DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

Guys. It’s already Wednesday which means two things: 1) Friday is in two days and 2) our next DFD Babe Feature is here!!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

This week I’m introducing you to two of my favorite women of all-time. I actually met them through Instagram just over a year ago, and instantly fell in love with their bright, welcoming and energetic fitness studio called Shine down in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Hillary Lewis & Yaya Margarita are both former dancers (like me!) and decided to follow their dream of offering fun and effective fitness classes for people from all walks of life and experience levels.

Another thing that’s so incredible about these two ladies, aside from their drive, is their commitment to helping other women in any way they can. They’ve both made such a difference in my life (personally and professionally), and watching them collaborate with others, pursue their passions, and grow their business has inspired me beyond belief.

If you want to know more about how they got started on their journey as female entrepreneurs, just keep on readin’!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

Tell us a little bit about Shine Studio! When did you start it and why?

Shine Studio opened in October 2016 and its been an amazing adventure to see our #ShineSociety grow! We were inspired to open a fitness studio that offered a wide variety of workout styles that were challenging, fun, and taught in a empowering and positive environment. We felt like fitness wasn’t something you should dread, but something you should actually look forward to! That’s why we set out to create and choose specific workouts that would inspire women to show up and leave smiling from ear to ear! From cardio dance, to our PilatesRemix and Pound classes, you can always find a class that will work you out from head to toe and make you feel like that 50 minutes flew by!

What inspired you to start working on your own business, whether full-time or as a side hustle?

When we met each other, we both had grown up dancing and connected over the fact that we missed dance and loved to workout, but found that our gym workouts just weren’t cutting it anymore. We noticed that there wasn’t a studio in the South Bay that offered the type of workouts that we loved and so we were motivated to bring something different to our area! We thought, if we are thinking that we cannot motivate ourselves to get to the gym and we need a workout that is something we actually love, there has to be other people that feel the same way! We now have people that come to us and say, “I was never able to stick to a workout until I joined Shine!”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in regards to being an entrepreneur?

Persistence is key. We have only been open a year and a half and there are still days where we are thinking “oh my gosh, we are killing this boss-babe thing!” and other days where we think “can we really do this?!” We’ve heard over and over that it’s all about sticking with it, being flexible, trying something different if one thing doesn’t seem to work, and just keep plugging away. Success does not happen over night for most businesses! It takes years of hard work and persistence.

What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

Self-motivation, perseverance, and connecting with other women in business and helping each other in any way you can. We think its so important to empower and help each other along this wild ride that is entrepreneurship! We have met WONDERFUL women since we started the business and try to partner and connect with them in any way we can. We work better as a community rather than in competition with one another!

What’s your favorite part of running a business?

Definitely the people that we’ve been able to connect with. It kind of goes with the last question, as well as our clients who have become a dedicated part of our studio. It is SO rewarding to connect with people that believe in what you are doing and even more so if you can feel like you’re improving their life in even some small way. It is completely life changing.

And what’s your least favorite part?

The ups and downs! It is bound to happen in any business but not knowing where you’re next dollar is coming from can be incredibly stressful. You have to have A LOT of trust and faith that if you are working hard you will be rewarded with success, sooner or later!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

How do you manage your finances, both personally and for work? Are there any tools you use or do you set a weekly/monthly budget for yourself?

We both have had to make sacrifices to start the business, but to be our own bosses and do what we love, it is worth it! We are both lucky to have spouses who empower us and support us. We have had to budget and get specific with our businesses expenses. The biggest advice we can give is to live and work as lean as possible. We taught the majority of our classes for the whole first year at the studio so we could get on our feet. You have to be willing to do what it takes!

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?

Think hard about your idea and if you can’t stop thinking about it, make it happen. Do the research, find something that you truly love and care about, make sure its something you cannot live without pursuing. You will have to sacrifice and work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. But if you love what you do, your successes will feel that much more amazing when you have created them yourself.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business?

Business is literally always open when you’re the owner! So you are going to work on it every day. You have to remind yourself to schedule “you time,” even if its taking a long lunch or getting a mani/pedi in the middle of the week! Know when you’re getting burned out and schedule that time for yourself so you can keep going the next day.

Where do you find inspiration?

We find inspiration from other businesses and women in business that have had amazing success! It’s easy to look at others and become envious. We’ve all been there! But we choose to look at it and say, “They did it! That’s so amazing! So can we.”

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

If you’d like to check out their classes head here (my favorites are Pound and PopFit!).

You can also find Hillary on Instagram @hillmae, Yaya @yaya_margarita, and Shine @shinestudiorb.

Well there ya have it! I hope you find these features as inspiring as I do😊 Let me know in the comments who you think I should feature next!

xo Jordan

4 thoughts on “DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

  1. Mile High Dreamers says:

    These ladies are amazing! What I love most is that they KNOW that women want variety and they deliver that. One of my biggest frustrations is that I can’t do all of the workouts that I want because each studio is so focused and SO expensive, so you can only do one. These guys hit the nail on the head by offering so much. Bring Shine out to CO!
    Thanks for my weekly boss babe inspo!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    • dancing for donuts says:

      YES. you seriously hit the nail on the head – they have the most diversity in classes I’ve seen!! Omg maybe I can partner with them and bring it to CO and THAT’S what’ll allow me to move OMGOMGOMGOMG

  2. whatismaria says:

    Such a wonderful read – thank you so much for sharing this interesting and inspiring interview with us! It always makes me happy to read about people who have managed to turn their passion into a business with so much success. I admire Hillary and Yaya’s work ethic a lot, and I wish them all the best on their journey!

    • dancing for donuts says:

      Maria!! I’m so sorry for the delay, but YES, these two are seriously incredible women. I’ve loved watching them grow, I wish you could see the community they’ve created! So inspiring 🙂

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