Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Brooke James, Co-Founder of TRILUNA, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are TRILUNA, a Wellness and Events company that focuses on Stress Management and Well-being. We create meaningful content around stress management and antiracism, provide intentional movement classes, and create memorable events and experiences.
My business partner Elizabeth and I both experiences burnout in our corporate work environments. Neither of us had the proper tools to support us, so our customers are businesses and organizations that care about their employees' well-being and want to keep their employees well, engaged, and connected!
Tell us about yourself
Before TRILUNA, I was an IT Healthcare Recruiter and Manager. I constantly traveled—all over the country and practically lived in hotels. It was a high-pressure, stressful, and demanding job. It was also gratifying, and I was good at it, but I started getting migraines and tension headaches after about two years. I'd get them so bad that I thought I was dying. At one point, I got a migraine every night for three months straight. I could barely function. At that time, yoga in Nashville was blowing up, and I wondered if it could help me, so I googled "yoga for migraines" and "Yoga with Adrienne." I did that video for weeks and realized it was exactly what I needed.
After feeling better, I knew I wanted to work in wellness. It was as if God was telling me, "You gotta go. You have to trust me and go." I went to a sales conference in Detroit and sat and cried in my hotel room. I called my mom and said, "I can't do this anymore." I got on a plane and came home. I received my first yoga certification in Phoenicia, NY. Shortly after, I decided to leave my corporate career behind and focus on my wellness brand.
After achieving the highest goals and making the most financial income I'd ever made, I trusted myself to move into the entrepreneurial space. I remember telling myself, if you can make this organization money and bring success, you can do this for yourself. "Risk and Rewards" — is my mantra!
My nieces, nephews, and all black and brown children are my motivation. I want them to see me so they can see themselves. I want to be of representation to let them know that they can own businesses, land, potteries, and teach yoga!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a new business, it was surviving the pandemic! Honestly, when I think back, it is. We were in our second year of business when the world shut down, and it would have been easy for us to throw in the towel. But the pandemic helped us grow, understand, rebrand, and create the business we want. The pandemic was good for us. The pandemic put mental health at the forefront, making our services very popular and needed. We were able to work with companies as large as LinkedIn and DraftKings, which took our business internationally.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Something that everyone is afraid to say but financial stability. It's so hard being an entrepreneur and leaving a corporate world where you are guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks. It's hard work to dedicate so much time to making your vision come to life, launching it, and waiting on its rewards. We all have responsibilities, bills, and necessities, and it can be tough to wonder when and where your next paycheck will come from and if you will even get one. Last year, I learned that an "ego" is not needed or helpful in an entrepreneur's world. Sometimes we have to roll up on shelves and still drive the vision while having 1 or 2 side hustles. In 2021, I managed TRILUNA, worked as a middle school wellness teacher, and worked seasonally at Peloton. It was hard, but financially, I had no worries, so I could feel secure in my own life while seeing our baby, TRILUNA, grow bigger and brighter!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a plan and write it out. Create realistic goals and hold yourself accountable even if things go off course (consistency is key).
- Have multiple mentors that can serve and help grow your business in different areas.
- NETWORK. Meet all the people, and surround yourself with people more intelligent than you! Connection is key!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I always want to encourage people to take care of themselves. I want to remind people that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is a part of healing and better mental health. Stress is real, and managing stress is a part of our wellness.
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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