Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Denise Davis-Gains, director of Atlas Yoga Studio and School, located in Cambridge, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We offer interactive in-person, online (live and on-demand) yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes, workshops, retreats, therapy, and vocational training that goes deep and stays with you. Our community is filled with yoga teachers, practitioners, and seekers from diverse cultures and backgrounds, often healing from everyday injuries, conditions, diseases, and life trauma. Mostly well-educated women who are in the middle to high-income bracket and see themselves as opinion and decision leaders. They are interested in a meaningful, spiritually and culturally focused life.

Tell us about yourself

My business started out as a mom business to teach in one place instead of driving all over the region to teach. I discovered that I am a visionary teacher, business leader, and a carrier of White Buffalo Woman Medicine in the process, and as I became an elder in the world of yoga, clients found me to help bring children into the world and support loved ones who were ready to transition at the end of their life, and all life events in between.

I am motivated by bringing complementary and alternative lifestyle medicine to the public. I am motivated to read, study and learn more every day. I remember crying when at the age of 10, I realized that I was not going to be able to read all the books. I still feel that way, and my profession gives me carte blanche to read every day as part of my work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Karen Lord has Down syndrome. Training a young woman, Karen Lord, to realize her dream of becoming a yoga teacher.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

My face is in the palm of my hand as I realize, thinking about this question, that my HST is still not done. I promised it would be done by the end of May. :-/

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find a coach and listen to the advice that your coach shares with you.
  2. Discipline, set up routines, and stick to them for bookkeeping, strategy planning, and scheduling.
  3. Find the smallest niche of your business and focus hard on that.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Working in a business of passion is never work. I love what I do every day.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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