Initially, my goals and dreams for this space were always so wrapped up in the physical nature of it: determining the rooms we'd need, planning out the layout and functionality of the spaces, creating a design that people would love and want as a reflection of their own style. One and a half years later, with the space established and working as well as it can, for now, my thoughts have turned entirely to planning for our members: determining their needs and how we can fulfill them; helping them plan out their businesses, products and offerings; and enhancing the design of our space and our membership benefits to suit them all as individual creatives. Years from now, I know I'll remember each and every person that joined us here as a member here at Social House; we really do get to know all of them (and how we can help them) as much as possible.
Kate is a special one for me, because we've had the privilege of being a part of her business journey from the very beginning stages. I was excited about her plans from the very first time she shared them with us, and knew if she poured her heart into it, kept pushing and putting herself out there, and let us help her a bit along the way, big things would happen. And they are. What started out as an healthy recipe Instagram account has turned into a unique business, Solful Health, that combines everything Kate has spent time developing in herself and is passionate about: nutrition, health, yoga, mind-body wellness, and, yes, beautiful food and photography. Her new website is up and looking amazing, she's hosting workshops here at the House, and she's inspiring so many others along the way. We recently stole a little time from Kate's busy teaching schedule to ask her about the journey and how she's balancing it all.
What are you drinking?
Matcha almond milk latte. (Here's the full recipe.)
Current mood in less than 3 words:
Tired but excited.
How did you discover that a combination of nutrition, yoga and wellness was what you wanted to do?
Starting this business has been a compilation of everything I've studied and implemented in my own life. It began as an interest for improving my health, but quickly developed into so much more when my friends and family noticed the positive changes and consulted me for advice. Eventually I realized that I could help others by transforming my knowledge into a career.
How'd you take the leap from passion to full time job?
A lot of courage. I felt like it was time to start my own business, so I left my office job earlier this year, which was really scary. I took a real leap of faith and received a lot support from friends and family as I navigated my way into entrepreneurship.
What's your favorite part about what you do?
My job is multifaceted. The biggest perk is the connection I make with my students, clients and readers. I really enjoy testing recipes my recipes and love hearing about all the positive transformations taking place for those around me.
How has Social House helped you with the way you do business?
Where do I even start? I joined with just a dream to start my own business before I actually left my job. I've found so much guidance from the members, like how to design a website or initiate an e-mail marketing campaign. I hosted my first workshop at Social House, which will now be series called "Balance + Brunch" that will regularly take place at Social House. The space has become more of a "holistic support system" where I can better manage the stress and evolution of creating my own business.
Any productivity tips or secrets?
I learned about dedicating the first hour of every day doing something personal, rather than diving into e-mails or work. I usually spend that time reading or researching for my blog, or dedicate it towards something inspirational, like a passion project. That way I am creatively fulfilled and have the rest of my day to be productive. It helps get the juices flow and makes me feel accomplished.
I also swear by 10 minutes of meditation every morning - I set a timer on my phone, close my eyes and just focus on my breath in order to begin my day.
Any tips for other creatives looking to start their own business?
I think it's important to have a plan when you're making the transition from passion to profession, but it's even more important to be open to the changes that will come along with it. People can get lost or caught up in the plans, rather than learning about the process. I taught myself to release the attachment to my original plan, as priorities and interests began to change - you just have roll with it and adjust your plan accordingly.
Your ah-ha moment:
The first time I taught a real yoga class I felt so inspired and energized. It gave me the reassurance that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I had just graduated from teacher training and decided I couldn't ignore my urge to do it full-time. If you're passionate about what you're doing and how you're doing it, only success will come your way.
What's the most challenging part of owning your own business?
Balance of work/life obligations since my personal life and professional life are very integrated. Yoga is a stress reliever, but it is also a business so I struggle separating the two. Deciding my own hours, I tend to be more of a workaholic so it's hard to turn it off when I want to blog or answer e-mails from bed. Learning when to not work.
And the most rewarding part?
Hearing the positive feedback from students and clients. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am helping to make a difference in their life.
What's the most rewarding part of your week:
Friday night happy hour. Saturday is the only day of the week that I don't teach, so I can let loose a little with friends after a long week.
Something that has happened while owning your own business that you never could have planned for or expected:
The blog has been very well received, and I never planned on that being a huge element of my business. The blog was always meant to support my work but it quickly evolved into a platform to showcase my photography skills and healthy recipe development, where I now consider myself a holistic lifestyle blogger.
What do you wish more people knew about you?
Living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, and I know that on social media it may look like it comes naturally to me, but I struggle just like some of my clients to make healthy decisions. I didn't eat my first salad until I was 19 years old, which seems crazy but I never took any interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle until I was in college and had to make a change.
Your dream job:
Owning my own wellness center/yoga studio in Manhattan. I want to create a place for hardworking people to come together to learn, sweat and nurture. I would love to be an author and produce a "cook book" with tips about navigating a healthy lifestyle.
Your favorite piece of work:
Collaborative workshop experience, like Balance + Brunch. I love working with like-minded people who bring their unique talents to the table to leverage the experience.