“You must be willing to let go of the life you planned in order to live the life you are meant to live…” EM Forster
Many years ago I bought a panel with that quote printed on it; little did I know how much of my life would be defined by that quote. Graduating from college, my goal was to move to California to join a Biotech company. I wanted to combine creativity with science to come up with new ways to improve the health of the world. Like many people who were graduating college at the time I also wanted to do my part to correct a growing concern for ethical standards of big businesses, both in their environmental practices and their product formulations, so I further resolved to do my part in pushing the direction of whichever company I would be employed to a course more ethical and sustainable.
Enter the future husband and later two kids – and I found myself redirecting my life (aka letting go of the life I had planned) trying to find a place for my skills as my life become planted in South Dakota. Pregnant with my first child, I would help my mother with her boutique store selling skin care and cosmetics finding myself studying the formulations of the products that were sold. When the business later closed down, I volunteered to help sell off the remainder of the products. I always remember the first customer to call me on the phone with regard to one of the products and I didn’t feel comfortable selling the product to her (she was 6 months pregnant and the product had a preservative known to be a hormone disruptor), so her question to me was, “well, what do you recommend for me?” I researched and found a company I liked, then later contacted that customer and recommended a product that to this day she still uses (she is on her 54th repeat order as of the writing of this paragraph).
Years later, I expanded my product range, built a lab and started my own formulations, all the while practicing yoga and loving it – but had no intentions on teaching it. In the building where the laboratory is, we had planned retail space on the main floor. A new lessee had to be out of her current space in a short amount of time, so we had to use existing construction. We wound up with a room in the middle of the building with no exterior windows or doors, knowing that no business would want that space for retail. Having done Hot Yoga in other cities, I suggested a Hot Yoga studio would be perfect, with the intent of renting to Yoga teachers. As the bills for the build out of a Hot Yoga studio piled on, it became clear that with that kind of investment, we would have to have one of us be able to teach so that we weren’t reliant on someone else who could later stick us with the bill should they decide to leave. So again, I gave up on the idea of just being a practitioner (aka, once again, letting go of the life I had planned) and trained to be a Yoga teacher. And it was only a few months into the opening of the studio that we found how well the two businesses worked together. And shortly after, I realized I was achieving my previous goals. I was creating a healthier world – both through the production and sale of products with strict ingredient guidelines and through yoga as a pathway to a healthier body and mind. In addition, our company’s commitment to fair trade and cruelty free ingredients as well as sustainable manufacturing is meant to raise awareness to the possibilities of a better world through our offerings of healthier and more ethical choices in personal care.