If you’ve followed the yoga world, you’ve probably seen Faith Hunter. She has been on the covers of Yoga Journal and Om Magazine for Origins Magazine and has appeared at various conferences around the world. Yoga has had a strong and lasting impact on her life as it helped her cope with her older brother’s untimely death from AIDS. Through her practice she has summoned the courage to live life more fully and feels that it is. Her mission is to spread the message of a healthy and positive lifestyle.
In addition to owning the popular DC Embrace Yoga studio, Hunter is also an author, yoga podcaster, model, and director of the Faith Hunter Yoga: Embrace Your Flow Yoga teacher training program. Not only does she bring a passion to her brand, but a strong business acumen that ensures success every step of the way.
This winning mix of business acumen and heart is why we selected Hunter to be part of BlackEnterprise.com’s Yogapreneur series that celebrates National Yoga Month.
What was the impetus for entering the health and fitness industry as an entrepreneur?
I have been practicing for 20 years since I was in my 20s. I had worked in the nonprofit industry for years and it was stressing me out. I asked myself, “What is keeping me here?” Things were hectic and I thought, “What do I love most? ;; What do i like to do Â € œThis practice has given me so much why shouldn’t I be able to share the tools, techniques and experiences. Yoga has given me so much; it has helped me find balance and serenity. So I had to give something back.
How did business go for you?
My yoga business has grown tremendously which is directly related to the growth of yoga. It was a bit new when I started, but now we have more people in the mainstream who are longing for a change in their lives. They see their friends are much happier and much more connected and think, “Maybe I need to do something less traumatic on my body.” As it expands to the general public, it expands to business too. I love to see people walking down the street in suits and yoga mats in tow.
How do you deal with running a company in difficult economic times?
I make sure that I make really great offers to people. I also make sure my budget is intact and I have enough reserve money to make sure I can use the reserve to cover if there is a (economic problem) the cost. When I have problems, I know customers are having problems, but they can still do yoga if I drop a few deals. I also do deals for people in the nonprofit sector as students. There is also a weekly course that is free to the community.
What are some of the challenges you face as an African American in yoga?
I’m not the one who pulls the race card, but there is some perception within the yoga industry among people who own businesses or hold conferences. Sometimes they feel that they can’t take chances for a black person because it’s not their goal. What I like about Yoga Journal is that they take an opportunity in this market. There are people who practice color and they make sure their magazine shows it.
One of my teachers is of Spanish descent and she said to me, “I look forward to teaching here because when I walk around the room it’s multicultural.” I have seen Muslim women wearing headgear and practicing yoga. I also hire other colored people, which isn’t that often, and I pride myself on multicultural hiring practices.