How this Girl Boss set up a yoga studio on the island of Koh Lipe, Thailand

March 27, 2017

Welcome to the Monday GIRL BOSS Blog series. We have taken a little break from the series but now we're back with another great story from Keira the founder of Keirita's Yoga & Diving. Keira's business is based on the small tropical island of Koh Lipe (Thailand). If you've never heard of Koh Lipe before, I'd strongly recommend to look it up & consider it as your next escape destination. 
koh lipe aerial shot
Photo Source -
Keirita's Yoga Koh Lipe
Q - So tell us more about the business you have recently started on the beautiful island of Koh Lipe, Thailand.
My new business is Keirita's yoga and scuba diving. It's a yoga studio that specialises in small classes with personal yoga instruction. It also offers optional private scuba diving trips to the marine park with private guide or private scuba instruction.
Q - How difficult was it to set up a business in Thailand?
It's a pretty challenging one to be honest. You need to have a Thai partner that (on paper) owns 51% and you have to show 2 million baht (£46,000 in you bank account to set up your business. Sorting out all The paperwork and required documents is a fairly tedious process. You will need to hire and accountant to help you.
Keirita's Yoga studio on Koh Lipe island
Q - Why Koh Lipe and why Thailand?
I came to Thailand on a business trip for the first time about 20 years ago. I worked for a travel company in New York city at the time. I knew then it was the kind of place that  would want to return to, I never for a moment thought that I would end up being here for 15 years though. 
Q - Did you always want to set up a yoga studio?
No, at least not until fairly recently did I entertain the idea of opening an actual studio and teaching multiple classes a day. Even though I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years, for the first 5 or 6 I never even considered teaching as an option let alone having a studio. My very first yoga teacher had always said to me that I should consider teaching but I never had the confidence. After I had been practicing regularly for about 5 years I took some classes in San Francisco and met another yoga teacher there who also told me that I should really consider teaching and that I guess bolstered my confidence and I finally considered it as a possibility. That said I had been practicing from 10 years already before I did my first teacher training course in India.
Yoga on Koh Lipe island
Q - How much financing did you need to start up this kind of business?
I invested about 15,000euros in getting the studio up and running.
Q - What has been the most challenging thing while setting up?
Building the studio and dealing with getting building supplies to an island that has no pier. (also having a rather tempermental builder that only spoke Thai. I learned a lot of Thai building terminology during that time lol!) 
Ina - I must also say, Thai builders are really something hehe 
Q - I know you have had previous businesses, did having the experience help out with the latest ventures? Also what were the other businesses?
They were very different business but I think just the fact that I had experience in having my own businesses before definitely gave me the confidence to know that I could do it again even though it was a business in a different direction. The first  business was a vintage clothing store in New York City. It was located on Ludow St. on the lower east side of Manhattan. That was back in the mid to late 90s. More recently I had a scuba diving center on Koh Lipe Island where my yoga studio is now too. I sold my shares in the scuba center in April to set up the yoga studio. 
Koh Lipe beaches
Q - Would you say you're quite entrepreneurial? 
To be honest, no I've never really thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I just knew that I wanted to do work that interested me and I figured out a long time ago that sitting at a desk crunching numbers did not.
Q - Do you think there's a certain type of people who are meant to be entrepreneurs? Or do you think you can train yourself to become one, no matter what your background is?
I think anyone with encouraging social structures, (family, friends or other positive influences) and or course a certain amount of drive and a willingness to work hard can be entrepreneurial. Maybe there is a "certain type" as you say that are naturally like that anyway and therefore possibly are destined to be entrepreneurial as a result but I think its more than just that. I also think that if you have the financial means to pursue your dreams well then obviously that just makes it even a million times easier.
Q - How important is it to you to do something you love for a living and why?
I think it is "the" most important thing in life. You will spend most of your life working and sleeping. Therefore making a job out of doing what you love is as pretty much a no brainer as having a comfy bed even if it doesn't pay terribly well. 
Keiritas Yoga Studio on Koh Lipe island
Q - What mistakes did you make in the past in business and how did you overcome them?
Cliche but true, "never do business with friends". 
To overcome mistakes... just move on, If you learned a lesson from your mistake, well and good, then let it go, there is no point to dwell on past mistakes. It's a waste of energy so best to just move on. 
Q - Let's say I'd like to start a business, but have no business ideas and don't really know where to start. What should I do?
Get advise from family and friends. Put some feelers out to see what kind of information is coming back at you. if you not sure where your talents or interests lay then it's best to ask those close to  you as they will generally have a bitt better idea even if you don't. Find some way to be inspired and to find what you want from Life and your work.
Q - What advise would you give to someone who has an idea but keeps delaying it for different reasons like; wrong timing, not having the finances, not having a team etc.
Doing anything scary will always bring up a pile of doubts or reasons not to do it , like the ones you mentioned above. If doubts like these are plaguing you then you just have to remember that there will never be "the right time" it's like deciding when to have a baby. Most people just do it and get on with it. Life always always works itself out. 
Lack of confidence is usually what holds people back, fear of the repercussions of their decisions but you never know what will be consequences of good fortune or the consequences of bad fortune which is exactly why there will never be a right time. I think the late great Alan Watts says it best with his example of the parable of the Chinese farmer. A parable sure to inspire anyone in doubt as to whether they should start a new business or not.  
-Koh Lipe aerial shot
Photo Source -
Q - And last but not least, what does a day in your life in paradise look like?
It's pretty simple really, 
6:30am I wake up, I clean the studio and set it up for class and then and I take my dogs for their daily walk on Sunrise beach
8:00am I teach my class and after it I usually answer any questions from my students.
I spend the rest of my morning usually answering yoga and scuba diving email inquiries. 
I then usually either make lunch or go out for lunch with friends. In the afternoon I take the dogs for another walk and then I get set up for the evening yoga class about 16:00pm . My evenings usually involve catching up with a friend or family via skype and then an early night. I like my sleep and waking up fresh. All in all my days are pretty relaxed and easy going. 
As I teach scuba diving also though I do often have very full days too. Then I go straight from class to the dive center and then get back usually a little before the evening yoga class, The diving days are quite long so I usually only dive once or twice a week on average. The I can still continue to appreciate more and more every day.
Thank you Keira for taking the tine to give us so much information about your current business on the island of Koh Lipe. If anyone is visiting Koh Lipe, make sure to visit Yoga on small tropical islands is always much better than in big bustling cities. 
I hope you found today's Blog Post as informative as before & I hope you got a BIG DOSE of inspiration from Keira & her business in Thailand. Always remember to have faith in what you want to achieve & never stop until you're there. Feel free to leave any comments below :)
Social follows for Keiritas Yoga
Have a fabulous week & see you next Monday for another inspirational BLOG post.
Greetings from the founder
Ina xoxox

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