Yoga Enterprise

Yoga business grows, flexes to deliver corporate classes – WSU Insider

By Hope Belli Tinney, Washington SBDC

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – When Three Trees Yoga was a successful small business, it had to learn to offer customers classes in the workplace, when Three Trees Yoga was a successful small business. Ongoing collaboration with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided support that the expanding yoga business could rely on.

The new corporate wellness store in South Puget Sound, Work Well NW, offers services that help employees learn resilience and burnout techniques in a variety of work environments – from medical offices to machine shops.

“The goal of Work Well NW is to help employees improve their mind and body wellbeing,” said Suzy Green, a co-founder of the company. “Through yoga and mindfulness training, we teach participants to practice self-care and reduce stress. It’s a proactive approach that has an impact far beyond working life. “

The courses are based on the work of Jon Kabat Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and are backed by 30 years of clinical research, she said.

Advice eases the way through the recession

Green and her partners, Jeni Martinez and Karen Schwisow, first opened Three Trees Yoga in 2005 after meeting Maryanne Budlong, SBDC advisor in Des Moines, Washington, with Zev Siegl, the advisor after Budlong’s retirement.

“The fact that we survived the recession was directly related to our work with Zev,” said Green. “We needed ideas and perspectives from an experienced entrepreneurial spirit.”

When Siegl left the SBDC, the owners met with his colleague Rich Shockley. The studio has now grown to include 25 teachers who teach 40 lessons a week. In addition, Three Tree Yoga offers both a 200-hour and a 300-hour yoga teacher training program.

The Washington SBDC ( is a network of more than two dozen certified business consultants working in communities across the state to help business owners start, grow, or convert a business. The SBDC was founded in Washington more than 35 years ago and is supported by Washington State University, the US Small Business Administration, and other colleges and business development agencies. The Des Moines SBDC Center is located at and is supported by Highline College.

Advisory board, further education points

Three Trees Yoga’s decades of experience with the SBDC added to the value of working with professional business consultants, Green said.

“When we started talking about developing Work Well NW, our first point of contact was a consultation with Rich,” she said. “We had a vision and a couple of clients, but not really a plan.

“The three of us are very good at teaching, but we don’t always like to put our business hats on,” she said, but Shockley helps them, “We never leave his office without at least three great ideas, three actions.” Energy for our business. “

Consulting the SBDC, Green said, was key to her decision to create an advisory board of health professionals for Work Well NW. Shockley also helped them create a marketing plan and encouraged their efforts to get Work Well NW workshops accredited by the appropriate governing bodies so that attendees could earn CE (continuing education) credits.

Work Well NW started with a few courses at a local hospital in 2014 and has grown to nearly 20 courses per week at a variety of companies.

“We know we are on the right track because the clients we have established have renewed their yoga and mindfulness course contracts multiple times,” said Green. “The feedback they have received from their employees on the benefits they experience through yoga at work has been very positive.”

Contact for news media:
Suzy Green, Co-Founder of Work Well NW,

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