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Hidden Gems: Meet Melissa Schoeller and Laurel VanMatre of GYPSET YOGA RETREATS

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Schoeller and Laurel VanMatre.

Hi Melissa and Laurel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Laurel and Melissa met in July of 2017 through the Twin Cities yoga community and GYPSET YOGA RETREATS was off and running almost immediately. Just a few days after we met we booked multiple week-long retreats in Tulum, Italy, Roatan and Panama and hosted our first retreat together in Tulum in April of 2018. Both long-time yoga and fitness teachers had a loyal following of enthusiastic students wanting to travel and see the world while practicing yoga in beautiful locations. By 2020, we were selling out and have built a community of roving adventurers who are booking out multiple retreats at a time and continue to inspire us to look for new locations far and wide. We’ve got Spain, Greece, Portugal, Montana and Joshua Tree, California already booked and Bali, West Sumatra and Scandinavia in our sites for the future.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Well, yes and no. Considering we established our LLC and booked multiple locations just before the pandemic hit in March of 2020 things got a little scary for a while. But, we knew we would prevail and survive. We hustled to set up an On-Demand platform and Zoom classes while we were unable to travel. Because of the dates we had booked for our 2020 and 2021 retreats, we actually had to move only 3 retreats and all proprietors were cool about working with us to move dates to 2022 or after. We also had so much momentum from the get-go we knew we’d make it through. Our retreaters were also very supportive and understanding about how the pandemic affected our business and was totally cool about sitting tight and transferring their deposits to future dates. I think we had only like 10 people as for their deposits back out of over 100 bookings.

As you know, we’re big fans of GYPSET YOGA RETREATS. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We LOVE to travel!! We live by our mission “Come ALIVE Through TRAVEL” and truly believe travel makes our lives richer. Pre GYPSET, Laurel lived in London and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia and loved meeting people from all over the world everywhere she went. Melissa traveled extensively through Central America and islands in the Caribbean including a 46 day adventure with her daughter who was 5 years old at the time.

We are known for offering an experience that is as much fun and adventurous as it is about yoga and wellness. People come to our retreats because they’re looking for a break from the business of their daily lives and to reboot and recharge. We offer 3-4 yoga and fitness classes per day on retreat so people have lots to choose from and feel met at their level of fitness; vinyasa and yin/restorative yoga, barre and HIIT. People feel supported in doing as much or as little as they like.

We also offer multiple excursions that are specific to each location. In Italy we visit medieval cities and go to a wine tasting and castle tour, in Costa Rica you can go on dolphin tours, zip line or take a surf lesson, for example.

GYPSET has built a wonderful community of travelers we are so proud of. We love that we get people from all walks of life; solo travelers, couples, best friends, families, and women as well as men. We have retreaters that range in age from 22-82 years old.

How do you define success?
Success is having a balance between work life and personal life. Doing something you love and doing it so well everyone around you wants to be a part of it.


  • Each of our retreats ranges in price between $1,300 and $2,900 depending on the length of stay and location
  • You can find pricing for each retreat on our website at

Contact Info:

Image Credits
St. Paul Photo Co.

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