Annoyed by her lousy yoga class experience, Sarah Larson Levey created Y7 Studio. She's part of the upward-facing boutique fitness movement.
Sarah Larson Levey is yoga's newest mogul, and maybe its most unlikely one. "This all came about because I actually hate yoga," Levey says of her five-year-old company, Y7 Studio, which has eight locations in New York City, two outposts in Los Angeles, and plans to expand to at least two more cities by next year. In its modish studios, young urbanites strike ancient poses by candlelight as hip-hop thumps through speakers and infrared heaters ensure everyone works up a good sweat. Y7 stands at No. 80 on the 2018 Inc. 5000.
Levey, 31, swears she had nothing like this in mind when she and her then-fiancé, Mason Levey, started offering pop-up classes in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood in the summer of 2013. She was motivated by the many unsatisfactory yoga classes she'd taken since moving to New York from Michigan. Too often they featured endless chanting or confusing terminology or bright lighting and mirrors that made her self-conscious about her body. Her irritation level maxed out after one instructor spent 25 of the 60 minutes hawking a retreat she was leading in Bali. "I was like, 'Are you kidding? I spent money to be here!' " Levey recalls.
2019 INC. 5000 RANK: 725
HEADQUARTERS: New York, NY
YEAR FOUNDED: 2013
2018 REVENUE: $9.8 Million