These days yoga is all the rage. Adults stream into studios to learn poses like downward facing dog, triangle and dancer. But what about yoga for children?
That’s where Robyn Parets comes in. She saw a void in the market for both children’s yoga classes and training courses to prepare adults to effectively teach kids yoga. To address these needs, Robyn launched Pretzel Kids in 2005.
Since then, Boston-based Pretzel Kids has grown and evolved, carving out a niche as an all-encompassing children’s yoga brand and kids yoga teacher training school.
“The demand for our programs was there, but not the tools” said Robyn, also an adult yoga teacher.
“Yoga classes that work for adults don’t work for kids, so this inspired me to develop an effective and structured curriculum,” said Robyn, who knew the expanding yoga market was also ripe for kids classes.
“Based on our proven teaching methodology, we began offering Pretzel Kids classes for ages three to 17, as well as certification courses for adults,” said Robyn, whose children were in kindergarten and third grade when she first introduced Pretzel Kids.
Pretzel Kids is not Robyn’s first entrepreneurial venture. She initially taught Pretzel Kids classes and teacher trainings at Breathe Joy Yoga, a yoga center that she opened in suburban Boston in 2004 and sold in 2016. With a growing demand from people who wanted to teach children’s yoga, Robyn launched the Pretzel Kids online teacher training school in early 2016. She also runs weekend Pretzel Kids teacher training courses, as well as workshops for teachers, fitness professional, therapists and parents. In addition to the trainings, Pretzel Kids runs yoga classes, events and birthday parties for children and teens.
Running a business – or two – isn’t easy. To help her out, Robyn draws on her own experiences, as well as those of other business owners. In fact, in her other career as a content marketing writer,financial journalist and editor, Robyn has interviewed numerous CEOs and founders of start-ups over the years. Here are some of her top tips.
The first thing she does is wake up early. If possible, she gets up at the same time every morning.
“I like to dedicate the first hour of my day to answering any emails that need to be addressed right away and updating social media feeds for the business. This focused time helps me dive into the rest of my day.”
She also stays focused by taking frequent breaks throughout the day. Sometimes this means running out for a cup of coffee or even just taking a walk around the block.
“It’s important to break up your work day because it’s hard for most of us to work for even a solid six hour stretch during a day.”
Finding the Right Business Structure
Before launching her online Pretzel Kids yoga teacher training courses, Robyn thought long and hard about her business structure. She eventually decided to merge Pretzel Kids and her content writing business under one entity, a limited liability corporation called The Write Move LLC. Because her business encompasses both her content projects, as well as Pretzel Kids and her other yoga endeavors, this structure made more sense than forming two businesses. Plus, the one LLC offers both the legal protections and tax advantages that she was looking for.
Because every company is different, Robyn advises entrepreneurs and small business owners to work with a financial advisor or accountant to determine the best business structure for their specific needs.
Finding The Right Name
The name “Pretzel Kids” was the first name that came into Robyn’s mind when she was asked if she had a name for her very first children’s yoga class.
“It was the first thing that popped in my head and it worked,” she said.
Although the process for coming up with her brand name was spontaneous, Robyn still had to do her homework to make sure Pretzel Kids wasn’t a name already in use. She was lucky. The name was available and she then went ahead and secured the U.S. Federal trademark for the name, as well as the domain name for her website.
If you’re starting a new company, she recommends ensuring that the trademark and domain are available before marketing the business. This way you’ll hopefully avoid legal troubles down the line. For starters, she suggests a comprehensive Google search to see if any other businesses in your field are already using your selected name. From there, it’s a good idea to check state and federal trademark databases. Lastly, she recommends meeting with a trademark attorney.
Using Your Unique Talents to Stand Out
Robyn uses her talents as a writer and content marketing specialist to help Pretzel Kids trained instructors market their kids yoga businesses and classes. She does this by offering up educational content through the Pretzel Kids blog, a marketing course on her courseware site, and her newly launched coaching and business building program. The coaching program gives Pretzel Kids teachers a featured page on the website, as well as individual coaching and social media support to help them grow their own classes in the competitive yoga space, said Robyn.
In addition to these marketing tools and resources, Pretzel Kids teachers can use branded marketing materials to launch their own businesses, including Pretzel Kids glossy brochures.
“Our marketing and business building services are yet another factor that sets Pretzel Kids apart,” she said.
As Robyn has learned, no matter what industry you want to go into, it’s important to play up your unique skills. You never know how your other talents will help you out in the long run. They may help you build an empire.