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From pharmacist to yoga teacher

How a hobby quickly turned into a successful small business.

Top tips

  • Make sure you have the support of your family. Without it, you will feel like you are on your own
  • Be prepared to put in lots of hard work
  • Care about your clients, and have genuine passion for what you do. Have fun!

The business

Andi Kiprillis had a successful career as a pharmacist with no intention of ever changing jobs but when she started teaching yoga as a hobby the classes quickly grew in size and soon she was opening her own studio.

Fast forward a couple of years and Yoga Plus is now a buzzing yoga community in the heart of Berwick and the prenatal yoga program is the biggest in Melbourne. The studio is constantly adding new classes and workshops to the timetable and 2014 will see Yoga Plus hosting its first retreat.  
With such fast success as well as winning awards at the City of Casey Business Awards in 2013, it’s hard to believe the milestones that Yoga Plus has reached in such a short period of time - it only opened in 2011.

The interview

Here Andi shares her inspiring journey from pharmacist to award winning yoga studio owner.

'I had absolutely no experience running a business, and didn’t even consult my accountant before signing the lease for the studio. I have learnt many things as I go, but the one thing I can say is that I am glad I didn't overthink my decision to start a business, because if I had realised just how much hard work it is I probably wouldn't have done it.  Sometimes it is better to follow your instinct and go for it!'

What are some challenges you faced when starting up the business?

One of the challenges I am still learning to deal with is not being able to ‘switch off’ from work mode. I am always thinking about the classes, the people or the business. I have learnt that a business owner never really stops working.

As any working parent knows, it is a constant struggle balancing home and work, and as a mum, I never know if I’m getting it right. One of the main reasons I have managed to grow Yoga Plus is the family support- without it I would not be able to give the business as much of my time and energy as I have. Make sure you have the support of your family. Without it, you will feel like you are on your own.

What is the best thing about being a small business owner?

Working for myself, knowing that ultimately I am responsible for any success or failure. I never considered myself a creative person, but the business has given me my creative outlet and I feel like I am able to tap into that creativity on a daily basis.

I also love the freedom to set my own working hours. Every day is different, and I can honestly say that I wake up every morning excited to be getting out of bed and working in/on the studio.

Best success moment?

Making the move from a small community hall to our beautiful studio has been the most significant event in our growth. I still have to pinch myself at times, it still feels like a dream.

In 2013 Yoga Plus was awarded City of Casey’s Health, Education and Wellbeing Business of the Year, as well as the Judges’ Choice Award.  That was a huge honour and thrill for all of us.

The result

Yoga Plus has grown out of Andi’s hobby of teaching yoga which she pursued to de-stress from her busy job as a pharmacist and is now one of the fastest growing yoga studios in Melbourne – proving hard work and a genuine passion is a force to be reckoned with.