Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey by launching a yoga equipment business but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jamila Flake, owner of Yogini Maat Inc., based in Toronto, Canada.
Tell us a bit of yourself and your journey to where you are today...
We create premium hemp Yoga Mats for yogis worldwide, whether beginner or advanced yoga practitioners.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
In 2016, I began my yoga practice, and it changed my life immensely. Tuning into my body, my breath, learning how to focus my mind, and meditation were newfound tools that allowed me to ground in my truth and brought me closer to my higher self or what one may call "God." It helped me to develop faith and Identify my true heart's desire. As someone who always had an intuitive gift when connecting with others, I conducted soul guidance (Natal Chart) readings. I was always able to provide divine wisdom to each individual, lift their spirits, and help them to understand all that they are seeking is within. We would discuss specific programs playing out in their reality, hence why they had this unfulfilling feeling in life. A lot of the guidance provided was yogic practices that re-pattern the psyche and stimulate the nervous system to bring great healing and change to mind, body, and lives. People began connecting with me for inspiration, which was an honor, but what they needed was "self." I decided that I would create a premium yoga mat that was 100% eco-friendly and had an added feature that would encourage users to partake in some practice daily.
Each mat design is based on a tribal alchemical sigil that holds a frequency of what aspires to manifest in life. The Fierce Mat is for those who want to cultivate more confidence, and the Ra Ma Lotus mat is for those who need more healing and unification. The Prosperity mat is for those working on attaining prosperity, whether in business or any aspect of their life. One may ask, "Why hemp?". Ancient cultures believed that coarsen hemp fabric would attract good luck, and that envy and jealousy would pass through the gaps. Hemp fabric was used for protection. Not to mention, its high durability factors create an ecstatically good, long-lasting, safe space for all our users.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is bringing to life my heart's desire. Receiving fantastic feedback from our users reminds me why I started this business and why I will always continue to grow with it. Sometimes we focus too much on numbers and forget to celebrate doing what we set out to do. We may not always hit our target, but passion will bring us there. I've come to understand that being a business owner is a test of self-growth. We get to celebrate big wins and times to go back to the drawing board to shift and expand the business approach. Keeping sight of why I started and how I am fulfilling our mission gets me through some of the not-so-glamorous times.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is learning what I like to call "the heartbeat" of the business. What I mean by this is sales/leads come in seasons. There are times of the year where we have a high demand for sales, and there are times when the market is significantly low. Learning how to plan realistically for the lows was challenging. The first few years were based on trial and error. The times when business was slow set us back financially, trying to keep up with expenses. Keeping an open heart and mind can be challenging, but as mentioned, it's essential to be as realistic as possible with financial projections.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be clear about your mission and vision. The mission and vision are the reason why one is starting or growing a business.
- Narrow down your target market. When you try to serve everyone, you end up doing no one.
- Keep an open mind and be willing to pivot. Change is constant, but your mission/vision should remain the same. Constantly create new ways to reach your target market. This keeps the business fresh and timeless.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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