Southern hospitality at Studio South isn't just a saying. It's a marketing and customer retention strategy.
New members are greeted like old friends when they walk into the Williamsburg, Virginia, studio, immediately welcomed as members of the Studio South family. Owner and founder Katy Henderson got the idea to create a studio with that vibe when she visited started practicing at a yoga studio an hour away from home and wanted to bring it to Williamsburg. After contacting the studio, Katy was told that they weren't interested in opening a studio in Williamsburg, so Katy decided to do it herself.
With its warm, welcoming atmosphere, Studio South brings people to the mat who may not have otherwise practiced. Sometimes, these efforts create memorable experiences for both the student and Katy—once, when she approached a new student in her class to offer a block, the student replied, “If you could flatten my hand down, I’d kiss you.”
After class, Katy found out the student, April Wooten, has cerebral palsy and couldn’t move her hand.
That moment launched a friendship and mentorship that has impacted the lives of hundreds of other students at Studio South—April continued her yoga practice, became a certified yoga instructor in 2012, and now teaches at the studio.
“April’s a great instructor,” Katy said. “She’s so sweet and so kind. She engages her students, and there’s a ‘y’all’ attached to everything.”
And when someone comes to the studio thinking they can’t do yoga? April disarms them. “They say ‘I’m not flexible’ and April says, ‘I can barely move my hand and I love yoga and what it does for me,’” Katy explained.
Katy's love of community doesn't stop at her studio; she's a Mindbody One Champion and helps create camaraderie between business owners using Mindbody.
"The changing puzzle pieces of owning a business are probably the biggest struggles—the market changes, trends change, people change," Katy explained. With her role in the Mindbody One community, Katy is able to empower other business owners to face those challenges head-on and come out stronger.
In addition to being a Mindbody One Champion, Katy has attended Mindbody University and the BOLD conference, which has strengthened her connection to Mindbody.
"The way Mindbody software and the Mindbody team partner with my business really helps in the day-to-day functionality as well as the efficiency of the business," Katy said. "I can't tell you how many times we'll call tech support and immediately get our questions answered. It feels like we have another team member in our back pocket.