Since opening the first goat yoga class in 2016, this experience has become a national business trend for goat and yoga enthusiasts. The idea is simple: it’s a yoga class, except that there are miniature goats running around for humans to interact with.
Over the years it has grown in popularity. Lainey Morse, the founder of the original goat yoga class in Monroe, Oregon, estimated it was now a $ 5 million industry. Today there are about a dozen goat yoga classes associated with Morse across the country. Goat yoga has become a popular hashtag on social media. Users post more than 138,000 # GoatYoga images on Instagram. Now a goat yoga studio has come to Columbia.
Jessica Baker owns Goat Yoga from Missouri, which opened on July 19. On the weekends, she offers classes on her family’s farm outside of Columbia. Baker said she had advice from Morse, and Baker’s operation is now among the many in Morse’s original goat yoga affiliate network, which is spread across the United States. As a partner, their courses are displayed on a calendar on the Morse website.
Baker said she is setting her own prices for the class, which is currently $ 35 for a one-hour Sunset class that takes place at 7:30 p.m. Morse takes care of the credit card processing for the partners and pays the company weekly.
Another goat yoga store will open in Hannibal and will also be featured on Morse’s website in the coming months, she said.
One reason goat yoga stores are so numerous is that the business is easy to replicate, Morse said.
“If people have a farm and have really friendly goats, they could wind up a business pretty quickly,” Morse said. “Especially if you have a business acumen and marketing experience … winding it up wasn’t too complicated.” build a business pretty quickly. “
Baker views her goat yoga business as a side job. She works full time in the Human Resources Department at the University of Missouri. Baker said the first time she heard about goat yoga, she didn’t take it seriously. But when she started looking for ways to give back to the community, goat yoga again emerged as a viable option and business opportunity. She researched stories about how goat yoga can work as animal-assisted therapy – using animals to reduce stress and promote mental health.
“And so I just heard stories and read stories about people who really benefited from the mental aspect,” said Baker, “and so I thought this (farm) is something I could give back to the community as well.”
Baker doesn’t do the job alone. She gets help from her longtime friend, Emily Heartman, who helps out with administrative tasks and with the goats during class. Heartman said the job between being a new entrepreneur and dealing with unpredictable goats can be a mixture of stress and relaxation. But in the end, she said it was rewarding to see people’s experiences during the class.
“I would say that not many people really experience farm life and livestock,” Heartman said. “So it’s pretty cool to see them experience it.”
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