We had the good fortune of connecting with Lizzie and Joaquín Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lizzie and Joaquín, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
We define success not by what we do, but how in how we do it, which is with integrity, kindness, honesty and void of greed. We live in a capitalistic society in which the most “successful” businesses are not profitable nor sustainable. Despite many founders beginning with mission-driven ideals they are unsuccessful in their ability to stay that course once money and fame come knocking at their door. For us success is about the big picture, our contribution to the world and maintaining our mission, which is to teach kindness and connection through yoga and encourage our community to pass that kindness on to others.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We started Yoga Wake Up in the most organic of ways. It began in 2015, as a simple idea dreamt up by Joaquín in a restorative yoga class that began in savasana, lying down. The teacher had the lights low and was whispering to please make yourselves comfortable with blankets and a bolster for a pillow, imagining that you were still in bed. She then gently eased the class through poses on the floor until they were brought to standing in tadasana, when she announced, “Good Morning”. He wondered, “What could the world be like if we all woke up like this?”
Within days the first ever “yoga alarm clock” was born.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
– Day 1: We would head to Los Leones in the Palisades for a solid workout and extraordinary views of the beach and beyond. Then, brunch on Juicy Ladies patio for fresh-pressed juice and breakfast burritos a la California… with black beans and lots of avocado! On our way home we would take them by our favorite boutique Amiga Wild for a visit with our friends Alisun and Sadie, and admire all the beautiful plants and crafts!
Day 2: We would “road trip” across town to hike about and picnic in Griffith Park. But first, we would pick up sandos/snacks from The Oaks Gourmet in Franklin Village. If we’re still hungry after, because I always am, we would stop at one of my all-time favorite spots in that hood, Alcove on Hillhurst. And since we’re close enough to swing over to Burbank, we would pick up medianoches and papas rellenos from Porto’s Cuban Bakery for dinner.
Day 3: Beach day! We would hop on our bikes, grab our umbrella and a speaker and head to Venice Beach; it may not be the cleanest but it’s the most entertaining! Maybe we would have drinks at High at Hotel Erwin or bloody maria’s and nachos at Venice Ale House, and people watch. You can’t visit LA without getting sushi so later, we would head to Hama in Venice. Their house sake experience is my fave! Hama usually turns into barhopping in Venice (at least it did pre-Covid) and then who knows where Venice will take you–it’s a vibrant scene that I appreciate for its rawness. There’s no hiding the harsh realities of gentrification in a neighborhood that is currently enduring a lot of change. It’s gritty, sometimes sad, always different, and at the end of the day, I love a town that embraces its weird.
Day 4: Chances are today we’d be likely nursing a mini hangover. Let’s say it’s a Sunday, so we’d wake up and do Jen Smith’s “Selfcare Sunday” yin class on the Yoga Wake Up app – it’s virtual now so we would just throw a bunch of pillows down in the living room and veg out. Then we’d walk to the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market to stock up on “spicy mix” salad greens from Kenter Canyon and all the things from John Givens Farm. Then we would get brunch on the back patio at Rasselbock, and share the schnitzel and waffles.! To drink, I am obsessed with their Steigl Grapefruit, which is only 2.5% ABV and delightfully refreshing on a hot day! Later we would head to Gravlax to say Hey to Magnus and Arda and enjoy fresh herring, hummus and other Mediterranean-inspired tapas, beer and wine.
Day 5&6: We’d kidnap our friend and head to Palm Springs for a couple days and stay at our favorite place, Korakia Pensione, where we were also married. We’d lounge around at the pool all day, get massages or mani/pedis, and borrow bikes once the sun sets and it’s a bit cooler. At night, we’d have fun cocktails at Bootlegger Tiki and do dinner at Workshop. Heading home we’d stop at Tijuana’s Taco in Pomona because you can’t visit SoCal without some authentic street tacos!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’re dedicating our shoutout to our friends at Elephant Journal. It’s rare that a media company operates from a strong code of ethics and we believe that their company and the people behind it are really walking the walk. They have supported us since day 1 and treat our small company with mad respect. It’s refreshing to witness, particularly now amid a landscape of for-profit media that will sell its soul to advertisers if given the chance. EJ and Voyage LA for that matter inspire us to reimagine a world where the consumer is first, advertiser second, reminding us that a brand is a collection of people and voices doing the work behind it and when you celebrate people first, you win.
Other: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/yoga-wake-up/id973221723 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yogawakeup.yogawakeup