Live Like a Lotus Founder Felicia Jordan told Innovation Destination Hartford about her startup experience, the impact yoga and mindfulness can have on young children, and the connection between yoga and life coaching.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: Did you always know you wanted to start your own company?
FELICIA JORDAN: I always knew I wanted to do something that inspired others, enabled them to recognize the importance of being mindful, and ultimately helped them become the best versions of themselves.
IDH: When and why did you open Live Like a Lotus and how did you develop the business concept?
FJ: Live Like a Lotus was established in 2015. I came up with the idea based on what I was drawn to—yoga was always very transformational to me, not in only in a physical sense, but mentally. I knew I had to do something to share my positivity and inspiration with those around me.
I had practiced yoga for fun for more than 10 years. Then I decided to attend Bloom Yoga in Southington for a 200-hour teacher training program to deepen my personal practice. I knew yoga was always more mind than body-focused for me, so I simultaneously obtained a life coaching certification that incorporated yoga, called Yoga2Life.
Because of the many losses I have dealt with in life and the way I was able to process and move forward, I knew I wanted to offer yoga and life coaching. Then I also began to focus on children (ages 3+), which was when the real magic started to happen.
IDH: What makes your startup innovative? What do you do differently than other local facilities?
FJ: Live Like a Lotus is very innovative because there are not a lot of yoga businesses with a strong focus on children. Yoga and mindfulness can positively impact children’s lives if they begin to practice at a young age.
The majority of my children’s yoga classes are held within a preschool program (or as an after-school program at the facility). I’m not just leading a yoga class, I’m also creating ways in which children can use yoga and mindfulness in their daily lives while also enjoying a great class with their friends!
IDH: Tell us about the correlation between yoga and life coaching.
FJ: Yoga and life coaching are very connected. The program I completed focused on how we can bring what we practice on the yoga mat and instill it in our daily lives off the mat. Because I have always felt the connection with yoga in my mind first and foremost, all asanas aside, this program really spoke to me.
I believe Live Like a Lotus has an amazing way to show others a place where coaching and yoga unite and enable them to become the best version of themselves. Much like a lotus grows through the mud to come into full bloom, we move through hard times in our lives to overcome adversity and negativity.
IDH: How are you marketing and building a customer base?
FJ: For me, it is different than some other yoga businesses as I am a one-woman shop. I’ve been able to market first through my many friends and supporters within the yoga world, and through social media. I love to post information about not only yoga and life coaching, but also positivity, great recipes, and well-living.
IDH: Tell us one or two things we don’t know about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.
FJ: Entrepreneurs hear from a lot of naysayers. It’s up to us to follow what we feel in our hearts and what we are meant to do. That alone will prove them all wrong and allow us to shine brightly.
IDH: What’s the biggest challenge your company has faced as a startup?
FJ: The biggest challenge is finding the space (not in a physical sense) your company belongs, especially when there are so many amazing yogis and natural healers in the Greater Hartford area. You must remain authentic, after all, this is the only way your actions align with your true beliefs.
IDH: Any advice for entrepreneurs or startup business owners?
FJ: My advice is to always hold fast to your dreams. We are all born with an innate calling, it is up to us to answer to it and to not allow the doubt we call fear to get in the way. The only way to truly follow what we want to do is to take the first step in the direction outside of our comfort zone.