We had the good fortune of connecting with Lara Estrada and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lara, what’s your definition for success?
Success is having the freedom to do the things that you want to do. I’ve felt successful when I realized that I truly love all aspects of my business, and none of it was “busy work” or out of obligation. I’ve felt successful in knowing that my work and business supports my ability to travel and dictate my own schedule.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My yoga studio, Yoga Bliss, is a labor of love. What I really love about Yoga Bliss is that it’s a genuine community that welcomes all levels of practitioners. I am proud to celebrate diversity in our community, both in the people who come to practice, and in our wonderful lineup of instructors. I wouldn’t say that it was easy to open a yoga studio, but I did find guidance and support all along the way. When I was getting closer to opening my studio, I reached out to a lot of other studio owners, and they provided so much helpful insight and were very encouraging! I love that about the yoga community– the willingness to help out. One of the biggest challenges when starting a new business is the initial financial investment. It can be very daunting to consider expenses like building out a space, a lease deposit, equipment, furniture, and the list goes on… When I first started out, I kept my office job for a little over a year while the business was growing. It was a very busy time of my life, and sometimes I wonder how I kept my energy up! This was time and energy I put in to build a solid foundation for the business. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, including: – Ask for help from others when you need it. – Be clear, concise, and kind in communications with staff and clientele. – Have fun in your work and others will be drawn to you!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the things I love about LA is that it’s such a big city! I live in the South Bay and hardly venture out of this bubble. If my best friend came into town, I would look up a new restaurant in a different area of LA and make an adventure to explore! We would also have to do something outdoors. I like bringing people to Playa Del Rey for a mellow beach experience. Or walking on The Strand in Manhattan Beach and looking at all the huge houses. We would also go hiking somewhere in Palos Verdes to see awesome ocean views and hopefully dolphins. Another thing I love to do with close friends is bring them to Natura Spa, a quaint Korean spa in Koreatown. I always recommend getting a body scrub here, and enjoy sitting in the steam room or heated rooms for a good detox! We would likely also visit some of my favorite coffee shops — Blue Butterfly or Two Guns!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my parents! They have always encouraged me to do what makes me happy, and supported me in taking chances on the things that mean a lot to me. I would also like to give a shoutout to Keary Bixby (owner of Playa Pilates and former owner of Yoga Vista.) She has always offered helpful advice based on her experience of owning fitness businesses for many years!
Daniel Mai, Lara Estrada