We had the good fortune of connecting with Octavia Lindlahr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Octavia, what are you most proud of in terms of your business?
Outside the Box was never going to be a “business”. It started with 11 moms in my living room. I need a little extra money and thought to myself “what do I know? what can I offer?”. My background in Neurobiology and experience with parents through being a doula, infant massage instructor and childbirth instructor put me in front of, and in touch with MANY parents and their babies. I decided to MASH-up the two and create a “Brain Development” program for families. Through my experience with parents, I saw that they were great at “care-taking” for their children, but nobody was really “playing”. Right around that time more and more research was coming out to support “sensory learning” and “sensory play”, so I thought. . . why not learn while playing! . . . then “Outside the Box” was born. What makes me the proudest is when I see parents attach and bond with their babies in class. New parents, just learning, and putting parenting all together, grasp on to these great learning tools that benefit themselves as well as their infants and toddlers. I see the self-confidence and sense of accomplishment grow inside the parents as they become their child’s first and most valuable teacher. FLOW was a passion of mine for a long time. As a practicing Buddhist, I knew that “mindfulness” needed to become mainstream. I was happy to see yoga and mediation start trending more and more in the early 2000’s, and flourish into what it is today. Children need meditation and yoga to gain tools that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. I am most proud of the emails, letters and phone calls I get from parents who tell and show me that their children have learned to regulate their emotions, prioritize kindness, and have truly found their “center”.
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?
Outside the Box is 13 years old this year. It started in my living room and then moved to me driving around in my car with containers of learning tools to teach home classes. In 2009, I moved into my first tiny 500 sq ft Center. Man, I thought I was “big-time” then! In 2011, we knocked down a wall and gained 500 more sq ft. Then in 2012, we more than doubled our space and set up shop inside a shopping mall. The biggest and final move came in 2016 when we moved to a 5,000 sq ft center! I am most proud of the way that OTB has “organically” grown. We have never advertised to this day. All our clients come to us from word of mouth. Was it hard? It was hard, scary, challenging, frustrating, crazy, yet exciting, positive, empowering and rewarding! When you start a new business, you “birth a baby”! OTB remains one of my favorite children! At OTB, we are as committed to teaching the parents as the children. It is important to us that parents become confident and instrumental in their child’s learning and development. Without a doubt, our clients and our OTB teachers are the ones who are solely responsible for any type of success OTB has. It takes a village. . . and we have one!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pacific Palisades Shrine Malibu/County Line Beach Santa Monica Boardwalk Venice Hollywood Blvd. Griffith Observatory
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
“The Science of Parenting” is where is all started for me. The research and approach of Margot Sunderland, PhD is who single-handedly sent me on my path of merging science and parenting for the better good of the child. Her book is much like and OTB Bible! Every new parent should read, and every other parent should re-read! For FLOW, Mindfulness teachers of mine who have set the fire to my passion include Jack Kornfield, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Wayne Dyer, and Joe Dispenza! All are my “go-to’s” outside of Buddha himself!
Facebook: @OutsidetheBoxWoodland Hills
Youtube: Outside the Box Videos