Rachelle Lanning, owner of a yoga and massage studio, The Studio Reno, and The Seed Cafe, 1085 S. Virginia St., embodies the innovative thinking that has fueled the growth of the Midtown area of Reno. She's a perennial winner in our Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada reader poll and frequently can be spotted at cultural and wellness oriented events around town. For more information, check out thestudioreno.com.
So tell me, what made you want to be an entrepreneur?
I think I've always had the entrepreneurial spirit. I think I've always done my own thing. I never really found a job or career that I really loved. I always kind of knew I wanted to be my own boss and be doing my own thing, and I think I'll always be on my own path, just creating my own work situation, my own hours. I've never needed a manager or a motivator. I'm pretty motivated.
Tell me how The Studio came about. That takes money just to get started, right?
It was a yoga studio before. They had done most of the work. They put in the really nice lighting and the nice flooring. The gentleman that opened it is from Truckee, he has a really successful studio up there. I think he spread himself a little too thin. The market then was at its peak. He was paying like $6,500 for rent. And that's when things started to slow down, it was like '08. He got himself upside-down. A good friend and I had been talking about opening a place like that for a long time. We went back and forth between, like, opening a club or opening something. We wanted a place to be able to be, and to be able to have community. We teetered back and forth between the fun, social aspect of it and wanting to be a little more healthy because we both went that way naturally. We went into it together, but that didn't work out. After like three months, we realized we couldn't really work together, just because of a real difference in vision. He had a real amazing vision, but it wasn't realistic. We're still great friends, and we've been doing some things together, even at the Studio recently.
Then you decided to do the Seed. Is this whole pursuit trying to make your worklife work with the way you want to live?
So you couldn’t get that kind of food anywhere else, right?
That is the thing. The Seed isn't working, and if it wasn't organic and local food, it would be working, and so everybody keeps saying, “Make it not.” But that was the vision. I don't want to make it food I wouldn't eat. I eat organic food. I don't want to change. I'd rather close it and just do yoga retail or something. It's been a struggle.
But it’s not working. Why?
It's just not happening. It's only been two years in August, and everybody says, “You just need to give it a little time.” But the truth is, we've never done any paid advertising, and I was always kind of waiting for us to have it really together. But it's so much work, and so much prep, and every time I think I have a really awesome crew … well, you can't keep really good people around. … Recently, I've been thinking it really needs to shift gears. I've had a couple different ideas about what that should look like. If I wanted to make money, I'd just make it yoga retail, but that's not something I can get passionate about. I'm not like a retail kind of person. To me, it's about creating ambiance and having that social kind of a scene. I thought about playing into that a little more, having more live music in the evenings, having it more an elixir tea kind of lounge in the evenings, maybe even hookah.
That’s what came to mind when you were talking.
The smell is all I would worry about, up through the Studio, but I've been shifting gears with it a little bit. So the building is sold. They're going to put in a dispensary into the Spy Shop. It isn't finalized yet. I haven't gotten to talk to these guys yet, so I haven't wanted to make any major decisions until I see what their vision is.