who are they, how did they get started & their favorite Philly things

Athletes from a young age, Maggie was drawn to yoga after a serious car accident, while Steph, a dancer and field hockey player, pursued personal training. After a chance meeting while living in the same apartment building in Francisville, they quickly bonded over their shared dream of opening a fitness studio, forming a tight friendship. 

Propelled by their desire to share their passion with their local community, they opened Muse Yoga & Fitness, an inclusive space fostering community and engagement. Located on the 15th block of Ridge Avenue, the studio offers a variety of classes, from heated and regular Yoga, to group and personal fitness training. Visit their website for more details on their offerings and read on to learn how Maggie and Steph turned their dream into reality. 

Meet Maggie & Steph!

What inspired you to open Muse Yoga and Fitness?

Maggie

Definitely a combination of things, but one of them being a lack of something like this in our neighborhood.  This area has been evolving in recent years (and unfortunately some of the closest studios closed due to Covid-19), so we felt there was a gap to fill.   Some people definitely questioned our timing (“you’re opening a small business during a pandemic?!”), but we had a strong (and ultimately correct!) gut feeling that it would be warmly welcomed by the community.

Steph

We are both passionate about wanting to make yoga and fitness accessible to everyone and encouraging a balanced fitness routine.

Why did you select Francisville?

Maggie

We live here!  We’re “all in” with this neighborhood, and wanted to invest in our local community.

Steph

Again, we knew Francisville needed a yoga & fitness studio for its residents. We’re really pleased with the fact that we are at the early stages of the neighborhood starting to flourish.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting your own business?

Maggie

In the beginning, it’s all hard!  You don’t know what you don’t know — but you know you don’t know A LOT.  We’ve learned so incredibly much and thankfully the imposter syndrome is slowlyyyy starting to fade.

Steph

Figuring everything out even when it wasn’t our area of expertise; from negotiating our commercial lease to designing a website to obtaining permits and everything in between, it was all new to us but needed to be executed as if we had experience. 

How is it different from other studios in the area?

Maggie

The biggest thing is that we offer yoga AND fitness classes under one roof!

Steph

Not only do we offer both yoga and fitness modalities, but class packs/memberships are interchangeable. We promote having a balanced fitness regime by incorporating yoga, strength and cardio. We pride ourselves on having a staff of instructors with diverse backgrounds and we encourage them to let their personalities shine in their teaching styles. You can also almost always catch two cute dogs at the front desk!

What is something you are excited about for the future of Muse Yoga and Fitness?

Maggie

We hosted our first “event” recently which was a happy hour after Friday afternoon classes on our patio.  It was so cool to see our members and community come together and get to know each other in a social setting!  I think that’s an example of what the future holds for Muse — I hope to take a step back in another six months (or a year… or five years!) and see all of the interesting, eclectic, fun groups of individuals we’ve bought together just absolutely thriving.

Steph

We are so excited to have more regular members and grow our community — we look forward to members making friends when they walk through our doors! We also have plans to add some exciting workshops and potentially a new fitness modality or two!

Any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?

Maggie

Ask for help & lean on your resources!  Reach out to other business owners and reach out to all of your friends/family/contacts that might have relevant expertise.  You’ll be responsible for all the things like accounting, marketing, permits, leasing, payroll, hiring, social media, etc… and more than likely there are people in your network who know about these things. 

Steph

Spend time on a quality business plan, get very clear on your vision for your business, and be prepared for the fact that during the process it feels like two steps forward & one step back on an almost daily basis but it’s all very worth it when you’re able to persevere and see your dream come to life. 

Five Favorite Philly things

Maggie

photo cred: @handynasty

Favorite Restaurant

Han Dynasty

photo cred: @visitphilly

Favorite Tourist Attraction

Mummer’s Parade

photo cred: @visitphilly

Favorite Neighbhorhood

Fairmount & Francisville

Best Hidden Gem

Fairmount Park Horticulture Center

photo cred: @juicedbyb

Favorite Local Business

Juiced By B

Steph

photo cred: @osteriaphilly

Favorite Restaurant

Osteria

Favorite Tourist Attraction

Lemon Hill

Favorite Neighbhorhood

Francisville

Best Hidden Gem

Sancho Pistola’s 

photo cred: @juicedbyb

Favorite Local Business

Juiced By B

Meet the Blogger

Patry

Patrizia Ciuppa is a writer, editor, and producer for a Philly-based HR tech startup, Phenom. Previously, she has written editorial and blog pieces on beauty, fashion and sustainability for the women’s fashion brand Free People. She currently lives in Medford Lakes, NJ with her husband and two dogs, where she is the steward of her own Little Free Library. For all her published work, visit her website.

Meet the Blogger

Patry

Patrizia Ciuppa is a writer, editor, and producer for a Philly-based HR tech startup, Phenom. Previously, she has written editorial and blog pieces on beauty, fashion and sustainability for the women’s fashion brand Free People. She currently lives in Medford Lakes, NJ with her husband and two dogs, where she is the steward of her own Little Free Library. For all her published work, visit her website.