Tag Archive for: business

Meet Your Yoga Instructor: Jessalynn Hudgins

We had the pleasure of sitting down last week with Jessalynn Hudgins – yoga instructor, holistic wellness consultant and the studio manager at Bryony Body, our yoga studio in Exeter, NH. She taught us all about her journey with wellness, yoga and everything in between. Keep reading to learn more about how she’s actively changing the stigma around mental health in the workplace all while helping people find their zen.

Jessalynn sees yoga as her lifeline.

Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Her peaceful escape from her high-functioning lifestyle. Fifteen years ago, she was in the heart of her career working in finance. She had a self-described “work hard, play hard” mindset and pushed herself to extremes mentally and physically. Yoga was a way for her to counteract any unhealthy choices she was making at the time.

After leveraging a few different roles in the business world, she found herself at the peak of her finance career working in operations for a distinguished private equity firm. This was high-producing, yet quickly became toxic and shut their doors, leaving her jobless. Jessalynn decided this was the perfect opportunity to chase one of her longtime dreams: visiting Bali and receiving her yoga certifications.

She headed straight to Bali in 2019 and began an intensive month-long yoga certification process. Six days a week beginning at 6am each day, Jessalynn learned the power and challenge of stillness in addition to understanding where anatomy and philosophy meet.

A fresh perspective on wellness

Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Fast forward to the Spring of 2020, just as the pandemic began, she moved to Newburyport with a fresh perspective on wellness. Soon after she met Katie and was introduced to the Bryony and Birch family in, what felt like, divine timing. She began teaching through the Bryony Body studio while simultaneously creating her own wellness consulting business, Whole Health Wellness.

Jessalynn’s consulting business merges her business expertise with her passion for health. It’s been a labor of love, but extremely rewarding to work with local businesses. Her biggest challenge is getting the decision maker of each company to understand the power of providing health and wellness services for their employees. From there she works with her clients to supply services ranging from physical and emotional counseling to nutritional guides from registered dietitians, to financial security coaching. All her services are assisted by providers certified in their fields.

Jessalynn’s lifestyle has changed quite a lot since moving out of the finance realm. She finds that her yoga practice keeps her zen and centered and she keeps her hands (and heart) full by managing the Bryony Body studio.

When asked what the #1 misconception about yoga is, she tells us it’s the idea that you need to be flexible. She finds that being flexible in the mind actually trains your body to follow and you come to realize it isn’t just about the body, but the 8 limbs that yoga is built on, which becomes very spiritual.

Finding her support system

When she isn’t teaching yoga or consulting, Jessalynn enjoys having strong self-care practices. She has a green thumb with a house full of plants. She also has a white fluff-ball cat named Elle that she adores. When asked what it means to be an empowered woman, she says it all starts with having an awesome support system, which Bryony and Birch is for her. Not only as business partners but also as friends. Her favorite quote and mantra is “A rising tide lifts all boats.” To her this means staying positive and uplifting all those around her.

You can stay in touch with Jessalynn by following @wholehealthwellnessusa and learn more about Bryony Body here.

New Year, New Business? Here Are 3 Things You Need To Know Before Launching

If this is the year you’re bringing a new business to life, you’ve come to the right place.

As a collective of entrepreneurs, we’ve successfully planned and launched over ten businesses between us, including Bryony & Birch. We’ve done a whole lot of wrongs, a whole lot of rights and a whole lot of learning.

When it comes to business, everyone has their own style. Some people need fifty page business plans with clear objectives, milestones and a detailed projection of how their business can scale. Others opt for the more organic approach of – let’s just hit ‘go’ and see where it leads us. We’ve seen both of these models work, however, it’s because the founders all knew three very important things.

Scroll down to learn more.

1.) Assumptions Are Not Your Friend (However, You Need to Identify Them)

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching an app or are selling handmade macrame coasters, it’s easy to make assumptions about who your potential customer is, why they’re going to be satisfied with your product or service as well as your ability to deliver.

When you make assumptions, you can often end up limiting your success and/or leaving yourself vulnerable to unexpected bumps along the way. (Such as a global pandemic.) As soon as you start conceptualizing your business, become aware of the assumptions you’re making and question why you’ve come to that conclusion. Challenge yourself by doing market research, testing your brand’s messaging and looking at case studies of similar businesses.

One of our clients has an organic pima cotton clothing company. They made the assumption that they’d always be able to get their clothing manufactured ethically in Peru and shipped on time. 2020 proved them wrong. After realizing they had all of their eggs in a Peruvian basket, they’ve now minimized their risk of production issues by getting a US-based supplier and manufacturer as well.

Another client of ours assumed her customer base would just be on Instagram. It is one of the places they’re active, but do you know where else her customers hang out? Pinterest. By not sticking to the assumption that Insta was the place to be, she tested a handful of social platforms and discovered an even bigger potential customer base.

Don’t assume you know who your customer is.
Don’t assume you know how your customer will find you.
Don’t assume you’ll always have access to materials and labor.
Don’t assume that people will understand your offering.
Don’t assume that you can simply ‘set and forget.’

By consciously identifying your assumptions, you’ll push yourself to not only think bigger, but also find ways to minimize the risk of missing the mark with your communication and/or developing a kink in your supply chain.

2.) It’s Never Too Early To Start Gaining Traction

Just because your shop doors aren’t open or web sales aren’t live yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creating buzz about your business or testing the market.

One of the ways we’ve done this is by creating a website with a blog so that we can start publishing informative, entertaining and share-worthy content to help spread our message. We’ve found that taking potential customers on our business journey can help them become emotionally invested and ‘sold’ even before we’re open for business. Blogs are also very good for helping optimize your website for search engines.

Another way is to start engaging on social platforms such as Reddit, Facebook or Instagram. So much of a brand’s success depends on a community so don’t forget to focus on how you’re going to cultivate an online presence that provides value to your business and your customer.

Of course, so many things can also happen online! It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a space such as sustainable fashion, tech or food – head to industry networking events, try to get on panels, provide commentary on podcasts or pitch an op-ed to a local (or major) newspaper.

While the major benefit is building a customer base before you even hit go, you’ll also be able to learn from your following and feedback things like: Is my messaging clear? Are customers accepting my price point? Will people help my product/service go viral?

3.) There’s More to Branding Than a Logo

When most people think of the word ‘brand’ they think of iconic logos such as Nike, Apple and McDonald’s. The truth is there is so much more than clever design.
When creating your brand, be sure to think about what your brand’s voice is, what your brand’s aesthetic is and how your brand can effectively communicate its values.

Are you formal or informal? Informative or opinionated? Playful or serious? Do you want your customers to know your political stance? What about social causes you care about?

While a logo and color palette is a must, don’t forget about brand photography. With so many businesses operating websites and on social media, it’s more important than ever to have strong brand photography. We’ve written about the importance of brand photography here, but essentially, you’re going to want to ensure that everything from your brochures to your billboards to your profile pictures tells the story of who you are, what you care about and how you can enrich someone’s life.

We feel so strongly about brand photography that we’ve actually created an all-inclusive package.

What is the Bryony + Birch All-Inclusive Branding Package?

At Bryony & Birch, we offer a lot of different services and products. From hairdressing to yoga to reiki to wedding prep packages, we have a lot going on and a lot to let our customers know.

Having brand photography that showcases our events, experiences, expertise and energy has allowed us to not only launch a retail space in the midst of a global pandemic, but also thrive both on and offline.

As a collective of people who’ve launched quite a few businesses, we know exactly what it takes to get a solid gallery of versatile brand photos, which is why we came up with the all-inclusive Bryony & Birch branding package.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Hair and makeup
  • Product shots
  • Headshots
  • Catered lunch
  • Exclusive use of the Bryony + Birch studio space
  • Photos with Kate Donovan Photography

If you’re a business in the North Shore looking for brand photography, we’re your people. Click here to learn more and to book your package today!

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