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Monthly Archives: March 2017

6 Inspiring Yoga-Based Businesses

Chakra 5 Yoga

McKenna Rowe opened her first yoga-based business in Los Angeles in 2011. Her studio grew out of a desire to help her clientele and spend her career working in a positive environment. Unfortunately, excessive real estate costs, insurance expenses, and so on became too much to manage. That’s when she realized she needed to make a change.

That’s when she came up with the idea to bring yoga to the client, rather than the client to a conventional studio. Thus Chakra 5 Yogawas born. Rowe offers mobile yoga classes on location, scheduling appointments for companies that want to offer their employees the benefit of work-day yoga.

“I love making people feel better. I’ve seen how transformative yoga is for mental, physical and spiritual health, both as a student and as a teacher,” Rowe said. “All you have to do is do it — regularly.”

Wanderlust Festivals

Jeff Krasno and Sean Hoess founded theWanderlust Festival in 2008 after noting a lack of large-scale music gatherings for the yoga community. A hybrid celebration of music and movement, Wanderlust is part music fest and part yoga immersion, allowing yogis to practice with renowned instructors such as Jonny Kest and Shiva Rea in tranquil settings while enjoying live performances by familiar bands. Since its conception, Wanderlust has grown by leaps and bounds.

Hoess credited Wanderlust’s popularity to grassroots marketing, direct outreach, and its symbiotic relationships with yoga studios.

Jade Yoga

While many yogi entrepreneurs begin as students and evolve into the business, Dean Jerrehian, founder and CEO of Jade Yoga, maker of environmentally friendly yoga mats, towels and blocks, took the opposite path.  At the start of 2000, Jerrehian was in the business of natural rubber rug pads. A chance encounter with a yogi who said that existing yoga mats made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) material lacked proper slip resistance inspired Jerrehian to turn his rug pads into yoga mats. The mats, which were the first natural rubber yoga mats, were well-received in the yoga community. It was only after that time that Jerrehian began to realize the wellness benefits of yoga.

Blissoma by Iriestar

Julie Longyear is a self-described “lifestyle businessperson,” has always believed in integrating her business pursuits and spiritual beliefs.  That philosophy guided her to start Irie Star in 2001 directly out of college. The company introduced its Blissoma Yoga Mat Cleanser in 2005. Along with a network of studio customers, single location specialty boutiques and estheticians, Blissoma Mat Cleanser is sold in select Whole Foods Markets.

olumbus & Company Consulting

Even the most well-intentioned yoga businesses owners can use guidance in the form of best practices. That’s what makes Tracy Columbus, a lifestyle, branding and strategic marketing consultant, serving the entertainment and yoga industry, a valuable asset. Based in Los Angeles, Columbus observed that the yoga studio population had taken on a consumer shift in the early 1990s.

 “Yoga had gone mainstream and the new yoga devotee was more likely to be a stressed-out business person in search of a place to unfurl — and willing to pay for it,” said Columbus.

Pravassa

In 2009, Linden Schaffer was leading distribution for a multi-million dollar fashion shoe brand. Traveling the globe and struggling to find time for yoga led her to create Pravassa, a New York City-based retreat planning company that brings teachers and students together for healthy retreats.
Schaffer said that by serving a niche within the travel market, Pravassa has found particular marketing value through its blog, which reviews classes around the world. That in turn, creates valuable buzz and viral activity, when reviewed instructors share the blog with their students.

5 Best Wedding Businesses

Brides and grooms are (understandably) picky about the services they choose to make their nuptials special and memorable. These unique businesses help couples make their pre- and post-wedding plans as stress-free as possible.

Though not all couples choose to have one or both spouses change their last name after marriage, those that do often find the legal process intimidating.MissNowMrs.com makes it simple by streamlining all the paperwork you need in one place for one flat fee. Newlyweds looking to make the switch answer some questions about their current and married names and various accounts they hold. Then, these answers are used to complete the appropriate forms. Proofread, print and file, and your legal name change is well underway.

Kristen Rocco, founder of Love Notery, has always been a communicator. Her passion for storytelling led to a fruitful public relations career (even working with Gary Sinise, better known as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump). Like any good romance, she took a leap of faith with Love Notery to tell great love stories. Rocco’s journalistic skills help her craft a customized “love story” through in-depth interviews with couples. The stories are then printed out as an heirloom keepsake.

This app is a multilayered wedding tool, with checklists for the engaged couple leading up to the wedding, vendor lists, ways to stay on budget, and tools to create a wedding site and registry, the site said. The Knot, which also published a print bridal magazine, even has answers to various social and etiquette questions answered by experts. In addition, the app provides a countdown to the day, so nearly-newlyweds can stay excited.

The quality of smartphone pictures has greatly improved, making collecting guests’ wedding photos worthwhile — and a pain. WedPics is a free app that aggregates wedding photos captured by guests. Users can keep photos organized with the albums feature, which is great for capturing photos of all wedding events such as the engagement party, wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, reception, ceremony and more, the site said.

Registering for wedding items often means signing up with multiple brands to create the best registry. Zola consolidates the process by allowing couples to register for a variety of brands, curated experiences and cash funds on a single page, the site said. Zola goes a step further by giving you autonomy with shipping: Each time you receive a gift, the site notifies you to ship now or later, or in the case of cash gifts, transfer to your bank or convert to a Zola store credit.

8 Spooky Small Businesses

“You have 60 minutes to escape the room. There is 1 hungry zombie chained to the wall. Every 5 minutes a buzzer sounds & the chain is released another foot from the wall!” That’s the description of Room Escape Adventure’szombie-themed escape room. You’ll have to gather the clues and solve the puzzle if you want to avoid being eaten by the undead.

Three Muses Clothing has been selling women’s Halloween costumes and accessories online since 2005. Four years later, owner Candy Keane opened a retail boutique in Florida to sell her one-of-a-kind sexy (but not NC-17) outfits year-round. In addition to carrying popular costume brands like Leg Avenue, Three Muses also sells handmade items from local artists.

This online store features made-in-the-USA items and vintage collectibles from Halloween past. Vintage Halloween sells party supplies, ornaments, clothing and accessories, stationery and other products related to the holiday. While the Arizona-based retailer sells throughout the year, special sales and giveaways are reserved for October.

Larry Kirschner owned and operated several haunted houses in the 1980s and ’90s before founding HauntWorld, the largest global database for Halloween resources and activities. Part discussion board and part directory, HauntWorld’s website and magazine allows members of the haunted house industry to connect and share their insights, while haunt seekers can locate attractions like haunted houses and trails in their area.

For more than a decade, The Horror Dome has been providing animatronics, props, masks and costumes for homeowners and Halloween attractions. The online retailer’s products have been featured on TLC, “Mythbusters,” Jay Leno, and even in the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

Ever wonder how to get unnatural-looking eyes like you see on monsters, vampires and other Halloween characters? Try ordering special effects contact lenses from Haunted Eyes. Based in Wyoming, this e-commerce startup sells high-quality prescription and nonprescription lenses in colors, special patterns and even full-eye black (sclera) for that spooky, theatrical effect.

Halloween Adventure is a year-round retail store for costumes and accessories. A landmark for all costume and Halloween enthusiasts in New York City’s East Village, the two-story shop spans an entire block (it cuts through from Broadway to 4th Avenue) and sells a wide range of outfits, from pop culture icons to unique, offbeat characters.

This haunted house empire has been running for more than 20 seasons.SpookyWorld, which also owns Nightmare New England, operates seven attractions in New Hampshire, each more frightening than the last. Every year, SpookyWorld strives to change and refresh its haunted houses to keep its visitors terrified.

7 Unique and Useful Pet-Inspired Businesses

Pets are a part of your family. They play with you, sleep in your bed and gleefully greet you after you’ve had a long day at work. Many pet owners are on the lookout for items to spoil their four-legged friends or that will make their pets’ lives easier. Here are just a few businesses offering unique products and services for your furry family members.

Cats are capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, minus cleaning their litter boxes and getting fed (in some cases, however, they know how to break into that, too). But what if your cat could use a cat-size toilet? Dream no more. The Cat Genie, is a full-size cat box that looks, and operates, similarly to a toilet.

According to the site, Cat Genie is a full-size, automatic cat box that uses permanent Washable Granules. Unlike disposable cat litter, Cat Genie’s Washable Granules never need changing and are 100 percent dust-free, biodegradable and septic-safe. The self-cleaning product rids itself of liquid and solid cat waste without owners ever having to handle cat litter again.

If leaving your felines alone while you go off to work every day makes you sad, Kittyo might be just the thing you need. Cat owners can use the device and app to interact with their furry friends even when they’re not in the same room.

The device, which retails for $249, allows users to speak to their cats, play with them, dispense treats to them and even watch what they do while the owners are gone. The product works by connecting to a smartphone app, which in turn allows you to control the device from anywhere, as long as you’ve got an internet connection. You can use the device to shine a laser around the room for your cat to play with and record videos with a few taps on your screen. With Kittyo, you don’t have to work from home to play with your cat on your lunch break.

Do you love your pet so much you want an exact copy? Although actual cloning may not be an option, Cuddle Clones solves this problem by making custom stuffed animals that look identical to your fur baby.

Cuddle Clones creates one-of-a-kind plush replicas of your pets, based on photos and your chosen customization options. You can personalize everything from eye color and ear position to pose and tail position, so that your stuffed animal is as close to the real thing as possible. And yes, you can even get one that’s true to size. You’re not limited to dogs and cats, either; Cuddle Clones will replicate horses, turtles, rabbits, ferrets, birds, pigs and more.

Cuddle Clones also donates to animal-related causes, so while you’re getting a plush copy of your furry friend, you’re also helping Cuddle Clones give back and assist animals in need.

The thought of having farm-fresh eggs at your disposal and an adorable feathered friend to call your own might be appealing to some, but not everyone is equipped to handle a hen. Rent The Chicken gives you the opportunity to see exactly what goes into raising chickens before you bring one into your home permanently.

So how does it work? According to the company’s website, Rent The Chicken provides you with everything you need, including two egg-laying hens, a portable chicken coop, food and water dishes, enough food (with a non-GMO option as well) for the length of your rental time, and instructions for everything. Rental periods are open from May to November, which is when chickens lay the most eggs.

And, of course, if you absolutely fall in love with your chickens, you can adopt them for a fee that includes their supplies.

DoodyCalls says it’s “the nation’s trusted leader in pet-waste-removal services for homeowners and communities.” That’s right — DoodyCalls is the company you call to help pick up after your pets.

Providing dog-pooper-scooper services, cat-litter-box cleaning, patio and deck deodorizing, and dog-waste-station setup and maintenance, DoodyCalls helps keep your yard and community waste-free. According to the company’s FAQ page, DoodyCalls will scoop deer and goose poop, too: “We are happy to help keep any kind of poop off your lawn or off your community common areas.”

Sometimes, you just can’t get outside to take your dog for a walk, or can’t make it home in time to let your pets out to do their business. With The Pet Loo, you don’t need to worry; it brings the outdoors inside, so your dogs can relieve themselves without ruining your carpet.

The Pet Loo is a portable, square pet toilet that has a layer of synthetic grass to resemble the outdoors and drain urine into its base. It also contains a removable waste container for easy cleanup. According to its website, The Pet Loo is ideal for apartments and new puppies, and is a more convenient alternative to pee pads and midnight bathroom breaks. The company also sells cleaning products, odor-eliminating cat litter and more.

Does your furbaby get cold in the winter due to its small size? Why not make them warm and fashionable with hoodies and other cute clothes? The Posh Puppy Boutique offers up multiple styles for multiple breeds, including hoodies for warmth and dresses for play. The site offers a handy sizing guide so you can get the sizes right for your pup from scruff to tail. Don’t worry if the clothing gets dirty, there are washing instructions for the products.