Planning & Reminiscing

This past week was really tough. I had 7 days of jury duty, plus Yoga-urt, plus my job. Exhausting. Luckily, jury duty is over and I can get back to my normal crazy life!

I’m spending a lot of time planning for our 1st Anniversary weekend in July, as well as planning for the Vegan Beer Fest in June. Both are super exciting for us but lots to organize so starting early. It’s all coming together though.

As I plan for the anniversary weekend, the reminiscing continues. I posted last week on social media about the improvements we did to our entryway, with the “chalk wall” and “quote wall”. Like everything, there is a story there and it starts with my  mom!

One day I was at lunch with my parents and my mom said that I needed to do something colorful and exciting with that area, to pull people in. She was mentioning a few things that didn’t click with me, but she would not let go. I was making excuses of not having enough money, etc, but she kept going. 

So I started to think about what would grab people’s attention and still work for Yoga-urt’s branding and not cost a fortune. It was tricky because at the time, the walls were beige stucco. I went back to the chalk wall idea that I always had and then after some thinking, knew that I wanted to incorporate some inspirational quotes. I love quotes, so was hoping our customers would too. I didn’t want them to be corny, but I did want them to be meaningful. I want people to be inspired when they come to Yoga-urt.

I hired a graphic artist to do many versions of what the entryway could look like, so I could see if it worked. At one time, the quotes were on both walls, the ceiling, the floor, it got a little crazy. Then we pulled back and I’m so happy with the way it turned out. The entryway did go way over budget, as all of construction did, but at the end of the day it was worth it.

The first chalk wall was the cleanest and my favorite, but we try to make each one meaningful. 

There is a story with every part of Yoga-urt and I can’t believe our 1 year anniversary is coming!

   
   

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Vegan Beer & Food Festival and Jury Duty 

It was announced this week that Yoga-urt will be at the Vegan Beer & Food Festival on June 18th. Woohoo!!! I’m very excited and also nervous as it is only our 2nd festival. Once again, we have to do scoops instead of soft serve because the health dept won’t let us bring the soft serve machine, but it seemed to work well last time. Lots to plan but so excited to be included with so many amazing restaurants!

As for jury duty, well, I think the Universe is laughing at me. It’s hard enough to juggle my full-time job with Yoga-urt, but I had to go in for jury duty this week…and I was chosen to be on a trial…as the 2nd alternate. I just missed getting released and it was a big bummer.

I want to do my civic duty, but the work needed for my day job and Yoga-urt doesn’t stop, so my juggling has to step up. Good thing I’m great at juggling, but it does get exhausting.

The judge predicts the trial might go through May 31st, so I have another week give or take. 

Acceptance and Surrender. That is what I’m turning to right now, big time. Otherwise, I just get stressed and upset, so Acceptance and Surrender it is. I have no control over the situation and the judge controls my schedule. I had to cancel an appointment with my lawyer, almost had to cancel a meeting with someone at Yoga-urt who may write a story on us, but luckily we didn’t have to go in that day. Canceled a very needed chiropractor appt. and of course, I’m missing a lot of work. However, it could be worse.

I’ve decided to make the most out of it by spending my lunches at some vegan/plantbased restaurants in Downtown LA that I’ve been wanting to check out. On Wednesday, I got to try Ramen Hood at Grand Central Market and on Friday I got to finally try Au Lac. Chef Ito has been to Yoga-urt a bunch of times, so I was really happy to finally get to go to his place. I loved it! Next week, I’m going to Shojin and hopefully a few more.

So, not sure why this was the time for me to be on a trial with so much going on, but I’m trying to go with the flow.

   

   

Getting Sentimental

It was a year ago this week, that we started construction on Yoga-urt. So hard to believe! I’m starting to get very sentimental as we head towards the 1 year anniversary. It blows my mind just thinking about it.

At this time last year, things were so crazy for me. I had met with about 5 different General Contractors, trying to find the right price and the right fit. None of them were the right price as my budget was super tight, but I still needed to make a quick decision as I felt SO MUCH PRESSURE to get the store open for as much of summer as possible.

I had narrowed it down to two, but was struggling big time about which one to go with for many reasons. Ultimately, even though I went over my budget, I know I made the right choice.
I had a great GC and I remember very clearly their first day. I was pushing so hard to start construction, and when they called to tell me they started to tear everything down, it was such a huge relief. It had started. Yoga-urt was on its way. I was SO HAPPY!!!

Walking in and seeing the previous store gone was amazing. Clean slate, but the clock was ticking. 

The construction phase was intense. I had my full-time job as well (as I still do), so the juggling was CRAZY! So many decisions had to be made. So many visits to the store and design places. So much planning in general for our opening. OMG!!! The list goes on and on.

But the end result was all worth it. I LOVE my store. It’s so beautiful to me. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s mine. So much love and thought went into every single detail. The floor, the ceiling, the counters, the lights, the doors, the graphics, the bathroom, the patio, the front, the furniture, the kitchen, the equipment, etc…

Yes, there are some things I would do differently, but overall it is perfect.

I’ll be sharing more stories about the journey to opening as we get closer to our Anniversary weekend on July 23/24!

   
   

Mother’s Day 2016

I had a great Mother’s Day with my family. We had lunch across the street and then came to Yoga-urt for dessert. I LOVE having my family there. They love our soft serve and we always have such a good time. 

It’sYoga-urt’s first Mother’s Day being open, and so I wasn’t sure how busy we would be. The day started out slow, but then it got busy and it’s turning into a good day for Yoga-urt. 

I’m blown away by all of the moms that chose to come to my store today, when they could’ve gone anywhere, some driving very long distances. That makes me feel very proud and so grateful. It means a lot to me. 

I’m starting to get sentimental as Yoga-urt is starting to approach it’s 1 year Anniversay of being open.

I remember that last Mother’s Day, my parents and my sister and her family came out and saw Yoga-urt just before construction started. In fact, a potential contractor actually came to Yoga-urt while we were at the store on Mother’s Day last year to try to finalize the contract. I was deciding between a few contractors as money was tight and I also wanted to make the best decision for the store. 

Here we are a year later and so many mothers, families, and lovely customers came to Yoga-urt. Plus, I was able to serve my family Yoga-urt. How cool is that!!!

As for me, my day started early today as I had to shoot a small video at Yoga-urt. I can’t talk about what it was for, but it definitely took me out of my comfort zone in a big way. A lot of preparation went into it in a very short time, and all I know is that I did my best. 

Yoga-urt continuously takes me out of my comfort zone, this whole journey has, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

   
    
 

AC Issues & Juggling

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. Business has been good and I’ve just been juggling like usual.

This past week, we had a lot of problems with our AC unit, which impacted our soft serve machines – not fun. The machines produce a lot of heat, so when the AC isn’t working, they can stop working. I met with the AC guy many times over the last week, and it’s been working well for the last few days so hopefully all is resolved. I hate disappointing our customers.

I had a chance to stop by VegFest this past weekend. I didn’t stay for too long because the lines were huge, but it was cool to see the turnout and to see it from the guest perspective. 

We are slowly preparing for our next festival which I will announce soon. I always get nervous about them, but at least this time, I don’t have to worry about the soft serve machine because we aren’t allowed to bring it anyway.
I’m still exhausted and I never really get a break for myself between my day job and Yoga-urt – but this is the life I’ve chosen and how it has to be right now. 

So many excited things are on the horizon including heading towards our 1 year anniversary in July. It’s hard to believe. The planning has begun and I really want to celebrate that weekend!