Welcome to All In, where we sit down with some of the most inspiring people in the wellness industry to find out how they got their start, their successes and their struggles, and their top advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Next up is Emily Thring, founder of Toronto’s first dedicated meditation studio, The Quiet Company.
Located at the corner of King & Brant, The Quiet Company occupies a bright, airy space with plenty of room for both meditation and movement. The studio offers sessions ranging from 15 minutes (Express), to 30 minutes, to 55 minutes (this one also includes movement). And in case you want to take a piece of the zen experience home with you, The Quiet Company also offers curated merch in their High Vibe Shop including ritual kits (think palo santo, sage, and mala beads), bath soaks, and apparel.
Can you recall the first inspiration you had to start your own business?
Not off the top of my head, but it was probably during a bad day at the office! I always knew I wanted to do something outside of my nine-to-five, and have been interested in wellness forever. It felt like a natural evolution.
What were/are some of your early challenges?
Deciding what I want to focus on. It’s really easy to get carried away with ideas. I learned quickly to focus on a couple things and knock them out of the park.
Were you also working a full time job when you launched your business (as a side hustle) or did you go full-force into the new business? Would you recommend the approach you took?
I worked full-time and taught pilates for years which became my normal. I quit the nine-to-five to focus on pilates full-time early in 2016. Working like that was actually really good training for running my own business because I am literally always working and I am constantly juggling priorities. It’s hard because as a small business owner you have to change gears so many times a day depending on your day, but it’s fun.
As the sole founder of your company, did you make a conscious decision to go into business without a partner? If so, why, and how has the decision to go that route been both rewarding and challenging?
It’s 100% super hard to do it alone but I felt strongly about my vision. Unless you and a partner are really aligned it’s hard to bring a vision like that to life. I would love to work with a partner or team, I just haven’t found the right person yet! I am lucky enough to have an entrepreneur boyfriend, entrepreneur mother, lawyer father, and lots of supportive friends and collaborators who are all a great sounding board.
Launching – and then running – your own business can be overwhelming. How do you stay focused and on track on a day to day basis? What are some of your top tips?
Making time for myself and time to relax with friends. I try to move every morning, even if it’s for 15 minutes. Meditate, obviously, especially between meetings or if my days are really long. It totally resets and centres me. A dinner or drink with a friend also helps put things into context.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given as it relates to running your own business?
Bring in experts for the things you don’t know! Hiring an accountant SAVED MY LIFE.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a woman interested in going out on her own in the wellness industry?
Do your homework, get real training, pay your dues, and be nice to everyone.
About Your Company:
One of the first things we learn about starting a successful business is that you have to relieve a pain point for the public. What is the problem you set out to solve with your company and how are you solving it?
Meditation can be intimidating at the best of times. Our goal is to make it relatable and accessible so you can fit it into your busy schedule. It will make you a happier, less stressed version of yourself.
We know that there are some meditation studios in the US (and one in Vancouver) but none here in Toronto until now. Why do you think the concept took longer to arrive here and how do you think Torontonians will receive it?
There are lots of people circling around the idea, but I think it’s always about space and team. I hope Toronto is open to it. We all need to relax and restore to run at the pace we’re all at. Pendulums swing, and when you need downtime we’re here to hold space for you.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you hear from people about trying meditation for the first time and how do you respond?
People always that they feel like they’re doing it wrong. You can’t do it wrong! I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves, thinking that it’s easy so they won’t struggle. Meditation and mindfulness are simple but not easy. It takes time to develop a practice just as it takes time to be good at anything.
What should people know about the experience they are going to have at The Quiet Company’s studio?
They’re going to feel supported in their meditation journey, and leave feeling lighter and more connected than they did before.
Why is having a meditation practice so important and along with that, why is meditation with a group something you recommend?
It gives your brain and body space to rest. Practicing with a group can take some of the questions out of it. There is also an accountability factor, where you’ve scheduled this into your day so you might as well make the most of it. I think different things work for different people but it’s worth trying if you’ve ever struggled with sitting.