Stories and advice from some incredible women in wellness.
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Somewhere between rebranding her studio, teaching classes, and enjoying a good glass of Cabernet, Ashley Yandle has become much more than just a business owner. Yes, running Studio Lifted (formerly Ashley Lane Fitness) is her number one priority, but as a motivating force to her crew—also known as her family—an inspiration to her students, and an advocate for her community, she represents something greater: what a woman can achieve when she embraces evolution and puts her mind (and yoga pants) to it.
Continually hands-on in the fitness and wellness space, Ashley has her finger on the pulse of the industry. “It’s becoming integrated into everyone’s lives. Fitness has found a new and exciting way to break into all these different types of industries and businesses,” she says. “Fitness is more fun now than ever.”
As we embark on a new year with new goals, we sat down with Ashley to discuss her real-life lessons and tips on how we can stay honest to our intentions and take 2018 to the next level.
1. Make It a Social Thing
OK, we like friends!
“Fitness is evolving into something even more social,” says Ashley. “Classes are replacing happy hour. Attend fitness events. Group classes. And bring a friend. By integrating these types of socially-based fitness experiences, you will be more likely to stick to your goals and have a good time while doing it!”
2. Map It Out
Be a goal getter.
“The key to a lifestyle change is to have a plan. Create a roadmap. The map should illustrate attainable goals. Having goals in your roadmap is the best thing you can do when trying something new or conquering something you failed at,” says Ashley. “Who wants to fail for a whole month? Make it about small wins. Weekly wins. Daily wins. Your roadmap should show something that is attainable in a short period of time, giving you measurable victories. And it’s really important to give yourself a non-food related reward for hitting those victories—like new fitness gear.”
3. All About Accountability
Get a buddy.
“When you are setting goals, find someone who is serious about doing it with you. An accountability partner. Figure out what you both want,” says Ashley. “By setting smart goals you can hold yourself—and your partner—accountable and make it past February!”
4. Define What You Want
You’ve got this!
“When you are trying to task yourself with a huge goal, like ‘I’m going to get healthy,’ that’s really big. It can seem daunting and impossible,” says Ashley. “What does ‘healthy’ mean? Eight hours of sleep? Run a five-minute mile? For every person it’s different. You need to define what your goal means to you and how you want to achieve it through small, realistic steps that you can be held accountable for.”
5. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
“When you set this unrealistic expectation around the idea of perfect and hitting these ‘perfect’ goals, it can lead to defeat,” says Ashley. “Personally, it’s hard for me not to do things perfectly. I had to learn to let other people help me.
6. Remember to Start Small
Personal attention can get you moving.
“Starting at a small studio is key. If you have never tried something or are beginning something new, getting proper attention is important,” says Ashley. “There a many ways you can try different studios and book individual classes to see if it’s the right fit for you. And remember to ask the studio for help! Call ahead or come in early before class.We (studio staff and owners) want to make sure you enjoy your experience, so you are comfortable. Going to a new studio or walking into a new class can be awkward, and we want to lessen that feeling for you.”
7. Sometimes You Need a Total Restart
It’s not always easy to press the reset button.
“Ashley Lane Fitness was me. But the studio became its own thing. It became bigger than me. I had to reflect on that. That’s when Studio Lifted was born out of a collective effort. I not only rebranded my business... I did a rebrand on myself,” says Ashley. “When you decide to do a rebrand, a restart, it’s a huge step and a truly humbling experience because you put your whole heart into what you are changing—whether it’s yourself or something greater. It’s a total re-do. Prepare to regroup numerous times. You must feel confident. It’s hard work, but you’ll feel liberated and excited!”
8. The Good Stuff Takes Time
Big things don’t happen overnight.
“Whatever you are working for and on can be a daily struggle. A daily give and take. It takes patience,” says Ashley. “Trial and error is part of hitting your goals. You’ll have to adjust, remember that. Regrouping doesn't mean failure. But when you achieve what you are striving for, it’s the most rewarding experience.”
9. It’s a Balancing Act
Real talk: what about those guilty pleasures?
“It’s OK to have guilty pleasures! In moderation of course,” says Ashley. “I am a huge wine fan. Workout then wine. We’ll go for a hike and meet up for wine. It’s all about balance. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great meal, but a very nice Cabernet is my go-to.”
10. Making a Mantra
Everyone needs a theme song, right?
“'Take a breath and enjoy the moment’ is my mantra for 2018,” says Ashley. “My playlist? It’s all about that Taylor Swift and Tom Petty. And my hashtag? #makingithappen.”
...we can get behind that.
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.