Words of hope for other business owners
Many local business owners are feeling immense pressure to make important decisions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Whether they decide to close their doors or to change their format in order to reach their target audiences, it’s hard to know what the right choices are during a period of ever-present change. Some even view the pandemic as a growth opportunity. Julie Wilkes, owner of Seven Studios and Good Energy by Seven is one of these local business owners who decided to find a new path amidst a crisis, but why now?
“The word crisis has two meanings. One is danger. The other is opportunity. I truly felt that as the pandemic hit, I felt a strong call that this was a time to help reshape the world,” says Wilkes.
Feeling driven to contribute to the good that is possible in tough times by helping others in the community was the push Wilkes needed to find a new way to do things. “It’s one thing to help people to find yoga and self-care in our day-to-day –it’s another thing to remind them how amazing they are when life is putting pressure on them from all sides. Innovation, creativity and positivity are the most important skills someone can bring to this time,” she says.
And that is exactly what she is doing, bringing light to dark times. She has focused on not only growing her own business but on reaching out to other local businesses–hair salons, restaurants and more–to run social media contests to cross-promote each other’s successes.
“We have partnered with other studios and organizations in the community that offer yoga in unique ways such as Bottoms Up Yoga and Brew, Balboa, and The Beauty Boost. We have also posted promotions for companies who were severely impacted by damage, such as 83 & Pine,” she explains.
For those businesses who are considering making some difficult decisions during the crisis, Wilkes suggests stepping back to take stock in yourself, your purpose, and the impact you want to make on others with your work. “Dreams are not supposed to run smoothly. There will always be challenges and reasons that get in the way making you want to give up, but the messy, chaotic, uncomfortable process of following your dreams results in the most beautiful personal and business growth,” she says.
Her goal is to not only to help other businesses in the community but to give back. “It is my hope that we can raise enough money through our self-care sales to break ground on a dog and cat shelter that provides training to the incarcerated, veterans with PTSD, and other populations who can benefit from healing in the form of learning the responsibility of working with animals and experiencing their unconditional love,” says Wilkes.
“If we can do things TOGETHER, as a community amazing things can happen.”