Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alia Khan, owner of Oak + Lotus Yoga, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own Oak + Lotus Yoga Studio and Artisan Market in Austin, TX. Our market carries self-care products made exclusively by small businesses, most of which are local to the Austin area! We offer skincare, bath products, home decor, home fragrance, and more - basically everything you need to take good care of your beautiful self! We also carry products designed specifically to help our pregnant clients stay as comfortable as possible during pregnancy and heal after giving birth.
Tell us about yourself
I am a "recovering" corporate attorney. After five years of working at a DC Law Firm, I quit to follow my heart and find my true calling. I opened my first yoga studio in DC in 2015. I began developing my first line of self-care products with a local maker shortly thereafter. I moved back to my hometown of Austin, TX, to bring my unique approach to self-care to the community I love most. I am so thrilled that I get to spend every day teaching people how to take better care of themselves and feel their best.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every single student has told me that my business has somehow helped make their life better, happier, and/or healthier.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Taking time off! That saying that "if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life" is total BS. Even if you love what you do, it still works, and you need to take breaks. But when you're a business owner, there's ALWAYS something you can be working on, so it can be hard to take breaks, especially when you're new to this life. Trust me, schedule those breaks and TAKE THEM ALL. You'll return refreshed and ready to perform at your best. If you don't, you'll burn out before you know it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- FUNDING! Make sure you have enough working capital to get you through the first year. Don't be afraid to take on some debt to get started, but make sure you're smart about it. Find a business loan with the lowest interest rate/most generous payback terms possible. Take advantage of business credit cards w/ 0% APR offers (but only one or two cards max, and make sure you have a plan to pay them off before that APR kicks in!)
- Listen to your gut when it comes to hiring. I know how hard it can be to say no to someone who is excited to join your team, but if your gut is telling you it's not a good fit, LISTEN, even if you're not sure exactly why you're feeling uneasy about the candidate.
- Resist the urge to DIY everything. Focus your time and energy on the things you do best, the things that only you can do for your business and then hire people who are better than you at the other things to do the other things.
Where can people find you and your business?
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.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.