Hi Kini Yogini,
first of all, congratulations on your decision to pursue your dream of earning a PhD! I admire your determination and courage to leave something you love and feel comformtable with for another dream and a new challenge. Many people could learn from you!
I don't know your situation but I believe honesty is always better than secrecy.
You said you are very close with your students and have a supportive community. Why not be honest with them and let them know about your plans? I'm sure they will understand and support you. They trust you, so they know you will find the most qualified person possible to buy your studio. Maybe one of your students even knows somebody who would like to buy your studio.
This is only my humble opinion, I've never been in the same situation as you.
I hope this helps a bit!
All the best