Meet Claire French, the owner of Mandala Tree Yoga & Deep River Designs in Melville, Western Australia
Claire started her yoga business in early 2020 and faced many ups and downs due to the arrival of COVID. Claire’s resilience and creative thinking allowed her to continue her business through this challenging period by starting an online yoga studio. She now provides a synergistic fusion of traditional Hatha yoga and creative Vinyasa Flow general classes.
Besides managing her yoga business, Claire has also recently launched a new web design business. She creates custom websites for her clients on WordPress.
“For me, probably the biggest success is being able to dedicate all my time to doing what I love rather than doing a teaching or café job. By running my own businesses, I get the chance to dedicate all my time to creating new yoga courses and exploring web design templates which allow me to be creative and happy.”
Read more about Claire’s business journey so far.
What is your business? How long has the business been operating?\
I am running two small businesses at the moment; one is a yoga business “Mandala Tree Yoga” and the other one is “Deep River Web Designs”.
In my yoga business, I am the main Creative Flow, Vinyasa and Hatha teacher in my online studio (to be re-launched in 2023). I also teach creative and organic movement, Yin Flow and Meditation.
Similarly, in my web design business, I am the main WordPress developer for my clients. The motivation or inspiration behind this business came to me because I was not able to create a website for my yoga business through a popular website builder, so I reached out to a professional web developer but even he could not create a website as per my expectations or requirements. By this time, I was really frustrated so my business coach, Colin motivated me to build my own website. This encouraged me to start learning WordPress and started designing professional websites quickly and then there was no going back!
Working with Many Rivers
Prior to getting in touch with Many Rivers, I was teaching yoga and working at cafes to make ends meet. During this time, I was also facing a chronic health issue which motivated me to join the NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) program which is funded by the government.
It was during this program that I heard about Many Rivers, so I got in touch with Colin, a business coach from Many Rivers. My association with Colin has been incredible because he has helped me in so many areas from giving me business ideas, developing the business plan, giving me confidence and so on. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Colin’s business coaching.
I didn’t get a loan from Many Rivers. I just received very consistent and helpful mentoring from Colin. I feel that I managed to start a whole new career in web design because of Colin’s mentoring and support. He was continuously there to give me the confidence and moral support to run my own businesses.
Do you have any current employees?
No, I am managing my businesses on my own right now. I have slowed down my yoga business a bit right now to dedicate more time and attention to my web design business. But I most certainly plan to hire someone very soon so that I can grow my businesses to cater to more clients and to provide more services.
For my yoga business, I guess the biggest challenge for me was probably navigating through COVID and make changes to my business to adapt to the new environment of social distancing and safety protocols.
Besides this, managing my business social media accounts and juggling between so many business things all together has been a big challenge. There were times when I used to get really overwhelmed with managing so many different roles and wearing so many hats, but things are slowly getting in control now. With my yoga business, I had to follow a two step forward and one step backward approach. Whereas, with my web design business, it is a straightforward approach with respect to clients reaching out to me in a consistent manner.
“For me probably the biggest success is being able to dedicate all my time to doing what I love rather than doing a teaching or café job. By running my own businesses, I get the chance to dedicate all my time to creating new yoga courses and exploring web design templates which allow me to be creative and happy. So, I honestly feel grateful that I am able to do two things that I am really passionate about. It feels good to be in a place where I don’t have to do any other work to fulfil my passion.”
I guess the biggest change for me would be that I can do something I love as opposed to things I didn’t really enjoy . It is a blessing that I am working on things that I am passionate about and I have more money and time to dedicate to my friends and family and enjoy life more. I have been feeling good about life after starting these businesses. I am now working towards a purpose that aligns with who I am. I am working towards my business goals that allow me to feel more focused and content. Now that I am feeling good about what I am doing, I feel that it is also having a positive effect on my partner and the rest of my extended family as well.
For my yoga business, I am currently collaborating with my best friend to create a whole series of events and workshops for people with different health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc. The future goal is to grow my business services by providing natural fitness and wellness yoga options to make a difference in the health and overall lives of people.
On the other hand, for my website design business, my future goal is to expand the business by hiring more employees so that I can provide web design services to more clients. At the moment, I am doing everything singlehandedly and there is only so much I can do. Other than this, another goal is to offer more services to clients besides web design such as digital art, graphic design (logo etc) and search engine optimization (SEO) services.
Thank you, Claire, for sharing your business journey with us. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours and business success.
If you would like to stay updated with Claire and her small businesses, follow Mandala Tree Yoga and Deep River Designs on social media:
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