September 17, 2020


The latest small business in my Unique Brand in Focus series is East Of Eden.It’s owned by Abby McLachlan who had the idea of creating a yoga studio and lifestyle hub in Walthamstow after spotting a gap in the market back in 2013.

After getting a Law degree from Oxford, then having a successful career in the music industry working for the likes of MySpace and Warner Music, she hit a crossroads when she became unexpectedly pregnant. She had become disenchanted over time with her chosen career path and it was no longer viable as a full time single Mum. She had found the perfect space for the studio and the time seemed right to launch, which she did in collaboration with a yoga teacher Naomi Constantino in 2015.

When it launched, it was a small but beautiful community studio. After a successful first few months, they launched a crowdfunding campaign and enough investment was raised to take over a second studio next door and expand, building a larger yoga studio and dedicated reformer pilates studio. 

One of Abby’s strengths is writing and presenting pitches which came in handy for crowdfunding, but also when the Natural History Museum was looking for a partner to run yoga. They won the job and pre-COVID, ran amazing large scale classes in the main hall underneath the blue whale and moon.

She is often innovative in her approach and keeps her offering unique, with beautiful retreats and a large variety of different classes. Earlier in the year she also ran a series of events called Attune, combining live music with yoga in Waterloo with spectacular views of the city.

Another one of her strengths is pivoting and making things happen. After an amazing large scale expansion and refit of the studio with new café and retail space (designed by Studio Milne), she was hit with the devastating news that she had to close after 1 week of opening the space.

Due to her quick response to the crisis, she managed to keep all 39 teachers on the schedule and moved straight over to live streaming classes, managing to stream 85 classes a week with no prior experience of doing so with high attendee rates. The success of online classes has meant that this is something that will be a permanent part of the business going forward.

The beautiful studio has now reopened with new COVID restrictions and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for Abby and her amazing brand.

Image= Alexandria Hall

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