Michelle Nicklin (centre) with Louise Tonge (second from left), and her head office team.
Sandstone Yoga and Pilates, founded by Michelle Nicklin in 2013 in Aldridge, West Midlands, has launched its franchise by joining the BFA as a provisional member and welcoming Louise Tonge as its first franchisee, covering nearby Sutton Coldfield.
Nicklin, a senior yoga teacher, says that the Sandstone brand is about authentic yoga and the bringing together of a local yoga community and this will be carried through with every franchise.
“The time is right for yoga – it’s always been big business in London but the rest of the country is catching on now. I don’t think it’s a coincidence in the current uncertain climate that people want something more nurturing than an anonymous, soulless exercise class.
“Sandstone provides a holistic, supportive experience and ‘yogis’ all over the UK will be able come to our studios knowing exactly what they are getting.”
She highlights that her yoga community is strong and growing and its head office turnover is over £300,000, with 5,000 registered clients. Its regular workshops sell-out and currently 76 people have graduated from, or are in training with, its Yoga Alliance Professionals accredited 200-hour teacher training course.
Sandstone’s yoga and hot yoga classes are suitable for all abilities whilst the Pilates class offers a low impact exercise programme to strengthen the body, increase flexibility and improve posture.
Meditation and relaxation classes are also available to clients who wish to unwind a busy mind or de-stress after a busy working week.
‘Share what I have done’
Turning to franchising the business, Nicklin said: “I realised it was possible to share what I have done with others that perhaps don’t want the hassle of setting up a studio from scratch. I know how hard that part is and I aim to relieve franchisees of much of this.
“We will provide all the support and ongoing mentoring they need. Franchisees don’t even need to be a ‘yogi’ to get involved. We are looking first for the right kind of business people.”
Franchisees will be given the chance to offer add-ons to classes, including workshops, teacher training and retreats. The yoga retreats give clients an opportunity to breathe, move and eat vegetarian or vegan food, whilst enjoying the company of other ‘yogis’.
The franchise costs £10,000 plus VAT and includes the following:
Marketing and branding support to ensure success.
Tried, tested and successful class schedule model.
Business start-up support and expert mentoring throughout.
Front-of-house training. l Recruitment support.
Security of an established brand.
Detailed operations manual covering every aspect of the business.