Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ivory Howard, certified yoga and Pilates instructor located in Washington, DC, USA.

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

I’m a yoga and Pilates instructor that makes it easier for busy, professional women to work out consistently so that they can live their healthiest lives.

Tell us about yourself

I’m on a mission to make sure that more women know that exercise and a plant-based diet can prevent many chronic lifestyle diseases and leading causes of death in the United States. I want to continue to make it easier for women to be active to help them avoid preventable chronic diseases like stroke, diabetes, and cancer. And if you have a chronic disease, I want you to know that it’s not hopeless. You can live a long, healthy, and active life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments is introducing yoga and Pilates to more people. As a beginner yoga practitioner, I struggled to find examples of others who looked like me. I researched different poses and did not find anyone who looked like me or had my body type. Without this information, it was sometimes difficult to know how to get into a pose or what my body would look like in the pose. Yoga is practiced by many different people with different body types, and that diversity should be welcomed, visible, and celebrated so that everyone feels welcome in this community. It’s important that women of color feel welcome in these spaces. We all know someone, especially in communities of color, in our family or social circle, who has a chronic disease.

Yoga is a low-impact exercise that requires little to no equipment. If you’re unable to run or enjoy other high-impact exercises, you can give yoga a try and still get a great workout. If it’s unsafe for you to walk where you live, you can practice yoga at home. If you’re unable to purchase workout equipment, you can still practice yoga at home without buying a thing. Making yoga more accessible to women, especially women of color, could help meet them meet the recommended CDC guidelines for physical and muscle-strengthening activity and prevent many chronic diseases that plague people of color.

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

Isolation. It’s important to build a network of supportive entrepreneurs in your corner who are rooting for you to succeed, referring clients to you, and are open to collaborating with you. I didn’t always have that until I joined an inclusive community of entrepreneurs. This is the community that I was searching for early in my entrepreneurial endeavors, but it did not yet exist. It makes the entrepreneurial pursuit much easier with this kind of support.

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

  1. Build a support network.
  2. Figure it out.
  3. Keep going.

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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