Be Free Yoga in Spruce Grove, meet the Owner/Operator Katie Jolicoeur
Describe your business
Be Free Yoga is a safe and comfortable space for the community to come and explore different styles of yoga and meditation. We have a variety of instructors that offer their own unique strengths and styles of class.
What made you decide to open this business?
I always knew I wanted to open my own studio. I wanted to offer a safe place where people could come and experience the healing benefits of yoga.
What was it like when you first started?
When Be Free Yoga opened I was incredibly excited but also nervous. I had no experience or background in business, but I knew the power of this practice and was optimistic others would find solace in it as well.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
I am surprised in how much I enjoy the business side of things, I enjoy planning and creating new experiences for our community. Some aspects of business I am still learning and always trying to improve and it can be stressful at times, but I have always loved pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
They love the inclusive atmosphere and the safe space we have created. We have created a culture of allowing you to show up as you are in that moment, no judgements. They know they can come and just be and practice and care for themselves for that hour or so.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?
I feel very honoured to be able to hold space for people as they move through their life and all the ups and downs that come with it. Its beautiful to witness people and their courage as they show up for themselves and care for themselves during challenging times.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?
We are adding new classes to our schedule this fall to give students more chances to deepen their practice. And we have a few workshops coming up offering different tools and strategies for caring for your mental health and well-being.
What is something most people don't know about the business?
I find that what we have here in the studio is a lot different than most others. Our studio isn’t huge so the classes are very small and intimate. The teachers get to know people personally and are able to pay more attention to each individuals practice.
We also show up in the community outside of the studio. We have a not for profit called the Be Free Project which brings free yoga and meditation classes to those moving through struggles with their mental health. We currently run classes at the Stan Woloshyn Building working with Alberta Health Services, as well as FCSS in Spruce Grove. The Be Free Project was the recipient of the Here to Be Grant from Lululemon, a global initiative to bring yoga and meditation out into the community.
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
I love the creative freedom of being an entrepreneur, to try new things, and learn new ways to serve the community.
Do you have any advice that you want to share with other entrepreneurs?
Find a great support system! No matter what you think it is hard to do it all on your own. A good support system will keep you sane and grounded.
Where are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?
I really enjoy going to the trails systems in Spruce Grove. They are beautiful!
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
By shopping local you are directly increasing the quality of life in your community, and supporting your neighbors. Small businesses go above and beyond in what they are offering because to them you are more than a number, they care about you as a person.