Features - Entrepreneurial Alumni
Posted 01 March 2016
March 2011 Intake
Jessica is a graduate of American University Washington DC.
Describe your business and your role within it.
I started my yoga studio the end of May 2015 in Knoxville, TN. My main goal was to create a conscious community in Knoxville, and after being opened 7 months I have almost 100 unlimited members. My students refer to Blue Ridge as their family, and it is my goal to make my studio a place where everyone is welcomed. Since I've opened I have brought the first advanced teacher training to Knoxville, I've helped fundraise for multiple local charities, and I have launched a "give back" campaign that will benefit our community.
How did you get into this line of business?
I studied at an ashram in India when I was living in Asia, and I knew I could only sustain a lifestyle/ job that I was truly passionate in- I had to create my own.
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
Really learning as I went, which I don't recommend. I have now employed a business coach, and her expertise has helped me keep my systems in order.
What else is in the pipeline?
I am either going to expand by another 1000sq ft or start another studio in a different city. I also have plans of continuing my education by returning to India to study Ayurveda.
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
Honestly I see results every time I have a full studio of happy people, every time someone refers to Blue Ridge Yoga as their home, and every time we are able to make a difference in our community.
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
Always trying to do too much at once. I had one or two events every week in January and February so I'm obviously still forcing myself to learn this.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Have faith in yourself, and have a team you can trust- even if it means having to fire multiple people until you find your team.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I healed myself from PTSD with yoga. The body has a beautiful capacity to self-heal if we give it the space.