Sandwell company Sandstone Yoga & Pilates has opened its third franchise, in Bearwood.
Entrepreneur and yoga instructor Lis Sheridan and her partner Kayley Hall negotiated a £35,000 funding package from Natwest. They used the funding to acquire an empty shop situated on Bearwood High Street and transform it into a yoga and pilates studio.
The former Natural Foods shop had stood empty for 18 months but has had new life breathed into it following a ten-week refurbishment programme. The new 152 square metre studio holds up to 25 people and also has two changing rooms and a reception area.
Lis and Kayley will run the studio with a team of ten self-employed yoga and pilates instructors initially. As the business grows it will recruit more teachers, as and when needed.
Lis practised yoga for ten years before training to become a yoga teacher herself and when she found out that Sandstone Yoga & Pilates was franchising, she felt it was the perfect opportunity to take her own yoga to the next level while changing direction in her career.
She was previously a senior teacher and acting deputy head in a secondary school but after deciding to leave her job in education to travel to far flung places to visit shalas – places of yoga – Lis’s dream of having her own yoga studio took root.
She is now realising that dream at the Bearwood studio with the help of the Natwest funding and bringing yoga to as many people as possible, from complete beginners to qualified teachers looking to develop their practice.
Natwest provided budgeting advice and working out what was viable for the franchise business, as well as the actual funding.
The original Sandstone Yoga & Pilates business was named Bliss Yoga and founded in the attic of a house in Walsall in 2010. The company opened its first dedicated yoga studio in Aldridge in 2013 and a year later expanded again by opening classes in Sutton Coldfield. In 2015 the Bliss Yoga teacher training academy opened its doors and is now a centre of excellence for teacher training.
In 2017 Bliss Yoga was rebranded as Sandstone Yoga to support its new franchise opportunities. The Bearwood branch is the third franchise to open in the Midlands.
We wish Lis and her team every success in the new venture. If you are looking to secure funds to help your business grow visit our Access to finance page for advice and support.