East of Eden
We’re Abby and Naomi, and we created East of Eden as a Walthamstow based yoga and Pilates studio, mixing a friendly, local feel with excellent teaching. We’re now seeking funding to expand what we do.
In March 2015, we launched our 25-mat space in a cobbled mews a few minutes walk from Walthamstow Central station and the new 9-screen Empire cinema. E17 is an area experiencing change and, as one of few yoga studio in the area at a time when we believe wellness is very much a topic of the moment, we’re confident we’ll continue to grow and succeed.
This funding will help us expand our offering - phase 1 would include a dedicated reformer Pilates studio and a 40 mat Pilates and yoga studio with changing rooms/showers. In the future, we would like to add a hot yoga studio, cafe, creche and art space and open more studios outside of Walthamstow and London. We also have a unique and innovative idea around music and yoga which would take the brand outside of the borough and possibly even the UK.
We think yoga and Pilates can benefit everyone from new mums to busy City workers. Our timetable caters for all, from beginners to experts, those who prefer silence and those who love our self curated playlists and DJ mixes. We believe we are the first to market in E17, and we’ve seen great success in only a few months, with booked-out classes and truly positive feedback. Walthamstow is a hub and we believe we can continue to grow by attracting people into the borough with the best teachers, events and workshops.
East of Eden is a community studio with a heart, and we want to spread our love of yoga and Pilates. We’ve enjoyed raising money for Nepal with donation-only classes and running free open-air sessions at Walthamstow Garden Party.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Our first 25-mat studio opened in March 2015 and, in the first month, we sold 25 x 6 month memberships, 32 x 10 class packs and 35 x 5 class packs, 153 x pre bookable drop-ins and 60 x cash drop-ins (£13,302 turnover).
In the first 4 months, we generated £37,650 in revenue against £26,241 in costs.
We have 800 names on our email database, 1300 followers on twitter and over 820 likes on facebook.
We have had press coverage in the Evening Standard, Waltham Forest News, in Stella Creasy's Working for Walthamstow Newsletter, in Yoga Magazine, Glotime.tv and The London Economist.
Since then, we've agreed terms on the second studio (a beautiful, light filled, double height studio next door) and we have a supportive landlord. We have achieved planning on Studio 1 and we believe that as we have precedent now, we will be successful in achieving planning approval for Studio 2. The application is currently in with Waltham Forest planning department.
1. Sales of drop-in classes, class packs and memberships. In the first 4 months, we generated £37,650 in revenue against £26,241 in costs. Prices for reformer classes would be higher than for yoga or mat based Pilates and so profit margins are higher.
2. We have also started a weekend workshops programme. We charge £24 for a 2 hour workshop and £35 for a 3 hour workshop which means up to £1400 turnover in a few hours once we have a bigger studio with space for up to 40. With this studio, we can pull in teachers who have the name and experience to pull students in from all over London. We have already hosted Stewart Gilchrist, one of London's leading yoga teachers for a 3 hour workshop for 30 people in June and he will be at the studio again on September 26th.
3. In the longer term, once the studio name is established, we will run teacher training courses, prices for which tend to run at around £3000 per student.
4. We also aim develop ancillary revenue streams in the form of events, selling yoga mixes via iTunes and physical, streaming revenue from Spotify and merchandising.
5. We also plan subsequent expansion in the future, taking the idea of a community focused, yet completely credible yoga and Pilates studio outside of London.
Use of proceeds
1. Fitting out Studio 2 to create a large yoga studio for 40 mats, building changing rooms and showers, a reception area and office space.
2. Purchasing 8 Allegro reformer machines and supporting equipment for the dedicated Pilates studio which will occupy Studio 1 once we open Studio 2.
3. Supporting development of the yoga/music idea and additional ancillary revenue streams.
People within Walthamstow itself but also yoga and Pilates lovers from further afield. We have a strong presence on social media already and a database of 800 names. We have found that we are already attracting people from outside Walthamstow and as we continue to add great teachers to our schedule, we expect this to continue. The studio is 5 minutes walk from Walthamstow Central which connects you with Kings Cross in 15 mins, Oxford Circus in 20 mins and Liverpool St in 18 mins. East of Eden is also a studio on Class Pass, a new catch-all fitness membership pass and this is bringing in students from outside the borough.
Walthamstow is changing fast and has been referenced in the Telegraph, Evening Standard, Financial Times and Guardian in the last 12 months as an up and coming area of London. House prices have seen 30% growth over the last 3 years and many new businesses opening, from High St names to small independents. We are not currently aware of another studio in Walthamstow although we have found the demand is high.
Characteristics of target market
Yoga and Pilates are booming – in the US, seeing 2.8% YoY growth and a $7bn industry.
In the UK, £763m generated by yoga and pilates.
83k adults in Walthamstow, nearly 40k households (NS Database 2013).
45,002 ABC1 in Walthamstow of which approx 70% between 25 and 50*.
Survey conducted (May 2014) among 160 people aged between 25 and 54 living in Walthamstow.
Of these, 98% said they were very or quite interested in Yoga/Pilates with more than half having never tried it before.
80% of respondents said they would be likely to go to a yoga/pilates class in Walthamstow.
Over 60% of respondents would walk for 20 minutes or more to attend a class.
Mat based pilates (64%), Ashtanga (40%), Hatha (36%) , Vinyasa Flow (31%) and reformer pilates (34%) were the most popular disciplines.
Build and sustain traffic volumes to edeneast.com website.
Drive brand awareness across target 25-50 yr old audience (skewed female however ultimately gender neutral).
Think of brand values in all marketing - accessible, local, innovative, fun and culturally relevant however also operating with integrity.
Create, build and engage a community around our brand via social media - We have a strong presence on social media: 1300 Twitter followers, 820 Facebook fans and 800 email database.
Sustain consumer engagement across all relevant channels.
Capture & divert search traffic around lifestyle, yoga, pilates and Walthamstow general themes - Currently running a SEM campaign with google which we will tailor as we move forwards.
Maximise email open rates and associated click through rate website through effective email targeting - currently averaging 60.6% open rate.
Maximise data capture opportunities via brand website.
Maximise use of discount offers, social and press partnerships to drive initial footfall - currently on Class Pass and My Yoga London.
Develop strong launch PR via press contacts, local and London-wide. We have a PR executive working with us who has already secured press in Yoga Magazine and several other titles. We have also had coverage in the Evening Standard and the Waltham Forest News.
Naomi Costantino also writes for Womens Fitness, We Heart Living and the Numinous among others and we are also developing video content for We Heart Living which will be used as a vehicle to promote the studio.
The only other studio offering yoga and Pilates classes in Walthamstow currently is Healthworks which has space for only 4 mats and mainly focuses on holistic therapies.
There are also ad hoc yoga and pilates classes in community spaces weekday evenings plus yoga available at the YMCA gym and The Mill, a community space in the Coppermill area.
The YMCA and council gyms have a creche but we do not believe there are other creche facilities in the borough.
Competitors further afield:
Stretch, Hackney – classes cost upwards of £12 for drop-in.
Life Centre Islington – classes cost from £14 for drop-in.
Frame Shoreditch (http://www.moveyourframe.com/) - Drop-in from £15.
Tempo Pilates – drop-in from £24. Good mix of music with teaching
Yoga On The Lane, Dalston – drop-in from £10.
Leyton Yoga – Small space above a shop on Leyton High Road. Drop-in from £10.