We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Helow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Without question the most valuable factor behind the success of my studio has been authenticity. By being direct and transparent in both our marketing and teaching style, we’ve been able to attract ideal clients who resonate deeply with what we offer.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I opened Casita Yoga Studio in October of 2018. My vision with the business was to embody the heart of yoga by providing people from all walks of life a safe and nurturing foundation for self discovery, healing, and transformation. The feedback I have received over the last 2+ years from our students assures me that this vision is being realized. To know that my young business is succeeding while making a positive impact on the lives of folks in my community is truly an incredible feeling.
I am consistently authentic in our marketing, in how I teach, and in how I interact with students. I am certain that this is the reason I’m able to attract folks who resonate with what I offer, but I’m still somewhat baffled by and in awe of how quickly my students feel like family. Our environment is not competitive or rooted in perfectionism, and that has been very important to me from day one. I’m not here for toxic positivity or spiritual bypassing, or really any facade. I just want people to show up, as they are, ready to do the inner work. So in these ways, I do believe we’ve set ourselves apart from many other businesses in our industry.
Being a first-time business owner has been a humbling experience. It has definitely highlighted my tendency toward disorganization and inefficiency. Ha! But, I learn every day, and as the business grows so do I. I haven’t once regretted my decision to choose this path. Being able to step back and see all that I’ve accomplished is very gratifying and empowering. To be honest, I’ve spent my entire life feeling like a natural leader but being hesitant to step into the position, so I am exceedingly proud of myself for finally making it happen. It’s funny, now even in times of overwhelm or financial hardship, I feel more at ease than when I was financially stable and employed by individuals whose vision I didn’t align with. And that’s been an important lesson in trusting my gut. By leaving my comfort zone, I’ve actually found a space where I feel truly at home.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Even as an introvert, there are several places I love to go in my city! Just a walk through my neighborhood, Murray Hill, or the nearby Riverside neighborhood, will reveal a number of wonderful small businesses to patronize and historic homes to admire. A couple doors down from my studio is Silver Cow, a super cozy little neighborhood bar with an eclectic coffee shop feel. In addition to alcohol they’ve got local kombucha on tap, CBD seltzers, books, games, and small bites. You’re instantly made to feel at home there. It’s like “Cheers” for artists, nerds, and queer folks. Wildcrafters is another real gem, a kava bar that also serves other amazing alcohol-free cocktails. Not only do they have a beautiful aesthetic with a relaxed vibe, but lately they’ve been hosting a weekly jazz jam with some of the best musicians around. Vagabond Coffee, Brew, and Bold Bean are all amazing spots for a couple chai lattes and a chat.
SunRay Cinema is a must for a movie and some delicious house-made comfort food. We would also stop to get a bite at Southern Roots, then hop down the street for some sweet treats from Sweet Theory. In addition to spending some time chilling in one of the many lovely parks in Murray Hill/Riverside, we would also have to make our way out toward the beaches for some quality nature time in state parks such as Hannah Park or Big Talbot Island. Out near the airport but worth the drive is Celestial Farms, an animal rescue that accepts donations in exchange for a visit with their adorable and diverse animal family. I actually spent my last birthday there. It was wholesome as hell.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My friend and teacher Tara Rawson, who inspired and guided me through a life-changing teacher training course, then supported me in my decision to open my own studio.