Photo by Pablo Robles

By Alex Gallagher | August 22, 2021

After taking a year away from owning a yoga studio, Karin Fellman has returned to the mat. 

Blue Buddha Collective, located on Scottsdale Road and McKellips, opened recently with two strong interests of the Fellman family: yoga and coffee. 

Karin runs the yoga studio while her daughter, Samantha Macias, operates the coffee shop.

Though Blue Buddha Collective combines two seemingly contrasting businesses, the mother-daughter duo hopes the shops that share a space serve as a place of healing. 

“We know that when people are together in a safe way, they’re going to raise their energy levels, which is when the healing happens,” Fellman says. 

Whether enjoying a warm cup of coffee or partaking in a hot yoga class, Fellman hopes that people find a place to heal and relax. 

“All I’m doing is creating a space for them to heal themselves,” Fellman says. “I think when people first come to yoga, they come for the physical things like to get rid of stress, lose weight or to heal an injury and we want this to be a place where people come and feel good.” 

Though most people attend yoga classes to have a release, Fellman attended her first class because she thought it would be a fun activity to do on Samantha’s birthday one year. 

Although Samantha was not an immediate fan, Karin was hooked. “I felt a deep peace when I was in the room,” Fellman says. 

Once she got a taste of that peace, she knew she had found her calling. 

“Once I started practicing yoga and I spent all that time with myself, I came to the realization that my job was a little too stressful,” Fellman says. 

Fellman quit her corporate job and took a nine-week course to become a yoga teacher. 

Fast forward to 2012, she opened Hot Yoga University in Papago Plaza. 

After the plaza was purchased by Pivot Development in 2015, Fellman began to prepare to relocate and found a spot not far from where her love of yoga began in Old Town. 

She stayed the owner until the beginning of the pandemic where she decided it would be best to sell the business to one of her students and take a sabbatical. 

“After taking some time off, we talked as a family about what was next,” Fellman says.  

She began to think about what the most beneficial thing would be once restrictions began to ease and people were able to congregate in a safer manner.

“I felt that what everyone needed was community,” Fellman says.

She felt that the best way to do this was to create something more than just a yoga studio.

“My daughter loves coffee and I love yoga, so we thought let’s put coffee and yoga in one place so that customers can work mind, body and spirit in the yoga room then come out and socialize in the coffee shop,” Fellman says. 

Added Macias: “I thought what a cool space, because you can end class and grab a tea then sit for a minute.” 

With a plan in place came the hunt for a space large enough to accommodate a functioning coffee bar and a yoga studio. 

The two settled on a space that was The Rogue Bar, a punk rock bar that closed its doors on May 1, 2020, after the property’s landlord decided not to renew the venue’s lease, according to a statement on the venue’s Facebook page. 

Though punk rock is not Fellman’s cup of tea, she did want to preserve elements of the beloved venue like the sticker covered poles and front door from the bar, which now leads into her office. 

She also underlined one underlying commonality between punk rock and yoga. 

“People came to The Rogue Bar to release and feel better so it’s nice that we can do the same thing in a different way,” Fellman says. 

With those pieces to pay homage to the former venue, Fellman and Macias made the space completely their own.

Lined with holistic art, inspirational posters and bright blue paint, the space aims to be a place where people can feel inspired. 

“The art that I have here contains my favorite things,” Fellman says. “I love to lift people up and I love to inspire people by having positive messages around.” 

She even notes that at her previous studios, people would often photograph the posters she had hanging, noting “it was what they needed to hear today.” 

Beyond offering the words Fellman thinks that people need to hear, Blue Buddha also has a selection of coffees, teas and recovery drinks that customers can purchase to help get through the day. 

Macias has an array of healthy and organic coffees and teas that customers can indulge, but she is most excited for a botanical infusion recovery drink on the menu for customers to enjoy on a hot day or after a rigorous yoga class. 

“I angled the menu with the thought of what I would want to get after a class,” Macias says. 

Although the duo wants customers to feel comfortable and relaxed, they also hope that their business can inspire people to chase their dreams. 

“I hope when people leave, they realize you can do anything you put your mind to,” Fellman says. “This place is basically a manifest reality.”

Blue Buddha Collection

423 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

480-572-1372, ilovebluebuddha.com  

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