When Michelle Marshall and Susan Rennert say that their yoga community is family, they mean it literally. The mother-daughter duo founded Bindi Yoga in Lynwood, WA, in 2011 and have owned the studio together ever since.
To balance their personal and business relationships work, though, they’ve laid down some ground rules, including not being in the studio at the same time. The reason why? “We both have very strong personalities, and we can easily step on each other’s feet,” Susan explained.
“If we were to bicker or something, and people don’t understand that she’s my mom and I’m her daughter, then they may think ‘These business partners can’t get along.’,” Michelle added.
To make their rule work, the pair know what tasks are in-studio and which pieces are done from home. They use Mindbody yoga software to manage business tasks like reporting remotely and maximize the time they do spend in the studio. Plus, the duo stays in constant communication—emailing, texting, and calling each other throughout the day.
“If I need her to call me, she’s usually calling me back within a few minutes,” Susan said. “We keep in contact at all times.”
Occasionally though, the pair will be in the studio at the same time, generally, if they are taking each other's classes. “People cry when I take Michelle’s class,” Susan said. “I very seldom take her class, but when I do, everybody in that room knows that it’s going to be super hard.”
While Michelle disagrees that her classes are harder when her mom is in class, both Susan and Michelle agree that sharing a yoga studio has been a fantastic experience.
“I know that my mom is driven to be an entrepreneur, and I think I am as well,” Michelle said. “I think that it was one of the smartest decisions I made—opening a business with my mom. She is such a strong woman figure in my life and a lot of other people’s lives.”
The love that Michelle and Susan share for each other, Bindi, and their studio community shows—the students bring back trinkets from trips to decorate the studio, volunteers help keep the studio running, and Michelle and Susan are exploring opening a second location soon. To ensure that they keep moving in the right direction, the pair took the time to go to Mindbody University and hired a Mindbody Certified Consultant.
“I never doubt that we’re not going to succeed,” Susan said. “It’s scary sometimes. We seem to be able to pull it off, and I can’t be happier with the way things turned out.”