Jenny Kaufman, Manager of yogaview/Wilmette: “What I didn’t expect to learn as quickly as we did is that the Zoom classes do have a beauty about them that people are still connecting and together as opposed to something on their own. Because you could watch a YouTube video, but you can pause it, go check your email then go back to class. I feel like people are really holding themselves accountable and they’re still in class. And that has a value. We all need that connection while enjoying watching that. And for me, Sunday, I had a hundred people sign on. And the beauty of that and seeing where people were all from, I was like, oh, my God. My friends in Colorado, my brother in Indiana and Svetlana in Germany and that just like, makes you weep.
Transcription of video
Lourdes [00:00:11] It’s Lourdes us from Illumine. And I wanted to share with you the interviews that I’ve been conducting over the last couple of months back in early March when the pandemic for the coronavirus started. I had a strong sense that this was really affecting the wellness industry significantly because it’s such a high touch industry. And everyone that’s affected by this. Are my colleagues, my friends, my clients, anyone who benefits and uses the wellness services and products and classes and experiences. So because it’s such a high touch industry, I knew that because of the nature of the contagion of the virus that it would significantly affect this industry. So I conducted many interviews that I’ll be sharing. And out of that, I also wrote a series of articles that really show kind of what I was observing in terms of trends and possibly what we’re going to see in the future in terms of the wellness industry. So it’s my pleasure to share these interviews with you. The first one is with Jenny Kaufman from. She’s the manager at the Yoga Vue Will Matt location. And it’s really great. And all of the interviews were just so interesting the way that people who are in the wellness industry were were experiencing the shut down, the change, the pivot. Fascinating. And I think you’ll really enjoy it. So thanks for your curiosity. And also, I really want to encourage you to be well and take care of your health, your physical health, your mental health, because it’s so important for us to show up in our lives, for our families, for our friends, for our communities, for our professional communities. And really the length of the pandemic and how it’s affecting our community economically is significant. So take care of yourself. Be well, if there’s any way that I can support you, please reach out.
Lourdes [00:02:27] Hi, Jenny.
Jenny [00:02:29] Hi darling, how are you?
Lourdes [00:02:31] I’m great. How are you?
Jenny [00:02:33] Better today. Yeah, yeah, it’s been hard.
Lourdes [00:02:38] How’s it going?
Jenny [00:02:41] Today I finally was last night and finally felt like we turned the corner. So I kind of took on getting yoga view online virtual. And it was a tough learning curve. Not going to lie. It was really weird.
Lourdes [00:02:57] Well, let me just start with the beginning of my questions. Like when. When did you start noticing things shifting in the business? And like people not showing up or people teachers not show up or, you know, like when did people start to react?
Jenny [00:03:13] Well, honestly, not until last, well last at the end of I can remember weeks now.
Lourdes [00:03:19] Yeah.
Jenny [00:03:21] So maybe like the 15th, 16th, we started like we took out all the mats. We took out props. We started washing down props. Was like the influx of wipes. And, you know, sanitizing gel like that all happened at the end of that week. And and so they made the decision. On Sunday morning, and then I taught the last class Sunday at 4 here at the studio and it felt so sweet and really sad for me. With the last call everyone kind of knew at the writing was on the wall. Class ended at 5:15 and that was it. We close our doors. And then I spent the week trying to get together zoom account, figuring out, well we spent Monday with just the backend stuff of suspending everyone’s packages and kind of that administrative end, that was all day Monday, three of us. Because I just didn’t want anyone’s monthly auto renew to go through.
Lourdes [00:04:24] Did you work with Mind Body on that?
Jenny [00:04:26] I mean, we use mind body, mind body, the weight line. At one point we had a couple of questions that we were the four hundred and sixty seventh call in line.
Lourdes [00:04:34] Oh, my gosh.
Jenny [00:04:36] So I feel like, OK, you’re not getting through. I’m surprised they didn’t crash. So Monday was mostly administrative and like going on mind, body and canceling all the classes, doing all that. And then Tuesday, I really started in earnest about Zoom classes. And then we did a couple test runs and then we went live with our zoom classes with me again on Unst last Sunday at 4:00.
Lourdes [00:05:03] Oh, so you were totally closed for a week.
Jenny [00:05:05] We’re closed for the week until we figured it out. Online teaching is really hard. We’re all discovering, physically very different, very demanding. So don’t burn yourselves out freaking out either. And I Sunday I pretty much did everything. I sat down a few times and was like, all right. You know, like lead the flow. But I demo’d way more than I normally do. And then also, like you can see yourself in the screen. So I was like in Warrior 2. And I was like the nicest worrier, too, I’ve ever done. You know, because I see it. So I’m like, the next day I got up. I’m like, my thighs are fucking killing me.
Lourdes [00:05:45] Yeah.
Jenny [00:05:45] Hard, you know one thing. I mean, what I didn’t expect to learn as quickly as we did is I was like, oh, the zoom classes do have a beauty about them that people are still connecting and together as opposed to something on your own. Because you could download a YouTube video, but you can pause it. You can stop it. You can go check your email or go snack. I feel like people are really being like holding themselves accountable and they’re still in class.
Lourdes [00:06:21] right.
Jenny [00:06:23] And that has a value. We all need that connection while enjoying watching that. And I mean, for me, Sunday, I had 101 people sign on. And the beauty of that and seeing where people were all from, I was like, oh, my God. You know, my friends in Colorado and you know my brother in Indiana and set Lonna in Germany and you know that just like makes you weep. Well, what helps us is people we sent out an e-mail last weekend. If you want to turn your monthly package back on, let us know. And immediately people were like, yep, light them up ways that felt good so people can still use their packages or they can buy a virtual drop in rate at 15 bucks. I feel like what’s going to keep us alive at the end of this hopefully doesn’t last that long is the that that that kind of heartfelt attachment to your local studio. There was a good article I posted on my Facebook yesterday on Yoga Journal about save your local yoga studio. Did you see that?
Lourdes [00:07:27] I did not, but I’ll look for it.
Jenny [00:07:29] It’s on my Facebook. But there’s like this whole hashtag, like save your local studio. And I’m like, you know. It’s inter-, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but like maybe like this is going to be helpful to us at the back end.
Lourdes [00:07:45] Yeah, I mean, I really. And actually, you’re a unique person to ask because not many people went through 9/11 and the financial crisis. And like your own like sort of holding yoga sticks together, like have you. Does that change, do you think? Like, are you. Do you feel like, oh, yes. Not that we are. We welcome crises, but you’re just like, OK, how are you gonna handle this? What’s your-
Jenny [00:08:18] And say, you know, Sue Smith works up here with me. Tonkins up here with me. The three of us have been together night and day. I mean, I’ve had like, you know, nine, 10 hour days sitting in this basement trying to figure everything out and field questions. And I would say the younger teachers and managers are having a really hard time. And I don’t know if it’s partly living through what you said or also being a parent plays into it. It’s just like, OK, we’re just gonna get some shit done. Give me the list. Like I said to someone yesterday, I really haven’t and haven’t had time to be like, how is this affecting me personally or even having seen. I’ve been kind of quarantined here, even though my husband and my son are home. Healey’s quarantine at her apartment downtown. So like, I haven’t really seen them very much. It’s strange.
Lourdes [00:09:07] Right. Yeah. Yeah.
Jenny [00:09:10] Like I haven’t redone my sock drawer yet or like baked muffins. I’m so focused on this.
Lourdes [00:09:17] They’re so lucky to have you. Jenny. Oh, my Gosh.
Jenny [00:09:20] Oh, well thanks.
Lourdes [00:09:21] Yeah, of course. I mean, I I think that not many people know how to navigate this. And then the whole technology piece and then, you know, like even just it is a business where you’re helping people to stay home. So you need to stay calm, so.
Jenny [00:09:41] Yeah. We’re doing our best.
Lourdes [00:09:42] Yeah, you’re amazing. Well, thanks for, gosh, all that you’re doing just on behalf of the community, because I think that it’s a lot and take some time Jenny, I mean, I don’t know what time you have, but I mean, we’re better when you’re better for sure.
Jenny [00:10:02] Thanks for reminding me that.
Lourdes [00:10:04] Well, I love connecting with you and I’m sorry it’s been like so intense for you. You’re doing great.
Jenny [00:10:11] Thanks, Lourdes. Thanks for reaching out.
You can find Jenny’s schedule, bio, and more at JennyKaufmanYoga.com