Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I was born in 1962 in New Haven, CT and I couldn’t wait to get out of New Haven and get to California, but unfortunately it never happened. So, I ended up in North Carolina for college, and then moved to Atlanta and started my first unsuccessful business called Rub a Dub Pub, a Laundromat with a pub inside. I was young, should not have done it, but I did it. Then I ended up moving to St. Petersburg and opened up my second unsuccessful business – a yoga studio! But, I kept trying and trying. Things were changing in the yoga world, with many teachers teaching athletic yoga, which is not what I teach. So I put my blinders on, and decided to stick to kids yoga. I was the only teacher focusing on kids yoga in St. Pete, going to schools around the county.
Then I decided, I would do a training. This was 10 years ago now, and I filled the training, and was in heaven. So over the last 7 years, my company has trained 2,000 people all over the world, and then we have 30 people like me that are trainers. And now, we have this empire of awesomeness.
One other note that I forgot to mention is that I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad had a really big business and I always thought “Oh yeah, I’m going to do that” and then I realized it was really hard, and understood why he was never around when I was growing up. But I always wanted to have a cool business selling something I love, so when this started growing, I realized “Oh wow, this is actually happening!”
Q. If you could take a step back and start the journey over again, is there anything you would do differently this time around?
Ans: I don’t want to sound horrible in saying nothing, as that seems almost insane, but I don’t think you can get to where you are without going through everything. It’s such a journey and adventure, and everything grows to the next step. I don’t think I would be here without the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe, I would have printed my manuals on recycled paper!
Q. A big part of what Kidding Around Yoga has become is due to the brand that’s been built. Did you bring in experiencing branding experts, or was this done through testing, and trial and error.
Ans: We figured everything out as we went through it. I can’t tell you how many times we had “welp, that didn’t work” conversations, and constantly changing changing changing! It’s all trial and error.
Q. Do you recall a moment that you would say was your most satisfying moment since starting the business?
Ans: Wow! So many, I don’t even know where to begin. I have so many teachers that write me and tell me they are living their dreams. They left corporate America, they’re not getting rich, and what they’re doing is a dream come true for them. We just spread so much joy around. The kids love it, parents love it, and we hear these stories all the time.
Q. What has been the hardest part of growing Kidding Around Yoga to what it is today?
Ans: The hardest thing for me was when I had to stop teaching kids yoga. This was extremely difficult for me. Now I’m a corporate person, it’s a different job. So, I had to force myself to realize that my role has changed, and I have other responsibilities. But, not I miss doing my trainings. I’m running a business now.