogalab.com
Follow: @jasmine_yoga | @yogalab._ | @barrelab._

 

How to To Start a Chain Of Yoga and Barre Studios

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With over 98k followers on Instagram and 3 yoga studios and 2 barre studios dotted around Singapore, this beautiful lady is a true testimony of how leaving the corporate life to chase your dreams can really come true.

We talk about how she took that leap of faith and found alignment in her purpose and passion for yoga.

Introduce yourself and tell us how you got into yoga?
My name is Jasmine and I got into yoga more than 10 years ago. I stumbled into my first yoga class at a fitness gym needing a stretch after weight lifting/cardio sessions.


What were you doing before you became a yoga teacher?
I was working in a private bank.

How did you make the transition from a full-time corporate finance job to entrepreneur?
I wish there was a stage of impressive financial planning before making that decision but the truth is there was none. It was pure gut and a true leap of faith. It was more of a push factor than a pull factor. I was losing myself and was falling into deep darkness I could no longer numb the pain and ignore.

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I left my job with nothing to fall on. I went for interviews with different banks and nothing came out of them. Looking back now, it was definitely all in God’s hand. He had meant for me to take a different path.

Shortly after, I joined lululemon to help them open their first store in Ion Orchard whilst I was simultaneously doing a yoga teachers’ training course. Upon certification, I got offered a job to teach at a prestigious boutique studio in the East. It was incredible how I even got that opportunity. I taught full time for two years and I will always be forever grateful to my first yoga teachers, Betty and Andrea from Updog Studio, for believing in me.

What gave you the courage to start a Yoga studio?
I’ve always been a dreamer.

I dreamed of a studio where passionate people came together to share a common space of practice.

“I dreamed of a safe space for people from all walks of life to be able to come and explore what was possible”

I dreamed of walking, supporting and taking the journey of growth with a community.

But I am also a person of action: I wanted to make things happen. I believe if I have set my intention to make something happen. Through prayer, dedication and hard work; I can definitely achieve what I set out to do.

That’s how Yoga Lab happened! Things fell in to place so naturally. We found a space, I had support from social media and the best part was the support from Betty (my previous boss) from Updog Studio, who had agreed to help do this with me. We started small, cautious with how money was spent and eventually managed to break even after just one month! Now, we have five, going six studios all over Singapore. I am so humbled by what is possible if only we believe.

What was your biggest challenge throughout this process and how did you overcome them?
To stay vulnerable. Remaining completely in balance and authentic – the discipline to trust my gut, to stay true to my purpose, cause or belief.

To allow myself to be more human.

You’ve built a massive platform; with over 98k followers on Instagram and 19k on the Yoga Lab account. What tips can you give to other businesses trying to grow their social media presence?
Be authentic. Be a friend instead of a company trying to ‘sell’ their product/service.

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What advice would you give to people who are late to the scene and want to try and pursue a career in fitness or as a yoga teacher?
It is never too late. Keep your love for your craft, have a burning passion to share your knowledge, teach from your heart.

Which business function have you found the hardest to execute? (e.g. finance, sales, marketing, funding)?

One weakness is definitely finance.

I lose receipts all the time! Thankfully, we now have a great accountant (a true gift from God) who is helping me automate all finance systems.



Where did you get funding for the business?
The initial funding came from my own savings and subsequent investments were all funded by company’s profits.

What does the definition of success mean to you?
To live out my calling

How has a failure set you up for later success?
Throughout my years in school, the corporate world and even in the first year of starting my business, I constantly felt like I had something to prove. I wanted to prove that I could be the one at home to constantly get the straight As. I wanted to prove that I could climb that corporate ladder no matter what it took. I wanted to prove valuable to the company I was working for. I pegged my value to the numbers I was pulling in at work.

I don’t consider myself successful, I am still very much a work in progress. However, giving up the need to prove something has enabled me to establish a more authentic connection with others and more importantly, myself.

What’s the big dream for you as a yoga instructor and entrepreneur? The 5-year plan?
For Lab Studios to continue on the path God has planned for it. To inspire and to be inspired by the community I am in.


”To be a leader who is proud of my vulnerabilities”

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What would you change if you could go back in time?
Words said out of anger and stress.


What keeps you grounded?
My faith, my team and my mat.

What’s your one piece of advice for someone starting out in the creative industry?
I see this in one of my best friends, who is a graphic designer and is great at what she does.

She takes fierce pride in the work she produces and she is unwavering. She was the one who designed our logo and all our brand consolidation work. She trusts that she knows best and in turn we trust her in producing the best work for us.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
Hillsong conferences twice a year; March and July.


There’s nothing like fully soaking in the Word.
It brings peace and clarity beyond understanding. Every. Single. Time.



In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to? What new realizations and/or approaches helped?
I started saying no to the victim mentality and make a conscious effect to choose a grateful heart. I switched my perspective from seeing that things are happening to me to how things can be happening for me.


When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Remind myself that it is not by my efforts I get to where I am today. Keep looking up and not around.

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What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Not specific to my profession or area of expertise but an all-time bad recommendation would be to listen to and empower fear-based thoughts.


Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My dad. He has always taught me to look at things from a wider perspective.



What does your morning routine look like?
Lemon Water. Walk the dog. Meditation / declaration / prayer to start the day. Coffee. Tie hair in gangster bun. Handle it!


If you could gift one book to someone what would it be?
The Bible


What’s your motto/philosophy on life?
“God’s got this”

Barre Lab East is opening on the 2nd of March and they are hosting a welcome party on the 9th! Open to all! (437 Joo Chiat Road)


14 FEBRUARY, 2019

@Yogalab._



Article Credits

 
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INTERVIEW

Karmen TanG

@tangkarmen
anotherstartupstory.com