This Mom Turned Her Battle Against Postpartum Anxiety into a Thriving Business

Mothers and babies at Hapa Yoga in San Diego, California

Before Tina Ardolino became pregnant with her first child, she was active in many different styles of fitness and yoga and acquired class passes at every studio she attended. While pregnant, she found it difficult to find a class that was safe for her to take.

“I couldn’t use the packages I purchased because it was hard for me to take some of those classes while pregnant,” Tina said. “And then, I started thinking about how great it would be for them to offer prenatal-friendly classes.”

Once she had her son, Tina found herself battling postpartum anxiety—and her difficulty finding access to classes increased.

“I felt like I was in a dilemma with what I needed in terms of holistic wellness and healing through yoga,” Tina said. “I was in desperate need of yoga and meditation, and I just couldn’t find a place to go where I could take the baby with me or that accommodated childcare.”

Instead of giving up, Tina decided to do something about the problems she encountered. She wrote up a business plan and nine months later, Hapa Yoga was born in September 2012.

Students enjoy class at Hapa Yoga in San Diego, California

Hapa offers everything Tina sought while pregnant and after giving birth: fitness, yoga and childcare in one location. Students at Hapa can select between classes like nonheated yoga, mat Pilates, barre and heated vinyasa, hot hatha and prenatal yoga. Plus, Hapa offers music and movement classes for children as young as six weeks and even offers classes for local college students.

Overall, Tina knew that the concept behind Hapa was something that other people could benefit from, so her business plan included a strategy to open a second location—and more. Three years after opening her first location, she successfully opened a second location in Eastlake. Now, Tina is now the franchisor of Hapa Yoga & Fitness after being approved for franchising.

Hapa Yoga in San Diego, California

“The last five years of growth have been amazing,” Tina said. “I wanted to make sure I was able to open a second studio, and that it was repeatable, which it was.”

Tina’s business journey has helped her grow personally, too. “About halfway through my journey, I had to change my perspective and look at the business from a softer side of healing people and not just the business standpoint,” Tina said.

The growth that both Hapa and Tina have experienced earned them awards for Greatest Business Growth and BOLD Business of the Year at the 2017 BOLD conference. Yet, despite her success, Tina knows that it wouldn’t be possible without her staff. “I’ve been really blessed with the team I have,” Tina said. “I have amazing group of people with me.”

Tina also credits MINDBODY yoga management software with helping Hapa grow. “We would not be able to do business as smoothly without MINDBODY software,” Tina said. “Starting a brand-new studio, I was nervous about that. MINDBODY made everything really easy.”

As Tina and the team at Hapa look toward future growth, they’ll continue to focus on healing, by offering yoga, fitness and wellness to everyone, from toddler to postpartum parent.

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