steve duross - entrepreneur. craftsman. artist. musings on running and growing a small business

the power of and

a little over a year ago, our business partner sarah evancho opened a yoga studio on the 3rd floor of the building. originally planned as our production studio for making soap, lotions, potions, etc. i thought this beautiful space would be better utilized for a broader purpose. sarah could teach yoga. i could have salon classes. we could create a gathering space for community events. an experiment in creating a local small business as something greater than the bottom line. i could not have been more proud. especially of sarah, who i nudged into my plan. eighteen months later.. things change.
 
we often refer to our business partner sarah as the & in duross & langel. the person you will encounter (most likely) in the store, the one who will remember your name and see to whatever you may need. sarah keeps the mood light and people happy. both staff and clients. urging her to open the yoga studio was a big ask. especially since it would pull her focus from the store. per usual, i didn't think beyond my vision. i forgot to ask: how is this going to effect sarah's life? personal life? familial life? how will working all those hours effect her?
 
this whole experiment has been wonderful in many ways, but truth be told, sarah never wanted to run a yoga studio. she wanted to continue running the store. slotting herself in as a part-time teacher somewhere among the approximately 220+ yoga studios now in philadelphia (yes, yoga studios are as prevalent as coffee shops) would have been the most prudent course in hindsight, but sarah often indulges my whims and wishes, hoping to make all my dreams come true. well that ends today. and the studio as we know it will be no more as of the fourth of june. sure, sarah will still be teaching her private classes and workshops, but the pressure to carry it all ends with the expansion of our production studio. in the reckoning, it all shakes out the way we had originally imagined. still, i cannot help but feel the pang i imagine she feels. what most people feel when endeavors come to an end. i would have been crushed if the salon hadn't been a success. but that's me. "you can't have it all" she told me this morning. i guess i don't need it all. i have quite enough already.
 
sarah assures me that her love for her students, for the practice and for teaching is enough. everything else is just bullshit.
 
we don't get to pick our best friends. they occur. i couldn't have asked for a better friend than sarah. as we begin to pack up and focus our full energies back on the store, the expanding production studio is beginning to muscle in. since that belongs to us as well, it is actually a cause for celebration. our wholesale business is burgeoning, online sales are fulsome and the store continues to delight the imagination of visitors and locals alike. much of the credit belongs to sarah. she has worked as hard as anyone to make this business a success. but too often people only notice duross. or they notice langel. but it is the & that holds the whole thing together.