1 Gutsy Gal – Bold Business During COVID-19

Celebrating 1 gutsy gal during National Yoga Month

Effervescence Yoga Spa (EYS) owner, Brittney Hiller is no stranger to adversity. Operating an award-winning yoga studio (Winner ESPB 2018 & 2019 Beaufort’s Best Yoga Studio and Winner Island News Favorite Yoga Studio 2018) in the lowcountry means being ready to prepare her business for closure each year for evacuation during hurricane season from June through November.

When COVID-19 numbers in the US increased in the spring of 2020, the Governor of South Carolina ordered small businesses like Brittney’s to shutter from March to May when the order was lifted for “non-essential” businesses to reopen under strict guidelines.

Before the order was lifted, I watched her pivot to online yoga classes and educational courses, partnering with studios across the globe to bring a variety of virtual options to her students. Eventually, after stay-at-home orders were lifted, keenly taking advantage of balmy mornings in local parks, she offered spatially distanced yoga under canopies of Live Oaks.

While dealing with all the constricting rules and regulations of COVID-19 and painstakingly planning if/when to reopen her studio, an opportunity arose for Brittney to move her shuttered yoga studio down the street to the location of her dreams – a historic, waterfront building with an open and airy upper level lined with windows and a view of Battery Creek.

I asked Brittney to share her COVID-19 success story with me.

Q&A

  1. What prompted your business move/expansion at this time/during COVID-19? Was it part of your long term strategic plan or spurred by opportunity? Combo?

A combination. I definitely had the vision to expand and considered how to do so in the prior location. With the impact of COVID and social distancing, it was difficult to hold indoor classes, and the ventilation was not good. A military spouse friend was relocating and vacating her space. I went to patronize her business before she left, and we struck up a conversation about the suite which was a more spa-like space.

  1. Statement about the importance of health/self-care, especially during COVID-19.

I found especially during quarantine my self-care practice of yoga beneficial for a balanced mood, sanity. Speaking to others about maintaining their yoga practice helped them to feel less depressed, better able to deal with the confinement and restrictions, and less movement due to being indoors. I moved classes online quickly and kept a connection through the virtual studio. A self-care practice is a necessity for both mental and physical wellbeing.

  1. Best business advice you have ever received.

Most recently, the best business advice came from a documentary – keep the main thing, the main thing. This was important advice for me as a visionary. If it isn’t in line with the current mission of EYS which is yoga/spa, of benefit to the business and customers then let it go. Before owning a brick & mortar business, I said yes to everything and ended up chasing my tail. This advice helps ensure structure and concentration on present goals.

Bonus: Favorite quote?

Because of my wanderlust personality and the daughter of a U.S. Marine Corps dad…

“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” -Harun Yahya

A description of your business.

Effervescence Yoga Spa is a yoga spa. A Yoga Studio and Spa hybrid offering yoga classes, private yoga lessons, massage therapy, and spa services such as dry brushing, meditation, and Reiki.