The world’s first drop-in meditation studio, Unplug Meditation, is on a mission to create a global movement to destress people’s lives. Unplug Meditation has two drop-in studios in Santa Monica and another West Hollywood and in response to the pandemic, went digital seemingly overnight. The company now offers classes on Zoom or through its mobile app featuring different teachers and a variety of formats including The Daily Unplug – a daily email that link to a short meditation of the day that people can access on the go. On the consumer side, Unplug offers paid subscriptions available at a monthly or annual rate and the company also works with enterprises to offer wellness solutions for their employees.
LA TechWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Suze Yalof Schwartz to learn more about the company and what inspired her to transition from a successful career in fashion as the Executive Fashion Editor At Large for Glamour to founding Unplug Meditation in 2014.
Tell us about the product or service that Unplug Meditation offers
Unplug Meditation is the world’s first drop-in meditation studio with a global app that is video-based so that you can feel connected to our incredible teachers. We are lucky to work with the most talented guides who provide a unique and modern take on meditation. We can stop stress in as little as 16 seconds and are known globally for re-thinking the ancient practice of meditation to make it feel easy, simple, and inspirational.
We can help anyone who is stressed, anxious, or who can’t sleep, anywhere, anytime. What started out as a local market in Los Angeles has quickly turned global with the Unplug app and now with Unplug Live, our virtual livestream platform.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
I was a fashion magazine editor and was featured on TV segments covering fashion globally prior to launching this business. The inspiration came in a moment of stress when my mother-in-law taught me a three-minute exercise that completely changed my life. By just slowing down my breath and imagining myself in my happy place (which was Jamaica at the time), I was able to dissolve stress and feel calm instantly. That was the beginning of a new career. My mission is to share with as many people as possible how easy it is to get calm, clear your mind, and that stress is optional!
What is the business model?
We are B2B and B2C – we help busy people with busy lives release stress and boost focus and productivity with meditation classes in-studio, on Zoom, and our mobile app.
We also help large companies such as Salesforce, Disney, and Mattel to boost employee morale, increase focus, and overall employee satisfaction.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
We had to turn our physical studios into a digital platform overnight. Our teachers have been leading their classes via Zoom from the comfort of their own home to our now global audience. We also recently launched our online shop.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
I feel so lucky that I got to build Unplug in Los Angeles because people were so receptive to trying a modernized form of meditation. Los Angeles is known to have the most talented meditation, sound bath, breathwork, crystal healing, aromatherapy, and hypnosis teachers in the world, and I’ve been lucky to have access to them. Unplug has attracted a global audience who wants to experience the Los Angeles wellness scene, which is often considered the epicenter of it all.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
My goals for the next six months are to launch our amazing new version of the Unplug app that we designed at Apple Entrepreneur Camp in January, and to develop our livestream model within our physical studio classes once we reopen the studios.
If you could be put in touch with one person in the LA Tech tech community who would it be and why?
A strategy meeting with Richard Rosenblatt, cofounder and former CEO of Demand Media, would be a dream!
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
For me, LA is the capital of modern spirituality in the U.S. and to be a part of the movement here feels like an honor. I feel lucky that I get to meet so many talented and interesting people who are here to genuinely help one another.
For me, LA is the capital of modern spirituality in the U.S. and to be a part of the movement here feels like an honor.
What else can be done to promote early-stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
I think it would be great to have more conferences for the founders of fitness, tech, and health and wellness brands.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
My favorite restaurant in LA is Felix for the food and SoHo House Malibu for the vibe.
You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in Los Angeles Tech! Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today