We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Short and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, how do you think about risk?
I look at risk as a necessity for growth. When my husband and I decided become small-business owners, it was with the intention of growing professionally and personally, enabling us to spend more time together, working on the business. Unbelievably, it turned out to be even more risky than we had imagined as we purchased our business, Spirit Yoga studio, just 16 days before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the doors to small businesses everywhere, including our studio. Despite going through an incredibly challenging time as business owners, we doubled-down in May of 2021 and took another risk, opening our sister business, a barre studio aptly named Spirit Barre, adjacent to our yoga studio. We truly looked at it as an opportunity to expand during a time when most other businesses were pulling back on growth, and thought that the risk would eventually prove worthwhile. As the pandemic continues, we are still holding on to our optimism, despite continuing adversity, and are certain that the risks we’ve taken will be worth the sacrifices we’ve had to make to maintain our businesses.
What should our readers know about your business?
Spirit Yoga and Spirit Barre are community studios in Pacific Beach. The unique part of Spirit studios is the atmosphere of inclusion and warmth we foster. We want our clients to feel that no matter what is going on in their lives, when they step foot inside our studios, they are in a sanctuary, and a safe space for self-care. So many people feel nervous or judged when entering fitness spaces, and we want to dispel that negative energy and be a consistently positive experience for our clients.
Purchasing Spirit Yoga just before COVID hit in 2020 and then taking a risk by opening Spirit Barre in 2021 has been quite the challenge. It has truly been anything but easy. When we purchased Spirit Yoga, we anticipated it running as it had been, with our manager Nazli taking care of most day to day issues; however, once the pandemic hit, we had to be involved daily, with ever-changing regulations, figuring out how to get classes online, and eventually building an outdoor studio in our parking lot! It was definitely a baptism by fire. We made it through and once things started to get better, took the risk of taking over the open studio next door and refurbishing it into Spirit Barre. I had been a barre instructor for years and was very sad to see the barre studio that had been in the space close during COVID, so I was excited to bring barre back to PB. Taking that extra risk has been tricky because COVID has continued longer than anyone imagined but we continue to manifest positivity and refuse to give up on our dream of two strong community studios that add energy to Pacific Beach!
We’ve learned during our challenges that it is necessary to lean on people and to ask for help. We couldn’t have continued to operate our studios without an incredible team supporting us, from our managers to our instructors, to our loyal clients. We are grateful every day for the support.
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?
San Diego has a wealth of things for visitors to experience. When we have friends or family in town, we love to take them to Scuderie Italia, an amazing Italian restaurant just near our studios in Pacific Beach, for handmade pasta and amazing pizza. We also love to go to Ocean Beach and take a beer-tasting adventure, visiting Kilowatt, OB Brewery, and California Wild Ales and then hitting Dog Beach with our dog, Armani. We also love wine-tasting and there are some fun urban breweries in San Diego. We love Blue Door, which is right off Morena Boulevard, and has amazing Sangria.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The hallmark of our studios is the feeling of community that Spirit inspires. We run our studios on principles of inclusion and warmth for everyone who enters. Our studio managers, Nazli Takesh & Courtney Ford, have been instrumental in ensuring that each client feels welcome and as though they have found their “home” studio. Our instructors are outstanding, going out of their way to lead with compassion and support. We also have had overwhelming assistance and support from our family, who have literally flown across the country to help us with the studios when we have needed aid with major projects. The love with which our studios have been built and are managed is overwhelming and continuous.