zł4,662.00raised of zł60,000.00 goal goal
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Who are we?
Marta opened the first and still the only Bikram Hot Yoga Warszawa in November 2013. Our base of practitioners grew slowly but steadily for the first 3 years, and has brought health, balance and joy to over 7,000 people, almost all of them new to hot yoga.
Marta has always worked hard for her community of practitioners, keeping the costs to them as low as possible, showing up every day with her smiling, happy face and spreading the word about bikram yoga and its benefits.
In that time, studio has added four teachers, and courses in Hot Pilates and Hot Vinyasa.
Now, however, Bikram Hot Yoga Warszawa needs your financial support for the studio to continue.
Why do we need your help?
For the first 3 years, the studio was able to stay afloat through Marta’s hard work and the financial support of an investor. The investor helped to cover the running costs of the studio, lending it 10 0,000 PLN total over the course of those 3 years.
Things appeared to be turning a corner in 2018 - the number of yogis, both new and regular clients - began to grow when a stunning row of completely lousy things happened.
Lousy thing #1: The first was that the neighbor made a complaint to the city building inspection claiming that - yes, its true - the studio was ‘too loud.’ Even though the complaint was clearly bonkers and motivated by something else (c’mon, a loud yoga studio?), Marta was forced to go through the process of proving to the city that the studio was up to code.
This required hiring an architect to provide plans to the city, as well as a lawyer. That cost the studio 15,000 PLN . The inspection showed everything was in order, small improvements were made to meet the standards.
Just as important as the cost is that the process took two years to complete. The only good thing to come out of that is that Marta now knows she has perhaps the only fully legal yoga studio in Poland.
During the legal battle with the neighbor and the city, the studio was under constant threat of closure, though it was able to remain open.
Lousy thing #2: Just when it looked like the battle is over and the studio was in the clear, the pandemic hit. In person classes were forbidden by law for three months. In response, studio delivered online classes throughout the lockdown, but most passes were frozen. Throughout this time, the studio had to pay rent for its space with almost no income. This represented 60,000 PLN loss.
When the studio was finally allowed to reopen, the restrictions in place made it financially unviable for Bikram Yoga Warszawa to remain in the large space that it had. With amazing luck, Marta found a new space with low rent and studio reopened in the new location in June 2020. It again needed some investment to relocate and architects work to draw plans to bring the new space up to legal standards to the cost of about 10 000 zł. The studio remained open in the new, temporary location and provided lessons to all our customers, who missed hot classes.
Due to covid restrictions and city office clerks working part time the city didn't get all required paperwork done in time for the studio to stay and continue in the new location.
At the same time the landlords of our original studio came back with an offer to reopen in our old space. That was great news! We were slowly emerging from the worst phase of pandemic, people were getting vaccinated and the demand for classes was increasing.
Lousy thing #3: However to get back we had to once again make improvements and adjust the studio to new legal requirements that changed in lockdown. We made a new bathroom for disabled persons (15 000 zł), new changing rooms ventilation with an new ventilator on the roof (15 000 zł). We had to install silencers in our yoga room (5 000 zł) etc. It cost money but we were back in our studio! People came back and things once again looked good.
The worst ever thing #4: And then the war in Ukraine started. That plus inflation, put a scare into people and as a result, our attendance dropped by almost 80 %. Our regular customers almost all disappeared in March. March and April are usually the time when the studio earns enough to survive the summer slump and cover rent. As a result of the war, the drop in attendance (not to mention the gigantic increase in electricity costs – 3,000 PLN for this July alone) this financial cushion doesn’t exist... And we not only have to cover the rent but insulate the studio for winter and possible energy price hike caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine.
We know for sure that we are important to our customers, we have heard countless times how bikram yoga practice helps you cure back pains, insomnia, recover from sports injuries, fight obesity etc. During the refugee influx in February and March we had lots of people from Ukraine, mostly practising for free, telling us how this practice helped alleviate stress and anxiety.
We now mostly survive thanks to the new customers, which is amazing as for the time of pandemic we postponed advertising and singing in new customers due to the lack of space in our temporary location. We focused on keeping the regular practitioners . The number of new, mostly young and enthusiastic people in the studio gives us hope and strength to once again fight for it and remain open. It is almost like rebuilding the studio from a new. It costs money which was depleted in pandemic and left us in debt.
If you’ve been keeping track of the losses since 2018 when the fight with the city began, the total is 120,000 PLN. Because we believe that we are rounding a corner and in the hopes that we can maintain the community that we have built up over the past 8 years, we are asking for your support to get through this difficult time. Our goal is to raise half of what we’ve lost – 60,000 PLN. Every little bit helps. Thanks so much for your time and care.
- Marta Hodgdon
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