From Yoga on the Rocks to opening a studio in Sunnyside, how does a local studio stay true to finding balance in an ever-changing wellness environment? You find an intuitive studio management software that supports growth, goals—and gives your boutique business a strong foundation to succeed. That’s how The River Yoga and owner Danielle reduced everyday stress and became a calming cornerstone in The Mile High City.
Biggest operational hurdle and pain point before Walla?
When we were with Mindbody, I felt the software could do so many things, but it was too complex. The platform wasn't streamlined enough—and it felt like a tangle when we needed to make changes. You couldn't edit a class time easily. You couldn't edit a workshop from your phone. A huge pain point was members not being able to purchase memberships on mobile (or on their own)... I also could pull tons of reports, but it took so much of my time to aggregate them—and I didn't always feel confident that I had the correct data.
What gave you the confidence to make the switch to Walla?
Paying attention to the Walla team and trusting the individuals who run the company. But also, I felt like you all really listened to us and listened to me when I was pitching my dream software.
How was your migration experience from Mindbody to Walla?
I was so nervous about the migration experience, mostly from our client side. But for our clients, it was really seamless. And the other thing that made it super easy was Walla templated everything. So when I was wondering, “how are we going to explain what this software is and when in the migration process?” you provided steps A-B-C-D. Here's what to send to your team, here's what to send to your clients, and here's what you need to know. Plus, the customer support from the Walla team was amazing. Calls, texts, emails—Walla was there to help us whenever we needed it.
Can you see the positive impact Walla has on your daily operations—and your staff?
t’s the unexpected small things—the lovely surprises of Walla. Being able to see the number of classes a student has taken has really changed the way I see my instructors interacting with students at the front desk. Before, you had to click into someone's account and then look at their visits through a multi-step process. Now, literally every class, I hear a teacher say, “oh, my gosh, you're at 70 classes”, “this is your third class in a row!”.
Easily accessible milestones make us understand how often people come into the studio without any effort. We don’t have to train our team to do that. The other thing we didn't expect at all is that we sold about $1,200 in gift cards the first month of launching Walla, which is additional revenue and an unexpected stream of money.
Client feedback on the overall experience and Walla app?
I think one thing that is telling is that we haven't gotten any complaints—because our students would inform us if something wasn’t right. But I tell this story to other studio owners all the time: This student has been around forever… and he sent me a text to say he really likes Walla. That’s amazing! And then I think again about the impact on customer engagement and people being able to hear from teachers regarding their classes and accomplishments. Plus, being able to use buddy passes to bring a friend to class…. I sense that people are using their buddy passes more because it comes up—and it’s easier for them to do it.
Your favorite feature or function in Walla?
I am excited about where reporting is headed… The Walla team is always listening. I'm like a creative entrepreneur, and when I'm living my life looking at KPIs in a spreadsheet, I am like, “Is this why I opened my business? No, this is not what I want to do.” My dream is becoming a reality of getting a solid snapshot of what's happening in the business because that is my job—ensuring the business is healthy. I don't build huge KPI spreadsheets anymore, and I'm like, “am I allowed to do this?” which is great!
What is the worth of Walla in your personal, everyday life?
When I tell people I'm a yoga studio, they say, “Oh, that's cute! You must do a lot of yoga and spend all day meditating on a cushion.” I think so many people go into this business because they love teaching, but then they find that running the business side is hard. And I had no experience running the business when I started the studio. To be able to know that my teachers can use the software easily, my clients can use the software easily, that eliminates stress—and honestly reduces friction in the purchasing process.
I'm constantly thinking it's not about expenses, it's always about making more revenue, so if we lose one person, that matters to our business. Knowing that I can contact the Walla team if I need help reduces stress, too, because I won’t be on hold for 25 minutes trying to reach customer service anymore. Also, this sounds like a small thing, but Walla is pretty and fun to use…. If you use a platform that feels clunky right now, why? There's no point! Walla is easy; the software is friendly. I love that!
Walla’s time-saving features are positively impacting retention and revenue—and are empowering The River Yoga staff, clients, and community to create deeper connections every time they take a deep breath and step into the studio.