Y7 Studio wants to make a bigger impact with a smaller footprint.
What’s happening: The music-driven boutique yoga studio landed $300K to support expansion.
After downsizing during the pandemic, a renewed confidence in in-person attendance will see Y7 open two to three studios by the end of the year, with additional interest in the New York, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Chicago markets.
According to founder & CEO Sarah Larson Levey, the pandemic forced the brand to think smarter about how it was using its physical locations, including engaging yogis outside of them:
“What we’re seeing with our clients is that our monthly members, the digital membership comes with their monthly unlimited membership, so we’re seeing them use it as a supplement to their in-studio classes.”
Per Larson Levey, only 10% of its overall members are digital-only.
And that’s likely because, of all the hardware-agnostic workouts available to exercisers, yoga arguably translates best to the at-home setting given its fairly stationary nature and modifiable cadences.
While many brick-and-mortar yoga studios have since launched a digital offering to keep users plied with paid content—including Y7’s UMG-licensed experience launched late last year—free videos hosted on platforms like YouTube have racked up millions of views since 2020.
A new ritual. It’s important to remember that yoga was a core driver of the boutique boom of the past decade. With the ancient practice rooted in community-building as much as overall well-being, studio endeavors are now blurring the lines of traditional modalities to reinvigorate physical expansion:
- CorePower Yoga is developing new prototype studios and launched a strength training-yoga hybrid class to fuel physical expansion.
- After opening its 100th studio this year, Pilates-style strength concept [solidcore] landed strategic growth funding to add 250+ locations and possibly enter international markets.
- Low-impact sculpt concept Pvolve lowered its bundled digital subscription price and tapped Jennifer Aniston to support the brand’s expansion, targeting 250 studios by ’25.
- Xponential-backed franchise Pure Barre introduced flexibility, strength, and free weights styles to its in-person schedule while extending its licensed content partnership with lululemon.
Takeaway: Even as app growth has rounded off, the number of consumers seeking stress management, longevity, and togetherness is climbing quickly. Emboldened, modern concepts like Y7 have recognized they must either create experiences that cannot be matched on YouTube or value-added hybrid platforms that inspire loyalty through lifestyle.