Suze Yalof Schwartz: The Gift Of Unplugging

GA 33 | Making Meditation Accessible

 

Suze is a brilliant entrepreneur who was the pioneer in making meditation accessible to everyone. A former fashion editor, Suze is the founder and creative genius behind Unplug Meditation. There are 2 gorgeous studio locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, and she developed an app from scratch. Her teachers are the best in the field and she has a Teacher Training program with graduates who have opened their own meditation studios all over the world. She is a force of positivity, optimism and the never, ever, ever give up mentality. She shares her information and expertise openly. She believes anyone can achieve their dreams, and she wants to see people go after what they want. “No” doesn’t stop her, she’s not afraid to start projects all over, from the beginning, and she’s worked in every single role within her company, learning what each job really needs. After sitting with her, I felt charged up, ready to dream big and full of hope.

Listen to the podcast here:

Suze Yalof Schwartz: The Gift Of Unplugging

Suze Yalof Schwartz agreed to be my guest. I feel so lucky and honored. She is the Owner, Founder and Creator of Unplug Meditation. There’s a studio in Santa Monica. There’s one in West Hollywood. She has an unbelievable app where you can meditate with her extraordinary teachers from anywhere. She shares with me everything, how she built her business, how she doesn’t take no for an answer. She is the most optimistic, encouraging, resilient business woman and I couldn’t be more in awe of her. I hope you enjoy this interview with Suze Yalof Schwartz.

Suze, thank you so much for coming.

Thank you for inviting me. This is very cool to be here.

I’ve been a huge fan of yours since I first came to Unplug Studio which you opened in Santa Monica in 2014.

I remember you’re one of the first members.

My husband and I couldn’t believe that this had opened by us. It was like a dream come true for us. At the time, it was the only one that we’d ever seen, a meditation studio. You now have two thriving, flourishing and amazing businesses. It is also so welcoming, warm, cozy and peaceful. You have created a magical space. I want to hear how you got there and what led to that.

I was a stressed out, busy and crazy fashion editor for a long period of time. I worked at magazines like Vogue, Elle and Marie-Claire. I was at Glamour for several years. I had a great career at Glamour. I was the fashion director. I was the executive fashion editor-at-large. I was lucky enough to do make overs on Good Morning America, Today’s Show and Oprah. I had a dream job.

You posted something about your make-overs once on Instagram and I got to see footage of them. You were amazing at them. I would like to come to you maybe sometimes and have you help me.

I could make anyone look ten pounds thinner and I can also make them look ten pounds fatter. I was very good at the before shot and the after shot.

You do mental transformation.

We all need to make over our brains. I did do that. I was in New York City. I was out here for the Oscars dressing an anchor woman. I went to go visit a friend of mine. I noticed that his three kids were running free in the fields of Malibu. I said to my husband, “Flanagan’s kids are running free in the field and our kids are climbing up the walls in Manhattan. We should move to LA.” I said that as a joke and I knew my husband always wanted to move here. Two weeks later, he got a job offer for Connecticut. As a joke to the headhunter, he said it would be easier to get my wife to move to Los Angeles. She said, “We happen to have a great opportunity in Los Angeles working for the King of LA, which was Eli Broad, who has the Broad Museum and The Broad Stage.

Mark said, “I want to meet him,” because Eli is a legend. He came out here and he met him. Eli offered him a job and Mark said, “We need to do this. Let’s be adventurous, quit your job and come out to LA. Let’s do something new.” My family lived in New York and I had a dream job. I’d only been to Hollywood. I had never been to Santa Monica. I had never seen the other side of Los Angeles that he described to me except for that one trip to Malibu. He wanted to do this and I felt like, “Okay.”

You had put it out there to him as a joke but it all came into place.

I moved to Los Angeles. This was in 2010. I started getting opportunities to do my own TV show. I remember there was an opportunity to do the show called Say Yes to the Dress and I think it’s still there. I was like, “Is this where my fashion career is going to go? I’m going to be dressing people at their wedding?” I thought about it. I’m like, “I don’t feel like that’s what I want to do.” I started going back and forth between New York and LA, working with Lord & Taylor as the creative director of their commercials. We did all these taxi TV commercials and all this fun stuff. I realized that I was stressed about leaving my kids. I have three kids here in LA.

You have three sons. You’re an incredible mother.

A simple breathing exercise can take you from stressed and anxious to calm and serene in three minutes. Click To Tweet

I’m an averaging A as a mother, but I always say a 90% still an A. You can screw up on 10% and still get an A. I would say I’m somewhere between B and A. There’s no such thing as the perfect mother and I make as many mistakes as the next day. I like to pop that bubble.

I feel your love, commitment and devotion. I know that it comes first. You were stressed leaving your kids.

I didn’t like it. I felt uncomfortable and my husband was working. We had a new babysitter. It felt off. It didn’t feel right. My mother-in-law said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “I’m freaking out. I’m panicking. I am leaving the kids. I’m doing all this work. I left my job. I don’t know what I’m doing.” She said, “Let’s breathe.” She taught me this little breathing exercise in three minutes. I went from stressed, anxious and upset to calm and serene like the world was a great place and everything was going to be okay.

This was from your mother-in-law?

Correct, Linda Schwartz.

Where is she?

She’s in Maryland. After that I said, “What was that?” She said, “It’s called meditation. You should learn how to meditate.” I said, “Okay.” When I came back to Los Angeles, I started googling places to meditate. I hadn’t heard of meditation. I never had meditated before technically. I started looking for places. There were a six-week program, UCLA. Deepak Chopra had the 21-day meditation series. There were a TM and Vedic, four-day total immersion. I thought, “I want to try all of those.” I ended up booking the UCLA one. I’m starting to do the Deepak. I’m starting to do everything. I went to the Shambhala Center. I thought, “Why is this so hard?” Where’s the dry bar of meditation where you go in and in 30 minutes or less, you feel good?

I had exactly your same experience because Art had meditated a lot. He had gone to that two-week Vipassana silent meditation retreat. I have never done that. I don’t think I could keep my mouth shut in two weeks. I wanted to be able to take meditation class and transcendental meditation was $1 million for four days and you might get a mantra.

That’s not true. At that time, it was probably one week of your salary and you do get a mantra and it’s four days of real life.

There was a slight exaggeration happening. It was not easy to be able to go and I love that you’ve made it accessible. Anybody can go and take an incredible class, which we’ll get to. You have all the different lengths of classes. People can do it online. You’ve totally opened that world to many.

In defense of all these more difficult practices that are expensive, they’re solid practices. They’re great. That’s what meditation used to look like before we started playing with it. I did give meditation a makeover just like I had done on the make-overs for Glamour. I decided that I wanted the space to be white and clean. Normally, it was Buddha’s everywhere, tapestry rugs, incense burning and very homey. I wanted it to feel like a blank space, a blank canvas, a gallery. I created that space. I started meeting the teachers. A lot of them spoken in these meditation voices and very slow. I said, “Why can’t you talk like a regular person? More people would relate to you that way and want to start meditating.”

The teachers were very receptive to that. I reached out to all the top teachers in the world and they were all generous. They said, “Sign me up whatever you want to do.” This has never been done before. I always wondered why it wasn’t done. A lot of people had wanted to do it but never did it.” They want it to be a part of it. I was so lucky I had Steve Ross. He’s retired. He does some very high-profile projects, but he doesn’t do public classes anymore. He was very generous and helped me come up with the lighting. Our lights change color. He said you should have purple light because it makes everyone feel calm. I forgot about this, but now you’re reminding me that he had me play mantras all night. It would supercharge to energize the space. I haven’t done that for a while. I’m going to start doing that again. He was very big on that.

He was all about creating that space. I had a friend come in and he’s like, “It doesn’t smell great in here. It needs to smell amazing. You need to change it. These need to be uplifting. Get orange oil.” We started infusing the place with orange essential oil. It feels fresh and clean when you walk in and put you in a good mood. The music is the kind of music that never triggers the brain. We played calm music. The second you walk into Unplug Meditation, you immediately feel ten times calmer. You walk into the actual meditation room and the fact that we take everyone’s cell phones and they have to check them at the door, makes everyone feel fantastic because they’re not connected anymore. They are giving themselves permission to completely unplug. They’re not racing out of the room trying to get their phones back.

I can tell you that as a client, as a student and as someone who loves your studio, mission accomplished. The minute you walk in there, you’re ten times calmer and forget about it. Once you get in the studio, you’re like, “I’m back in my loom space to nest.”

I’ve been trying to talk you into teaching there at some point.

GA 33 | Making Meditation Accessible
Making Meditation Accessible: In defense of all these more difficult practices that are expensive, they’re solid practices. But that was all meditation could be before it became more accessible.

 

I could probably easily be talked into that. You always say that you’re a manifester. I wondered, did you ever look into human design?

I did. I’ve met a lot of people and I remember that. I believe in the power of you think it and you can do it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talented or not talented, whether you’re smart or you’re not smart. You can do anything that you set your mind to and anyone can, whether they have money or they don’t have money. I hate when people feel like, “I can’t do it because of this.” A lot of people think of their blocks, but they don’t take the tiny steps to achieve their dreams. I believe that.

That’s another trait that I admire in you. You’re relentlessly positive and optimistic. I’ve heard many clients come up to you and share their ideas and share something they want to do. You’re like, “You should look into that. Do some research and do some stuff.”

I was lucky because people did that for me when I opened up Unplug in 2014. Unplug was the world’s first drop and meditation studio.

How many years did it take you to do everything like get this space and design?

It took me one year. I was thinking about it for two years but one year of, “I’m all in. This is happening.”

Was your husband in complete support? Was he dubious? Was he like, “I don’t know?”

He’s like, “This is how much money we can lose and FYI, don’t ask for anymore.” We split it. We went to 50/50 and he wanted me to be happy. It wasn’t crazy. We put in a lot of money. I was nervous because I didn’t want to lose it, but we only put in enough money that if we did lose, it wouldn’t hurt the family. That’s how it happened.

Was it popular right away? Did you start to make money right away or make money back right away or did it take a while?

You were an early arriver. It was probably you and me in the room alone for a while.

I saw that quickly.

Quickly would be six months, it started growing. It was a solid six months of people asking me, “Aren’t you concerned?” and me saying, “No, I’m not. It’s going to happen.” It’s happening now and it’s doing great, but I genuinely believed at the time that it was going to happen and it would work. Eve n when it wasn’t working and it wasn’t happening, I kept that mindset because I felt that it had to work. I’m not the kind of person that accepts no for an answer. I’m not the kind of person that ever accepts defeat. I keep going. People who keep going succeed. It’s the people who quit who get defeated. I see that happen even in fashion. Some editors are very talented. They’re the last men standing and running magazines now because they never left.

This is a fantastic life lesson. At Unplug, if people haven’t been there, you have wonderful meditation classes, all different kinds. You can go to your website and look and there will be a brief description of each class. Your teachers are phenomenal. You also do fun things there. You have great workshops. You have sound baths with some extraordinary people, the best.

Our teachers are the kind that you would see in Carnegie Hall. It takes a lot to get to Unplug. The teachers there are all good, which is why people always say, “Franchise, expand.” I don’t feel comfortable with that because I’m worried that the quality will never be that same quality. I do care about that. I do like keeping that reputation of the best teachers in the world teach at Unplug. Not just meditation, it is a sound bath and guided imagery. Breathwork is massive there. Sound bath is huge that we now have them not only every single night of the week, but in the daytime too.

I have been to a few and they are so special. They’re powerful. If you sit near them, you do feel the vibrations.

Even when things aren't working out, you have to keep the mindset that they are, and believe that they have to work. Click To Tweet

Our bodies are 90% water, so you feel the vibrations go through your body almost as if you’re getting a massage without being touched. What people say is when you feel off or out of sorts, it’s because our organs are not going at the same frequency. When a sound bath plays, it’s almost like everything’s in alignment and everything gets tuned. It’s a tune-up. People walk out feeling balanced, in tune and relaxed.

You’ve managed to marry the esoteric with the entrepreneurship and I am in awe of that. You have a second studio in West Hollywood.

It’s funny because it’s like I could go downstairs and shop, and I go upstairs and meditate.

When did you open that one?

That one was opened in 2018. It opened, closed and then opened because of the building issues because they rebuilt that whole building.

You have built an app from the ground up, which you do not come from a tech background. You have done this. How do you even begin that? I’m sure you had people helping you.

What happened was one of our clients came in and he was working at ESPN at the time. He basically said, “Can you film Lauren Eckstrom for me because I hate traveling? I don’t want to leave her. When I leave, I want to meditate, but I don’t like meditating on my own. I like to be guided. She’s one of my favorite teachers.” She’s a phenomenal teacher.

I’ve taken her meditation classes. You have taken her yoga class at The Yoga Collective.

He said, “I’ll help you do this.” I said, “Okay.” Another teacher named Olivia Rosewood said, “I have a videographer who I can loan to you. I’ve done some stuff with him. You can use him. His name is Brandon.” We went upstairs to the Art Loft. It was the Art Loft at the time and we made it look pretty. We filmed there and we filmed them. We put it on this platform that already existed called VHX at the time. I said, “Can I help you redesign your platform? Because the platform is ugly. I want it to look like this. You’ll attract more studios if you make it so you can have more than one teacher and more than one class and divide it.” They said, “Okay.”

I worked with them. We redeveloped what it looked like. It became un-featurable. You couldn’t add different features to it. I ended up having to rebuild the entire thing so that we could have the features that we wanted on it. I hired a firm in Canada and we worked with them. We created this app and now we have 700 videos and 70 teachers. What I love about it is you feel anything, overwhelm, anxiety, stress, can’t sleep, want to meditate with your pet, want to breastfeed meditate, anything you could ever possibly think, whether you’re going through a divorce or you want to punch someone in the nose that you work with. It’s on there, everything.

How much is the app because it’s very reasonable?

A regular class in Unplug is $24 but to do the app, it’s $7.99 for a month or $59 for a year. We work with a lot of companies now. Conde Nast Corporation bought our app for all their employees as the turnkey wellness solution for them, which is fantastic. We’re starting to go into the different companies. They’re starting to adapt the app because it’s not like the other apps that are out there. It’s video-based, so you feel like the teacher’s talking directly to you and you feel connected. They’re all teachers from the studio. They’re curated. They’re vetted. You can see the voice that’s going into your head. We take everything and we edit so that they’re not going on and on.

Do you edit with the editors? Are you right there in the editing room with them?

I produced the videos with the teachers. We collaborate on the content. We do the whole thing.

The list goes on and on because now we should also talk about your teacher training program.

GA 33 | Making Meditation Accessible
Making Meditation Accessible: When a sound bath begins to play, it’s almost as if the whole world is in alignment, and everything around you gets tuned properly.

 

First, I wanted to mention that anyone who’s reading, who has an idea for an app, especially if they’re a female founder or female developer, I was invited to Apple Entrepreneur Camp and we went to Apple for nine days. It was the most incredible thing. It blew my mind for a lot of different reasons, but mostly how generous the people at Apple were with helping us create this incredible app. They want to help women. If you are a female founder out there who wants to create an app and has created something that’s on the store, it’s not where you want it to be, but it’s still something, you should apply to Apple Entrepreneur Camp. The trick to getting in is that you need to be able to say what you do in a single sentence. For instance, our app helps busy people with busy lives, stress less, sleep better and feel calm every day.

How long did it take you to come up with that?

Awhile but I’m still working on that.

My husband is in development and when they go into a pitch or when they go to pitch meetings, the log line is everything. The show has to be able to be summed up in summation in one sentence that makes the network go like, “Let’s hear more about that.”

They also want to know how it makes people feel. I always say, “Our app makes people feel better. It makes them feel calm. It puts them at ease. It helps them stress less. It’s like having your best friend in your pocket 24/7.”

That is some good secret information right there. You were invited to apply or did they say, “Please come?”

Anybody can apply. We pitched them to be featured. They did not feature us. We call to follow up and then they weren’t excited about Unplug. We said, “Can we come there and show it to you?” When we went there and presented the app, they got excited and asked us if we would want to apply to the Apple Entrepreneur Camp, which we then did and which then in turn, we were one of the twelve-female founded apps that went. We spent nine days with the designers, with the analytics, with the people who talk about how to create a great app. We learned so much. It was invaluable. It was incredible. Our app is going to totally change because of it. We’re simplifying it. You have to be willing with any business to scratch the entire concept and start all over again.

You’ve done this, you did it with the app, with the VHX, the first one, you had to redo it and now you’re about to do it again. Reinventing yourself all the time and I want to say that it’s so good to hear that they said, “No,” they weren’t interested and you did not take that for an answer.

They shared this amazing design video. In the design video it said, “For 1,000 noes, there is one yes.” People should know that. They’re going to hear no a lot. Outside people saying no to you doesn’t mean that yes isn’t still there.

It should be on my wall. That should be one of your quotes at Unplug.

Look at what you’re doing, Jenny. You have this show and you visualized it. You decided to do it and now we’re inside this incredible studio at Venice on Abbot Kinney with these amazing people who are editing and caring about what you’re doing and making sure that this is a solid thing. Did you know you are going to be doing this? How did this idea come to you? How did you make it real?

I love to talk about it. I love a lot of people. I am surrounded by people doing incredibly creative and remarkable things. I had all these different worlds of people. When I started to ask, would you ever do this? People said yes and I couldn’t believe that they were saying it. Some of the people are like, “Okay.” People like you keep saying yes. As it continues, I keep going with it.

Everybody loves you. You’re the kindest person.

Tell Art that.

He knows. I told him to get his booty back into the studio.

If you're a female founder who wants to create an app, you should apply to the Apple Entrepreneur Camp. Click To Tweet

If he could, he would live there. He says to me all the time that more than anything he misses Unplug. We have to get him back there.

We should bring it to his company. Right now, we’re on Google and YouTube. We send teachers through electronic carts.

I’ve seen you post about that. When you go into companies, do you give a class?

I don’t. I send incredible teachers. I am the founder and I do think it’s important to separate because when people who own businesses are the lead teacher, it’s never a great thing because when people come in and say, “I want to do it privately,” that person is going to always book private and you might not be the best one. I did teach for a minute at Unplug. This woman came in, her name is Camilla Sacre-Dallerup. Did you know her?

Yes, because I am a super fan of ballroom dance and Dancing with the Stars. I know that she did Strictly Come Dancing. I knew her from that. I took her meditation class and her Chakra series. I was a goner for her.

She came in writing an article in the UK about wellness studios popping up. She said she was a certified hypnotherapist and she had been on this TV show. We did a demo and she was great. I’m like, “I’m firing me and you’re taking my spot. You’ll do much better than I ever did.” She’s a huge star at Unplug. She’s huge on the app. I send her all over the world to represent us. Natalie Bell too, I sent her a lot to different companies. Anyone who’s reading, you don’t have to think, “I want to try these teachers.” You can download the Unplug app and meditate with every single person that I’m telling you about. They’re at your fingertips.

When companies, like all the ones that you name, do you ask for Unplug to come? You send one of your mega star teachers and they give a demo class?

It’s either one or eight. Sometimes they’ll do an eight-week program. Sometimes I’ll send Natalie and it’s strictly mindfulness. Sometimes I’ll send them a sound bath, breathwork, guided imagery, mindfulness, and we’ll give them the taste of Unplug. It’ll be different things for different companies. It doesn’t matter if they’re small or big, it’s the same price for any company. An hour is an hour of their time.

That’s good to know because my husband’s company gave them for a year’s subscription to Masterclass. Maybe next time, I’ll suggest to Art that it should be Unplug.

For those of you who are reading who don’t have Masterclass, download it. It’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever do for your brain other than meditating. What’s so great is this one class by the ex-Disney CEO, Bob Iger. I loved him. He was great. I learned so much from him. I was at Katsuya and sitting next to me was Bob Iger. I said to my husband, “I am sorry but I feel the need to go personally and thank him for his Masterclass.” I never do this because in LA we know many celebrities here. We’re going to the class with them. We see them. For some reason, I got a little bit star struck on that one. I followed him outside of the restaurant and I said, “Bob, I want to thank you. I learned so much from your Masterclass. It was so interesting. Walt Disney uses Unplug. We teach at Walt Disney occasionally. I wanted to say thank you.” He was like, “Thank you for thanking me. I never watched myself in Masterclass, but I appreciate that.”

That’s so nice that you did that because who wouldn’t want to hear that they made a difference and that was hugely impactful?

You should listen to the Hostage Negotiator one too. That’s good. Have you listened to it? It is so good. I learned a lot about mirroring and labeling. Mirroring is when you say something. What are you excited about? Tell me.

I’m excited that you’re on my podcast.

“It sounds like you’re excited I’m on your podcast.” That would be mirroring. Say something about how you feel.

I feel nervous that I want to sound intelligent in front of you.

GA 33 | Making Meditation Accessible
Making Meditation Accessible: You should be aware that you’re going to be hearing “no” a lot. But people saying no to you now doesn’t mean that there won’t eventually be a “yes” down the line.

 

“I’m hearing that you’re a little bit nervous about sounding intelligent.” That would be labeling. Labeling and mirroring are interesting.

That reminds me of some acting exercises from my acting days. There are similarities there. Now, I’m going to have to listen to that or watch that Masterclass.

I’m glad your husband has that but we should get him the Unplug app.

We need to do that. I’m going to talk to him about it. Your teacher training course. When did you start that part of the business?

We started that about in 2018. One of our teachers, Megan Monahan, is a great teacher. She works a lot. She used to work with an author named Davidji, who was running the show Presenter for a while and teaches people all over the world. He’s written three books and he’s unbelievable. She said, “Do you want to meet him?” I said, “Absolutely.” I met him and loved it fast. He came to Unplug and always sold out classes. He’s a genius to meditate with and everything he says is smart and powerful.

I’ve taken his class on your app.

Which one?

I don’t even know.

Sixteen Seconds is the best one. He teaches cops and police officers. Sixteen seconds to come, it’s a great meditation.

Maybe as a mom, he should teach more moms.

We were talking and I said, “You do this teacher training course. We’re thinking about doing a teacher training course.” He said, “I’d be happy to do your teacher training course.” I said, “Ours is going to be very different than yours because ours is going to be the training that you can walk into corporations and teach people, go on an airplane and teach it to a stranger.” I don’t want to dive deep in lineages, mantras, sutras and primordial sound because Deepak Chopra does a great job with that. Davidji does an incredible job with that. That’s not who we are. We’re the minimalistic meditation. We keep it simple. We’re the Apple of meditation. I think that would feel more in alignment.

He said, “Sure.” We did our first one, which was great. Everybody from the first cohort gave us advice on how to make the second one better. We did the second one and we’ve done five. We’re about to embark on our sixth. We have 90 people who’ve opened up ten studios around the world from twelve different countries. They’re not our studios, they’re their studios. They’re graduates of our training program. We don’t teach them so much how to run the business, but we help them visualize their business. Medicha in Tokyo is one of the most beautiful studios I’ve ever seen. There’s Exhale in Connecticut, there’s Levitate in London and there’s Mexico City. There’s one that’s going to open up in New Zealand, all of their own. We all have a ripple. The ripple is you can choose. You can have a toxic ripple or you could have a positive ripple.

I chose door number two.

Let’s be positive. Let’s help people.

How long is the course?

It is for six weeks. Unlike other courses, unlike other studios, it is a concentrated six weeks. Most meditation programs take a lot longer than that. It’s five weeks online where you do videos, webinars, assignments and reading. We’re with you every step of the way. You’re online but we’re tapping in. You have one-on-one conversations with Davidji. The last week is six days in Los Angeles where you come to the studio and by then you will have learned all the science and how to simplify it and share it with others. You will learn techniques and know how to simplify it and share that with others. You will have sent us videos every single week so we can see how you’re doing, how you’re progressing and how you’re able to simply share the information in a way that feels engaging for other people. By the time that you arrive in Los Angeles, you’re in a room, you’re working one-on-one with Davidji and myself. You’re with little groups where you teach each other.

On Friday night, you go on the big stage and we call it America’s Got Talent. They come and they share with the big room and it’s nerve-wracking. One of the things that happen in every single class is they walk out feeling more confident. They know their stuff. They are able to teach. What we do say is you can’t necessarily teach at Unplug right after you graduate because you need to get out there, start teaching, get great and then come back. That’s how we do it. We have about five teachers from our program teaching at our studio.

When they do have that Friday night on the big stage, do they do it to your clients or is that to anyone they invite?

First of all, our group is pretty big. It’s open to the public. It’s a free class. It’s their five minutes signature moves. It’s so much fun. You have to come to that one. You need to be on the stage.

I want to see what goes on. You have good teachers. I admire you, but there was a boss. It was Jet Blue back in the day, but I’m not positive. He made it his goal and duty that he went to every different position within the company. From ticketing, before there were kiosks, when you were dealing with people to the baggage handlers, to everything. He knew how everything worked. I feel that you truly do that. You’ve been at the front desk. You have gone through the training, you taught classes, the app, now you’re producing the apps, now teacher training and you’re guiding it.

I’ve even move cars in the parking lot and I’d swept. I’ve done it all and that’s what we do. That’s what you have to do. If you’re going to run a business, you got to get dirty. It’s going to be dirty. There’s going to be a lot of things you don’t want to do and there’s going to be a lot of things you do want to do. It’s not going to be easy. I’m going to tell everyone that it’s not easy, but if you never quit and you work hard, it will be rewarding. First of all, owning Unplug is the most rewarding thing in the world because people’s brains are changing.

Does your husband meditate now?

Yes, he does and my kids too.

Do they ever come to class?

My oldest is a certified meditation instructor, but he’s not yet teaching at Unplug.

Isn’t he in college?

He’s going to college. He’s going to be busy. Hopefully, he’ll teach in college a little bit.

That would be pretty ideal in the dorm. I wish I had that. How did you get so good at designing spaces or is that a natural talent that you have?

I always loved the decor. I had a blog called Dwellers Without Decorators that I did when I was renovating my apartment in New York, so I could remember all the things that I was picking and it still exists. I have always loved the design. It’s a passion.

Unplug is truly beautiful. Every time I go there, I’m like, “I need everything to be white. I need fewer things.” You have a great selection of books. You have a curated book wall.

The retail store is so good right now. I love it. There are some amazing things.

You have perfectly chosen items that I’ve seen so I haven’t been there in a while. Tell me if there’s new stuff.

My favorite right now is the fashion art and music Oracle cards that are modern and fun. There’s a success one too. This morning I picked Steven Spielberg. He’s a legend. It’s funny. You pick and they’re your guru for the day.

You have beautiful crystals and you go to crystal shows in Arizona, great clothes and other things like incense and candles.

We do it all. When I worked at Vogue, I was the associate market director in the Accessories Department. Part of that was curating merchandise for the magazine. I love shopping. I can’t say that I do not like shopping. I love it. I’m passionate. Everything in the shop is something that I want to buy for myself and have bought. I’m the number one customer.

All of your past history, all the jobs of makeovers and doing this marketing has fed Unplug.

Marketing is new. That’s another thing that a lot of people don’t understand is that I didn’t know anything about any of this stuff. I am not a business person and I never was. I always say I have no business running a business, but I’ve learned everything on YouTube. Anytime I have a question, I go to my University of YouTube, I type it in, I learn how to do it myself and I get it done.

Like what one thing?

Right now, it’s Zoom webinars. We did our first Zoom webinar. That was great. I’m going to be teaching all of our teachers how to do engaging Zoom webinars. How do I know this? I did a course on YouTube from Stanford on Zoom webinars and how to make them engaged. I am learning from Stanford professors on YouTube. I didn’t know what a POS is, Point Of Sale, before I started Unplug. I learned how to do that on YouTube. I did not know what a CTA, a Call To Action button is, those click buttons. I learned that on YouTube. Everything I’ve learned has been on YouTube. There are amazing teachers there. I’m taking this course called Business Made Simple by Donald Miller. He has a podcast also. He’s my favorite business guru. You can take it at your own pace and you can read his book called Building A Story Brand, which is great. He’s someone who I go to for business advice. I’ve never spoken to Donald Miller. I’ve only watched him on YouTube. I’ve watched and taken the course.

I love that you share all of your information. You always want everybody to go out and run after their dreams. That is such a magical quality in you and you’re a pioneer. Unplug is an amazing place. Anybody and everybody should go to one of your studios, either Santa Monica or West Hollywood or get the app. Anyone can do it anywhere. On Instagram, you are @UnplugMeditation. Suze, you are an expander for me. Thank you for coming.

You’re already expanding. That’s the thing I always say to people, “Follow your dreams and passion. Take little tiny steps every day and then you’ll get to where you want to go.” Thank you for letting me be on your show. This was fun.

You’re a real power source for me. I’m like, “I can do it. I can do anything. I can figure this out. I got this.” Thank you, Suze.

Thank you, Jenny.

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About Suze Yalof Schwartz

GA 33 | Making Meditation AccessibleSuze Yalof Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of Unplug Meditation, The Unplug Meditation App and Unplug the book. Unplug Meditation is the first drop in modern meditation studio in the world. Classes are 30 to 40 minutes long.

 

 

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