FREDERICTON – In a year unlike any other, not even a pandemic could stop The Nest Yoga in Downtown Fredericton from expanding by adding a second room.
In October 2020, The Nest Yoga left their franchise, Modo Yoga, to operate independently. In that time, they have expanded to a second studio which allowed them to nearly double their classes offered to over 50.
“We were at the point where we either had to sign on for another five years or we had to leave,” said Jenn Tuttle, owner of the Nest who purchased the yoga studio in September 2015.
With the future uncertain amongst the pandemic, she decided to begin operating independently. She says the decision has also freed her from franchise rules that limited her ability to tailor services to the Fredericton community.
“We wanted to give ourselves the best possible options to be able to grow and to move forward with our community, answering whatever it is they needed from us and providing for them,” said Tuttle, who also noted leaving the franchise was met with support from Modo Yoga’s.
Nest Yoga offers both hot yoga and non-heated yoga classes. They offer a wide range of classes for beginners or more experienced students with accessibility options available. Nest also has a small boutique and is Fredericton’s exclusive seller of Lululemon products.
Shortly after becoming the newly formed Nest Yoga, the space next to their studio in Kings Place Mall became available. Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to expand class offerings, especially as class sizes have been dramatically reduced due to public health guidelines, Tuttle purchased the space and opened a non-heated room.
“I always knew that I wanted to take on a second space, I wanted an unheated room to offer more to the community because not everyone likes hot yoga,” said Tuttle.
With the new room, Tuttle has been able to offer prenatal classes, classes for kids, more Barre classes, Pilates, and more strength-based classes.
“Our heated room was full time. We had 34 classes a week already so we couldn’t really fit more in there.”
Since opening the second room, she has been able to add another 20 classes to their schedule.
Pandemic restrictions have had a huge effect on the Nest’s classes, decreasing occupancy to 45 percent. With the addition of the new room, the new capacity has meant more people can attend classes.
“I couldn’t make our existing space bigger. But I could take on more space, add a second room, add more classes. We’ve been able to really bring our waitlist down significantly, so that people who need and want to get into a class that they can do that,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle says the Fredericton business community has been a huge source of support for her as she has navigated the past year.
“It’s important that I have my community here, but I also have my business community, which has been so key for me,” she said. “When you’re an entrepreneur you feel very much like you’re alone in your head. It provides that normalcy that says we’re not alone.”
Tuttle says the community built out of the Nest has been a huge source of comfort over the past year and is grateful for their support as the business has grown.
“Community is so important right now. Whether your community is at a place like this, whether your community is with friends, whether your community is your neighbourhood, whether it be the people that you work with, that sense of having some normalcy is what people have gravitated to,” she said. “I just feel so lucky and blessed that people find that here with us.”
See Liam Floyd’s full Huddle.Today article HERE.