DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

Guys. It’s already Wednesday which means two things: 1) Friday is in two days and 2) our next DFD Babe Feature is here!!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

This week I’m introducing you to two of my favorite women of all-time. I actually met them through Instagram just over a year ago, and instantly fell in love with their bright, welcoming and energetic fitness studio called Shine down in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Hillary Lewis & Yaya Margarita are both former dancers (like me!) and decided to follow their dream of offering fun and effective fitness classes for people from all walks of life and experience levels.

Another thing that’s so incredible about these two ladies, aside from their drive, is their commitment to helping other women in any way they can. They’ve both made such a difference in my life (personally and professionally), and watching them collaborate with others, pursue their passions, and grow their business has inspired me beyond belief.

If you want to know more about how they got started on their journey as female entrepreneurs, just keep on readin’!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

Tell us a little bit about Shine Studio! When did you start it and why?

Shine Studio opened in October 2016 and its been an amazing adventure to see our #ShineSociety grow! We were inspired to open a fitness studio that offered a wide variety of workout styles that were challenging, fun, and taught in a empowering and positive environment. We felt like fitness wasn’t something you should dread, but something you should actually look forward to! That’s why we set out to create and choose specific workouts that would inspire women to show up and leave smiling from ear to ear! From cardio dance, to our PilatesRemix and Pound classes, you can always find a class that will work you out from head to toe and make you feel like that 50 minutes flew by!

What inspired you to start working on your own business, whether full-time or as a side hustle?

When we met each other, we both had grown up dancing and connected over the fact that we missed dance and loved to workout, but found that our gym workouts just weren’t cutting it anymore. We noticed that there wasn’t a studio in the South Bay that offered the type of workouts that we loved and so we were motivated to bring something different to our area! We thought, if we are thinking that we cannot motivate ourselves to get to the gym and we need a workout that is something we actually love, there has to be other people that feel the same way! We now have people that come to us and say, “I was never able to stick to a workout until I joined Shine!”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in regards to being an entrepreneur?

Persistence is key. We have only been open a year and a half and there are still days where we are thinking “oh my gosh, we are killing this boss-babe thing!” and other days where we think “can we really do this?!” We’ve heard over and over that it’s all about sticking with it, being flexible, trying something different if one thing doesn’t seem to work, and just keep plugging away. Success does not happen over night for most businesses! It takes years of hard work and persistence.

What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

Self-motivation, perseverance, and connecting with other women in business and helping each other in any way you can. We think its so important to empower and help each other along this wild ride that is entrepreneurship! We have met WONDERFUL women since we started the business and try to partner and connect with them in any way we can. We work better as a community rather than in competition with one another!

What’s your favorite part of running a business?

Definitely the people that we’ve been able to connect with. It kind of goes with the last question, as well as our clients who have become a dedicated part of our studio. It is SO rewarding to connect with people that believe in what you are doing and even more so if you can feel like you’re improving their life in even some small way. It is completely life changing.

And what’s your least favorite part?

The ups and downs! It is bound to happen in any business but not knowing where you’re next dollar is coming from can be incredibly stressful. You have to have A LOT of trust and faith that if you are working hard you will be rewarded with success, sooner or later!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

How do you manage your finances, both personally and for work? Are there any tools you use or do you set a weekly/monthly budget for yourself?

We both have had to make sacrifices to start the business, but to be our own bosses and do what we love, it is worth it! We are both lucky to have spouses who empower us and support us. We have had to budget and get specific with our businesses expenses. The biggest advice we can give is to live and work as lean as possible. We taught the majority of our classes for the whole first year at the studio so we could get on our feet. You have to be willing to do what it takes!

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?

Think hard about your idea and if you can’t stop thinking about it, make it happen. Do the research, find something that you truly love and care about, make sure its something you cannot live without pursuing. You will have to sacrifice and work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. But if you love what you do, your successes will feel that much more amazing when you have created them yourself.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business?

Business is literally always open when you’re the owner! So you are going to work on it every day. You have to remind yourself to schedule “you time,” even if its taking a long lunch or getting a mani/pedi in the middle of the week! Know when you’re getting burned out and schedule that time for yourself so you can keep going the next day.

Where do you find inspiration?

We find inspiration from other businesses and women in business that have had amazing success! It’s easy to look at others and become envious. We’ve all been there! But we choose to look at it and say, “They did it! That’s so amazing! So can we.”

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Hillary & Yaya of Shine Studio

If you’d like to check out their classes head here (my favorites are Pound and PopFit!).

You can also find Hillary on Instagram @hillmae, Yaya @yaya_margarita, and Shine @shinestudiorb.

Well there ya have it! I hope you find these features as inspiring as I do😊 Let me know in the comments who you think I should feature next!

xo Jordan

DFD Babe Feature: Teresa Pulver

Welcome back to another DFD Babe Feature where I introduce you to one of the many incredible women I know and love!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Teresa Pulver of Journey On, Lovely

This week I’m bringing to you my good friend Teresa Pulver of Journey On, Lovely – a travel and fashion lifestyle brand that uses biodegradable fabrics and gives back to orphan homes around the world. I had the pleasure of modeling for her first collection, Lovely in Bali, where I first fell in love with her gorgeous designs, but knowing just how incredible she is as a woman, friend and business owner makes me love it even more.

I’ve been so, so inspired by her drive, passion and persistence and I know you will be, too! Keep reading if you want to hear how she took the leap to make it happen 🙂

Tell us a little bit about Journey On, Lovely! When did you start it and why?

I started Journey On, Lovely in October of 2017 while living in Bali with my boyfriend. After many years of being an Executive Assistant and Project Manager in Los Angeles, I felt I was no longer growing in these roles and I had lost all passion for my work. After hitting 30, I realized, I could either live my life playing it safe and never being truly fulfilled by my work or I could take a risk and pursue work that made me excited to get up in the morning. And I see now, it’s these struggles, challenges, and leaps in life that build character. The entrepreneur path is very creative and uncertain, and that’s where I thrive!

My boyfriend and I decided to take the leap and launch companies together and it was during our time in Bali when I felt a door open for me. The culture is vibrant, colorful and so community focused, and the fashion and art is very inspiring. I serendipitously met a very kind, loving and hardworking Indonesian family who happened to manufacture clothing. I decided to work together with them on creating, Journey On Lovely’s first collection, Lovely In Bali.

Because it was very important for me to start a company that had a deeper meaning, I asked around to see what social and environmental issue I could help alleviate with this new business idea. After meeting an Australian swimwear designer whose proceeds all went back to a non-profit called the Bali Street Mums, I realized I needed to use this new fashion line as a medium to help raise funds to support this incredible non-profit and similar ones around the world. I quickly called up one of my best friends who lives in LA, and is half Balinese, and she absolutely loved the idea. She jumped on board immediately and together we launched Journey On, Lovely.

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Teresa Pulver of Journey On, Lovely

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in regards to being an entrepreneur?

I LOVE podcasts and Ted Talks. I source a lot of my advice from them, especially one of my favorite podcasts called “How I Built This” by Guy Ross. After months of listening to many successful entrepreneurs tell their story of how they launched their businesses, I noticed a pattern: many did not have an MBA, an Ivy League education, or even experience in their field. They refused to be limited by other’s expectations of them and how they should live their life and instead, took risks and leaps in life that were authentic to them. Many of these entrepreneurs had no idea what they were doing, but they simply figured it out along the way.

So the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that starting a business is 20% talent, and 80% psychological. If you believe you can, and you break through your mental limitations, you can achieve anything. If you believe you can and you have enough hunger, passion and grit to make it happen, you can achieve any of your wildest dreams. 

What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

The hunger to learn, a passion for serving others and creating value, and grit.

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Teresa Pulver of Journey On, Lovely

What’s your favorite part of running a business?

I am engaged in my work, every single day. I used to disconnect from my work while doing accounting for others, managing their careers and projects. Now that I’m managing my own projects, doing my own accounting, and creating beautiful art people get to wear, I am the most engaged I’ve ever been in my work.

And what’s your least favorite part?

The long hours

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?

Start now. You will never be fully “ready” for most things in life. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Also, if you haven’t already, start surrounding yourself with the best team/friends/network possible. Going after your dreams can be a very vulnerable place for some. It’s important to surround yourself with supportive, encouraging, positive and uplifting people. Sometimes this can make the biggest difference.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?

Yes, it’s all about how I start and end my day. I wake up very early, and start my day with a 10min meditation with the Headspace app, my favorite. I then go on a run or do some yoga. While eating a nutritious breakfast (typically a power smoothie made with greens and fruit), I go through emails, texts, etc. I make sure to take care of myself and my needs first before I get pulled in many directions throughout the work day. I find this gives me the strength to show up and give my best self to others and my projects. Throughout the day I take little breaks to do a quick yoga stretch or take a quick walk to run errands (sitting at a desk all day is very difficult and painful for my body). And I make sure to carve out time for my loved ones. I end the work day usually around 9-10pm. To turn my mind off from work, I meditate 10min before going to sleep.

What are you excited for in the second half of 2018 and beyond?

To continue to build, create, and serve others.

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So there ya have it, one of the MOST gorgeous, talented, kind women I know just kickin’ a$$ and takin’ names. Don’t forget to check out her beautiful designs at Journey On, Lovely and if you’d like 10% off, just use the code ‘jordanlovely10’ at checkout!

You can also find Teresa on Instagram here.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!!!

xo Jordan

DFD Babe Feature: Kayla Kleinman

Welcome to the first of many DFD Babe Features!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Kayla Kleinman of Kayla in the City

In case you missed it, last week I mentioned that I’ll be featuring women who creating incredible brands and businesses on a bi-weekly basis. These women inspire me on a daily basis to chase my dreams, and I know they’ll inspire you, too! Whether you’re on a journey to find your passion, hoping to start your own business or even just love supporting other women who are simply killing it out there, then this series is for you😊

We’re kicking it off this week with my friend Kayla, founder of Kayla in the City, the healthy living and fitness blog, as well as the podcast WELL-Rounded (which I was featured on in Episode 7!). I’ve actually known Kayla since we were in the single digits as we grew up in the same hometown in NY, but we also went on to go to NYU together. Kayla is kind of an all-around super woman in my eyes – she’s a certified yoga teacher, runs her blog, podcast and a side business called Holistic Happening where she hosts wellness events in NYC, and is about to graduate grad school for social media marketing.  Keep reading if you want to hear more about how she does it all!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Kayla Kleinman of Kayla in the City

Tell us a little bit about Kayla in the City & WELL-Rounded! When did you start it and why?

Oh man…I created my blog, Kayla in the City, a little over 6 years ago as a way for me to share my own fitness journey, and also honestly because I felt super alone in this journey. At the time I was a senior in college studying theater and hadn’t found many “like-minded” people yet. I didn’t have anyone to discuss trendy group fitness classes with or what the best dairy-free milk option was. Granted it was 2011 and almond milk wasn’t even available at Starbucks yet…

One day, senior year of college, I stumbled upon a few fitness blogs. People who wrote reviews of workout classes in NYC, achieving fitness goals, and yes, recipes with almond milk. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone, I wasn’t the only fitness loving weirdo out there! Around this time my college friends started catching on to the fact that I was pretty into this wellness thang. They’d ask me questions about the workouts I was doing and how I managed to wake up before class to hit-up a yoga class. So I figured why not start a blog about it — I love writing and sharing my opinion on anything and everything.

I then launched my podcast, WELL-rounded in the beginning of 2018. I like to think of it as an extension of Kayla in the City. I created WELL-rounded because one, I absolutely LOVE podcasts and think it’s such an awesome medium for creating content. And two, I just wanted to have interesting conversations with interesting people about wellness, entrepreneurship, and mindfulness.

What inspired you to start working on your own business, whether full-time or as a side hustle?

I definitely didn’t create Kayla in the City with the intention to make money. And I don’t think anyone should start blogging for that reason alone. I created it because I felt like I had something to say about fitness, healthy living and wellness and if I didn’t say it on the internet I’d basically burst. Once I started spending more and more time, energy and money on Kayla in the City I was ready to start monetizing and doing partnerships.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in regards to being an entrepreneur?

It honestly applies in life but a friend of mine who is also an amazing health coach, Michelle Cady, always says “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.” Every day I’m making decisions about partnerships, opportunities and events to attend. It can be overwhelming to figure out what to say yes to. I’ve been really challenging myself to take a second to really think of it’s a “hell yes” before I say yes to anything.

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What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

Creativity, even if your medium is not in the creative field. Grit. Motivation.

What’s your favorite part of running a business?

So many things. I’m so freaking grateful for the amazing people I’ve connected with thanks to Kayla in the City. I’ve legit met some of my closest friends on Instagram. I also love that I get to be creative and choose my own adventure when it comes to Kayla in the City. I write about what I’m passionate about and follow my own rules for building my brand.

And what’s your least favorite part?

Answering emails. It’s never ending.

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?

Just do it. Start a blog. A podcast. A business. Be loud about what you’re passionate about. You’d be surprised how many opportunities start coming your way.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?

This is something I’m always working on, I definitely struggle with taking care of myself when I have a lot going on. I’m a huge fans of walks and try to take an hour long walk every day. It helps me decompress, it’s where I get my best ideas, and it keeps my energy level up when I feel myself crashing. Since I’m home for lunch most days, I use that time to step away from my computer and veg out for a bit. I also read every night before I go to bed – usually novels because I love me some self-help, but lately I just want to get lost in another world, not my own brain, ha.

Where do you find inspiration?

In whatever content I’m consuming. Lately that’s a lot of podcasts.

I’m a huge fans of walks and try to take an hour long walk every day. It helps me decompress, it’s where I get my best ideas, and it keeps my energy level up when I feel myself crashing. (1)

If you’d like, you follow Kayla’s blog at kaylainthecity.com

And her Instagram at @kaylakleinman

Thanks for reading!!😃

xo Jordan