Miriam Frost and Stellar Yoga: A story of passion, purpose and profit
By Anita Ward, President, Operation HOPE, Inc.
Miriam Frost defies conventional definition. She’s a New Yorker who delivers calm, a mother of two boys who exudes an inner peace, and a former manager of corporate customers who knows nothing but empathy. Miriam Frost is a peaceful soul in a world filled with rage – a light at the end of the day.
Born in New York City, Miriam developed much of her career in the financial services industry working for Fortune 500 companies where she managed customers, relationships and merchants. She raised her two boys (both football stars) in Charlotte, North Carolina before landing a position with First Data in Atlanta. With a passion for fitness, and the ability to multi-task, she managed fitness centers, gyms and studios at nights and on weekends while working a corporate job.
Miriam loved teaching and motivating people to achieve their fitness goals, but something was missing. Searching for answers, she landed in a hot yoga studio. There she witnessed 100 people in identical rows, balanced and posed, leaning into their sense of self and finding peace. This was a world of encouragement focused on goodness and patience. Here time was on hold. The madness gave way to meditation, and stress yielded to the deep stretch of longing muscles. She was hooked by the warmth, the spirit, and the meaning of the yoga experience.
That night Miriam committed to opening her own yoga studio, and in May 2017 she retired from her corporate job and got the keys to her 1475 square foot Vinings studio. Stellar Power Yoga was born. The instruction combines mostly vinyasa style yoga and Bikram yoga into a class that adheres to the practice but accommodates the students. Miriam sees her studio as offering more than just yoga. Stellar Yoga is a community of open-minded, judgment-free, and supportive people.
Miriam encourages other entrepreneurs, “if you have the opportunity, don’t let it pass.”
There is a courageous spirit in her heart – a fearlessness that can only result from strong passion, self-confidence and love.
Not surprisingly, Miriam followed her own path to entrepreneurism, and her lessons are invaluable. One important strategy she leveraged was bartering. An entrepreneur needs to be creative in how she deals with suppliers, and even staff. Miriam worked to negotiate deals that favored her and the suppliers – a win-win strategy. She trades classes for website support, newsletter production, social media, and even instructors. She cautions entrepreneurs that when they are bartering to be sure to evaluate the supplier carefully and ensure the other party is legit. “Don’t let your guard down just because money is not being used.”
Miriam used bartering with staff to get started. She brought on three instructors as “partner associates”. Each contributed $1,000 to the company in exchange for a 3% return on their investment. Associates are more than investors and teachers. They are also management sounding boards delivering program and student feedback. With this strategy Miriam not only solved her instructor issues, she also generated investment capital.
In addition to bartering, Miriam leverages free services to gain traction – Facebook, Twitter, website promotions, and ultimately word of mouth advertising to get her messages out. She understands her community and keeps focused on the local opportunities. Importantly, she keeps her studio accessible and supportive of the community. Each month she offers a class to raise money for charity. The studio had a campaign for the homeless, a toy drive for the holidays, and raised money for Alzheimer’s when they learned that a student’s parent was suffering from the disease.
Another unique capital strategy Miriam employed was a pre-membership program. While building out the studio, Miriam went to market with membership opportunities. She priced them in increments that people could afford: 3 months for $300, 6 months for $600, and 12 months for $1,000. Before the studio doors even opened, Miriam received $15,000 in memberships. This was her start-up capital allowing her to open debt-free.
To refine her business plan, Miriam attended the Operation HOPE Entrepreneur Training Program. For 15 weeks she worked with mentors and other entrepreneurs to better define her markets, pricing and growth plans. She finished at the top of the class and was recognized as the “Outstanding Entrepreneur”. Miriam will be participating in the HOPE Global Forum on May 30, 2019 where she will share her story and her success. In 2018 she had a record year for revenue and growth.
Miriam shares her words of wisdom for entrepreneurs.
Find your purpose.
Be a humanitarian.
Be an earth angel and bless other people.
Don’t do it to look good. Do good when no one is looking.
Start slow and do the work yourself first.
When you prosper, be sure to help others prosper.
Miriam has created a judgment-free world – one of inner balance and a quality of life filled with positive energy. Welcome to her passion, her brainchild and her expanding new business – Stellar Yoga.
Visit Miriam, her staff and her community at Stellar Yoga River Village Shopping Center, 3300 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30339. www.stellar-poweryoga.com