In September, Patch previewed Venture Yoga's arrival to Fairfield County. Today, they are open and in full swing, offering unique experiences, classes and community.
Located at 10 Center Street in a bright, warm, 3,800-square-foot space above the Darien Social, the business features dual studios, changing rooms and showers, a room for children and amenities like rent-able mats and towels and complimentary post-workout cold eucalyptus towels.
Erin and Donald "Donny" Huot opened the businesses together, dumping all of their life savings into the business instead of, say, purchasing a home with their saved-up funds.
Donny is a contractor and 7-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department Group 3, Station 2, according to Erin. They met the first night Erin moved to Stamford from Florida to work in the finance sector at UBS. After having difficulty finding a new job following the floor of the economy dropping out, they decided to create their own job opportunities in a hope to secure their own financial future together.
"We're chasing the American Dream," Erin Huot said, taking some time out of her busy Friday morning full of classes to chat about business. We're both very goal-oriented people. Neither of us came from much. We decided to take this leap to make the future better for our kids. We're hoping we are setting ourselves up for the future in the face of anything."
She said her husband obviously can't be in the studio every day, but he is absolutely as involved in the experience.
"He is our biggest cheerleader," she said. "He can't be here everyday because he's a firefighter, but he is so involved in the business. I call him sometimes with questions, and he can rattle off answers like, who our current roster of Thursday regulars are. He is at least as active as I am."
Erin and Donald did almost all of the work to the revamped space themselves, utilizing Donny's contractor skills to save money and get the exact vibe they were looking for in the space.
Erin said aside from the top-tier teachers she has working at Venture, which she labeled as "the best of the best in Fairfield County," one of the biggest investments the Huots made at Venture was in the infrared heating system for their hot yoga classes.
"A lot of places with traditional heating systems dump heat on you and make you sweat because you are physically being blasted with it," she said. "Our system emits radiant heat, which heats you from the inside out, much like the sun. People say, 'I feel like I'm sweating at the right times, when I'm engaged. I'm not just sweating because the room is hot.'"
Classes start at $20 for a single class ($30 for a week for new signups). packages are available, as are kids classes. For more information on types of classes and pricing structures, check out Venture Yoga's website.
Erin said the classes offered for a younger crowd are some of the studio's most important services.
"Especially today, with all the things preteens are managing between school, stress, relationships, yoga really teaches them how to rest," she said. "We want them to create small communities on that level. We want them to bring friends and get to know each other. We're all about community here."