Ten Years of Women, Yoga, Babies, Bellies, and Breath

It’s Saturday night at 8:42pm. Metta is half awake, half asleep in the back seat of “The Blooma Mobile”. As we head west on 44th street in Edina, my eyes stay focused on the road in front, but my mind and my heart are focused on Blooma’s first home at 3919 44th street.

It has been 10 years since we first opened the doors at Blooma. It is hard to write about and I am not sure why. I’m struggling. It’s hard to look at that first Blooma location - and maybe hard is not the right word to use - it’s emotional. It’s like an old love, looking back at photos, thinking about the memories, reminiscing the happiness and the pain. I think of the late nights with Julie Kesti, Amber Kay, Deborah Savaran and so many others. Drinking wine while we cried and laughed our asses off. We offered so many different workshops, classes, support groups and on and on.

Opening Blooma changed my life. As I am flooded with memories I keep driving. I say a prayer silently, hoping the building that once held so many mamas and babies knows what it meant to me and this community.

As we hit the west side of Lake Harriet I look in the rearview mirror and see my four year old’s sweet face, looking out to the glass lake where my other daughter, Sophia Love, rests - her ashes spread in the lake.

Then it hits me.... holy shit.... what a wild, wild ride the last ten years have been.

Being a business owner is not what I had planned for myself. I  am a “people person”, not a number/strategy person. I wanted to support mothers, be a doula, and teach the best prenatal yoga classes in the world. That was my plan. I wanted, and still want to change the birth culture in the Twin Cities. I wanted moms to come to my class and learn to breathe into that crazy, deep, powerful, all knowing, all trusting, all loving place within themselves. I wanted to empower mothers to find their inner goddess, warrior, voice, and strength. I wanted them to do it all while sending a sparkly love note to their baby.

And, I’m proud that this is what Blooma has become. It is that safe place for those that love being pregnant, and those that don’t. It is a wonderful and crazy place filled with hard working woman that get pushed to their limits.

My plan for all this love, breath, and light didn’t originally include running a business with three locations, two franchises and over 85 employees. It didn’t include making huge financial decisions and intense strategy meetings. But, that is the reality of owning a business.

I started Blooma using my heart and gut to guide me. Now, Lauren and I are printing  spreadsheets and graphs filled with numbers and analysis. It’s certainly not the same Blooma it was 10 years ago. But, we continue to serve and support more families than ever.

The struggles of owning a company are greater than I ever expected. I’m often asked, “knowing how hard it is, would you do it all again?" Now, it totally depends on the day, but a majority of the time I take a deep breath, pause, think back, and hesitantly say “yes, I would do it all over again, but I would have done a few things a bit differently”.

I am learning. Every single day, I am learning.

The biggest thing I have learned, and continue to learn, is a balance between “Sarah the Business Owner” and “Sarah the Friend”. This is a constant challenge that I am always struggling with because I LOVE my staff. The women that run Blooma are top notch. But, there are times where I have to make decisions - decisions that help us keep the lights on, doors open, and everyone employed. So, there are times when "Sarah the Business Owner" has to sit across from her sisters, release the personal and make business decisions. Ugh, it is the toughest thing I have to do and I am learning how to do it each and every day.

From the beginning, mamas trusted us and our teachings so they kept showing up. Women came, and they kept coming, and they are still coming. They come with all of their wisdom, curiosity, fears, hopes, triumphs, and for all of that and more, I am so grateful.

Friendships were made, hearts were filled, babies were born, and babies were lost. When a mother had a loss, we all had a loss. When a mother came back to share her birth story, we all felt the emotions from her birth. Blooma was and still is the place where anything can happen. Babies leave their cozy homes for the first time to come to Blooma. Moms breastfeed, change poppy diapers, have melt downs and share their triumphs for the first time at Blooma.

Gratitude, praise, thanks, namaste - none of these words come close to how blessed I feel for the past ten years. I truly believe that all of the lessons I have learned, especially the toughest moments, make myself, my staff, and Blooma a better place to be. Better than I ever thought it could be.

Blooma has been my constant from all of the highs and lows of my personal life. All three studios are my rocks. I come and land here in the arms of my sisters. I land in the arms of my students. I move my body, I clean, I light candles, I give and receive hugs and love from all.

Thank you for being with us for ten years, we can’t wait to be here for 10 more (and beyond!).

Written by Sarah Longacre - Blooma's Owner and Founder from Day One!