Like many other small businesses owners, I am struggling right now and need your help. Insurance does not cover pandemics, our landlords are not currently offering rent forgiveness/abatement, and the studio in the status quo does not have any avenues of income. The ripple effects of this pandemic will continue for months, if not for years to come.
Funds from this campaign will:
- Support our beautiful and deserving staff
- Keep our leaseholds in good standing
- Help pay for rent, insurance, utilities, professional subscriptions/fees, payroll, taxes, etc.
- Allow us to transform our teacher training to a virtual platform, while social distancing is in place
- Guarantee continued online virtual content
**Any amount helps and is deeply appreciated!**
If you are unable to contribute financially but want to support the studios, you can:
- Share this campaign, telling your personal aUM or Polarity story
- Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/aumyogaa2)
- Leave us a review
- Send us words of love and encouragement
In the past seven years, 25,000 people have taken a class at aUM Yoga and/or Polarity, we have donated over $350,000 in free yoga, and have helped fundraise for a multiplicity of events and organizations on the University of Michigan's campus and beyond. Over 150 people have worked for the studios during their time in Ann Arbor, and we have trained over 200 teachers, who are now practicing and teaching around the world. The diaspora of the aUM Yoga community and lineage is vast. This community has exceeded all expectations and is the absolute most meaningful and beautiful part of my life.
I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Classical Archaeology and Art History. I subsequently completed a Master's of Philosophy in Archaeology: Heritage and Museum Management in 2012 at the University of Cambridge. Afterwards, I put out 600+ job applications with a 3% response rate. I became disillusioned with academia and abandoned my aspirations to pursue a joint JD/PhD. I rediscovered yoga during this difficult time and immediately enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training Progam. I graduated from that training in March 2013. By September 2013, I opened my first studio in an 800-square foot basement on North University. After two years, the community that transpired outgrew this quirky space that will forever have my heart. In 2015, I risked everything to expand to a location on South University that was over four times the square footage and overhead. This space was initially attached to an additional 2,000 square feet that was intimately connected to the new operation. While I couldn't afford it at the time, I always knew that I would have to rent this space to protect what I had built. In 2017, I again risked everything to open aUM Yoga's sister studio, Polarity. In December of 2019, I finally finished paying back my loans for this project.
As a part of compassionate decision making and in efforts to flatten the curve, aUM + Polarity closed their doors (prior to the mandate) on March 15, 2020. Since this date, the situation has rapidly continued to devolve.
Since we closed our doors, the team and I have been working tirelessly, putting in 15 hour days to produce FREE online content available on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube in order to keep our community vibes alive and connected. This learning process is both arduous and expensive. We have filmed over 30 videos that will continue to premiere for FREE on our channels.
- Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/aumyogaannarbor/ and https://www.facebook.com/polarityannarbor/)
- Instagram (@aumyogaannarbor, @fthisishard, @polarityannarbor)
- YouTube (www.youtube.com/aumyogaa2)
I want both aUM + Polarity to continue to be a part of the Ann Arbor landscape. However, the sustainability of the studios is currently in question. If aUM or Polarity has ever been a part of your story and you are able to comfortably contribute, I am abashedly asking for your immediate support. Please donate what you can to save our amazing spaces + community.
Thank you to everyone who has walked through our doors and contributed to this dream. The past seven years have been chock full of light, love, kindness, and compassion. We hope to continue providing these sanctuaries for many years to come.
Jessie xo #SmallBusinessRelief
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