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Lumi Light x Upstate Studios

upstate studios geelong yoga

Lumi Light Edition 4:  Gail Asbell of Upstate Studios.

Do you recognise this local entrepreneur?⁠

Meet Gail Asbell, co-founder of the Geelong-born yoga and pilates studio, Upstate.
Upstate is a revolutionary group of holistic health hubs born from the passion of Gail and her sister. The team offer classes of Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Meditation and Boxing. After completing your very first session with Upstate, you'll understand the radiating positivity the instructors bestow onto you. It is clear the team's mission is to create a safe, motivating space in which each 'Upstater' can become the best, fittest version of themselves. 
With studios in Geelong, Torquay and even Balaclava, Gail and team have had to drastically pivot operations since the forced closure of gyms and wellness studios in the time of COVID-19.
Read more of our feature with Gail and learn how she reflects upon 2020 below. 

What inspired you to create Upstate Studios?
My sister Charelle and I founded Upstate Studios in 2009. 

Our dream to start a business together collided with a love for yoga and a passion for brand marketing.
Boutique fitness was only just emerging in Australia in 2009. Having completed yoga teacher training in the USA, we saw the opportunity to elevate the customer experience of yoga and create a boutique fitness experience.
From the outset our vision was to create a brand that was about more than just the classes. We wanted to create an immersive, positive and motivating experience to help people find their upstate of mind and stretch into their full potential.

What’s the best part about being a business owner? 
The best part is most definitely our team and the incredible community of Upstater’s we have built. Nothing beats hanging out with like-minded people.  Our teachers and community are full of inspiration. They are great people to have by your side, empowering and motivating each other to be your best. It’s a very social and happy hub to hang out in.

I am also very proud that my sister Charelle and I have done this together, it’s been one hell of a ride and I can’t image having taking it with anyone else. 

How much impact has the restrictions in trade caused by COVID-19 had on you and your business?  How have you had to adapt?
We closed our four studio locations on 23 March and still remain closed. We have stayed focused on our members during this period and tried to 'over deliver' in all areas possible. By offering 75 live streamed classes per week we have been able to keep our community connected.

Every day since closing we have received messages from our members how much they love the live stream classes and feel a sense of connection. This has inspired us to keep moving forward in the most challenging period we have ever faced in business. 

If you could give one piece of advice to yourself at the start of 2020, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep an open mind and a grateful heart. You’ve got this!!


Lastly, what are a couple of your favourite local Geelong small businesses and why?
Little Green Corner. I really admire Hugh’s commitment to sustainability and community. It has been awesome to see how they have pivoted their business during this challenging time. They also have the most delicious food, great service and the best coffee!! 

Luminosity Skin!! We have collaborated with Karen and the amazing team at Luminosity Skin over the last few years. Karen is incredibly supportive of local businesses in Geelong. I am always impressed by Luminosity’s commitment to invest in their business and deliver best practice.
Ena Pelly. One of my favourite fashion brands and we are so happy to have their first store located next door to us in Moorabool St Geelong. I admire their commitment and investment into sustainability with the use of recycled plastic bottles into their fabrication. I’m a big fan of their range and have lots of Ena Pelly in my wardrobe!

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