Meet your Merchant… Margaret Strom, Mountain Moon Yoga
Mountain Moon Yoga, downtown Winter Park in upstairs courtyard at Winter Park Station
How long have you been in business? 17 years
How did you get started? We started as the Grand County Yoga Co-op in 1996 and I took it over in 2002 at our current location.
Business mission statement: Mountain Moon Yoga is dedicated to providing a high altitude experience connecting the body, mind and spirit.
Success in the mission: Since a very small percentage of businesses make it to 10 years; our 17 years of experience have shared the gift of yoga with many. People who try yoga learn how amazing they feel – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Challenges to the mission: Our small population base and confusion about yoga – people think they can’t practice because too stiff, too fat, too thin, not strong enough, against their religion, etc. Every one of any size, shape and religion can practice yoga!
How do you cope with Grand County’s seasonal surges? After 17 years in this business, I have learned you have to deliver a good, consistent product no matter what is going on locally, globally, with the weather, the season, etc.
What do you think is the biggest business barrier in Grand County? The small population base and lack of commitment by people.
What do you think is your biggest business barrier on a state and/or national level? Yoga being accepted by all insurance companies.
What can government here do to help? Provide vouchers for their employees to attend classes as part of their wellness program.
How does your business give back to the community? Weekly donation classes have contributed thousands of dollars to local nonprofits. Additionally, MMY donates hundreds of dollars a year to local nonprofits’ fundraisers.
Give examples of how you are environmentally responsible: When we remodel we use green products – cork floor, non toxic adhesives, no VOC paints; MMY uses recycled paper products in the studio, in the office and in all the marketing; CFL bulbs when replaced.
How do you support other local businesses? There will be times with my schedule that I don’t leave the county for months! So a high percentage of my income is spent in county – for gas, groceries, banking, post office, restaurants, gifts, recreation, medical, grooming and other body work.
How do you feel about direct competition? The most important thing is that people discover the gift of yoga and all of its benefits in a safe, professional manner.
How do you market yourself? Word of mouth, website/eblasts, Chamber member, social media, brochures, Sky-Hi News.
What’s the main thing you have you learned in your years in business? To ride with the ebbs and flows.
Where do you go for help when you need it? Other colleagues in the business, friends that own businesses, Chamber of Commerce
Who is your biggest business influence/mentor? My mother owned a retail shop in Michigan for 20 years.
What do you think is the most significant economic driver in Grand County? Tourism
If you could go back in time and start up your business venture all over again, what would you do differently? Would not do it differently.
What’s the best compliment you received from a client/customer/guest? “This class has changed my life – I have tried many other body work practices from Western Medicine to Alternative therapies and never found so much benefit.”
What do you consider to be your biggest mistake in business? I work too much.
What organization(s) is (are) most useful to business owners? Chamber of Commerce, national professional organization
How much of a role does technology play in your business? Similar to other businesses, people use their phone/computer to find a yoga or fitness class.
What are the technology challenges in your business? The social media presence required to be viable now requires a lot of time and money.
What’s the general key to making a customer/client/guest happy? Deliver a consistent product in a pleasant, honest way.
Is there any certain trend you’ve noticed in consumer habits lately? Making a commitment at the last minute.
What are some tricks such as signs or window displays that you’ve noticed work in attracting customers to your front door? Offering something free – classes, events, food! And having current brochures of classes/events in a box on the door.
What are some ways to keep up staff morale? Provide them the necessary tools to do their job well.
If you could give advice to a young entrepreneur, what would it be? Love what you start because you become “married” to it!
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