Kerry Tice, owner of Circusoul Yoga had been a performer for most of his life. After his daughter was born, Kerry experienced a back injury that would change everything. It was then that he discovered the transformative power of yoga and realized how naturally it could blend with his work in the aerial arts.
“I realized I had something even bigger than at the beginning, and I had an intuition it was going to be something really big and really powerful and very,very healing.”
Kerry felt motivated to do more productions, bu this path took a different turn when he began selling Groupons for his new program and sold nearly 1,000 of them. It was a pivotal moment that would lead to the massive growth of Circusoul yoga.
He then made his own aerial hammock, and it wasn’t long before Kerry had brought in enough revenue to buy the materials to make another and another and another! Hundreds of hammocks were sold worldwide,and after several months of conducting classes in Kerry’s backyard, he had raised the funds to open a facility.
“It was truly a start from nothing and a really powerful belief in what we were doing.“It’s definitely been an incredible journey, and not the one I expected to have.”
Kerry has put a lot of energy, heart, soul.sweat, and tears into the business and knew a recurring model was essential for long-term success. To do this Circusoul Yoga has redone all their pricing and memberships to evaluate what makes a studio profitable and able to grow. In the process Kerry’s realized that sometimes the things that made the studio unique also made them vulnerable, so he’s been able to use other’s expertise to help leverage and grow the studio in a sustainable way.
Kerry’s combination of good foresight and ability to stay ahead of the trend is what allowed Circusoul Yoga to be the successful,thriving business it is today.
“Circusoul Yoga has really become part of the community where people know it’s a safe place, and where like-minded individuals congregate. We’re on the same wavelength and when we are able to do that, the connection is stronger, and everyone’s got the feels—even the teachers.”
Circusoul Yoga has a very unique challenge because of their unique business model, there’s no blueprint to follow in the fitness industry. Much of the business growth has been a result of exploration!For Kerry, this means a lot of guesswork and trial phases.
“People who’ve already done Aerial Yoga know they love it, but we’re looking to get into that demographic who hasn’t done it yet. It’s been such an interesting journey, and such a big challenge, but it also continues to be so rewarding.”
The impact of COVID in 2020 has been a noticeable one for Circusoul, just as it has been for every studio fitness business, but Kerry has a positive outlook on it all. The first six months were tough, but Kerry is quite adept at being creative and working quickly to pivot.
As things begin to open back up in Florida, the studio has become a hybrid of learning,and is running at 70-80% capacity. Most classes also offer a live stream, and Circucoul has even created a membership benefit allowing access to unlimited virtual classes. If things do change, and they have to close up, Kerry says they’re more prepared now than they’ve ever been.
“What we’re seeing is that people are coming back more grateful than ever that they can practice, and it’s the thing I love about Yoga: the connection and the community, and it’s so much better when we’re able to do that in person. So it’s been great to see people come back in. I’ve been seeing new people at the studio, and I’ve been seeing a lot of people I haven’t seen in months, so people are coming back and are excited to get back to their yoga.”
Kerry has had his fair share of experience with studio management softwares. He’s seen them be “a complicated mess with constant new features but no sense making or user-friendly presentation.” For someone who manages a busy studio, it’s essential that the software be able to move quickly with an efficient design.
At Circusoul, usability on the backend was essential. (Kerry didn’t just want his software to look pretty!) fitDEGREE has provided him with software that’s more simplified and graphic than options he’s used in the past, making the entire user experience more clear.
But one of Kerry’s favorite parts of fitDEGREE is the ability to integrate marketing emails and Facebook campaigns by getting direct links for a workshop or specific event and sending them directly and quickly.
Although Kerry has looked at downsizing and going virtual, he keeps coming back to his love of community gathering in one place,something that wouldn’t be possible if Circusoul didn’t have a physical location. For Kerry his physical location is going to be the backbone of expansion as he looks to spend some time in different locations across the globe.
“My long term goal is to be spending most of my time out of the country taking people to awesome places, and to be able to open up a retreat center in Thailand. I had a life-changing experience going there, and I think it should be required to go.It’s a place with such different energy and the culture is so different. That’s what I really want to continue doing, sharing experiences with people, taking people to these spiritual places and letting it — letting the yoga — open up their hearts.”