“You asked for it; we built it” is Liana Suriano’s promotional statement when talking about her beautiful Bikram Hot Yoga studio located on WT Hill Blvd. South Lethbridge. You can hear the pride in her voice when she explains the in-depth planning and preparation completed to make the space a state of the art facility. The studio opened in April 2013 and has already had over 1500 patrons come through the door. The Studio employs three full time instructors and two part-time receptionists.
It took two and half years for Liana to find a landlord who would work within her design parameters and modify the building structure to exactly what she wanted for her patrons.
“I was told by Community Futures I had an excellent business plan and I had done all my market research to back it up so I knew my vision was attainable,” Liana explains. It was her clear vision that kept her focused through the continuous search for the right location.
“Others had tried to open a hot yoga studio in Lethbridge and gave up when met with the studio design challenges, and their stories simply motivated me to continue. I knew I was going to create exactly what I wanted and what the community asked for,” she ardently explains. Her passion for her business is captivating.
Liana was introduced to ‘hot yoga’ while attending the University of Alberta completing her teaching degree. She speaks of the stress of working part-time while being a full time student. “I have experienced my product and I know the lifestyle health benefits that can happen.”
Not only is Liana passionate about the yoga, she also loves teaching. She came from an entrepreneurial background, “My parents owned a restaurant in Lethbridge and I remember sitting on my mother’s knee as she did the books.” Through her parents, she learned what it takes to run a successful business although being a small business owner was not her initial intent while completing her education. However, the concept of the studio brought all three of her passions together and she considers herself fortunate.
Her family history taught her about business finances and her introduction to Community Futures Lethbridge Region helped her obtain the financial security to move her business plan forward. With financing in place, planning, commitment and determination brought the long-awaited vision to fruition.
Her business journey was challenging, but she was never disheartened. “My goal was to create an environment for all levels of ability, to create exactly what my patrons were asking for,” she states.
Liana’s commitment to her community comes from her heart. “I have done all I can possibly do to get the business going. Now I have to let the business take its course.”
She lives what she teaches; be calm, breathe and be in your own stillness.