We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Erazo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was scared. As hell. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, I thought I would stay in media my entire career. I thought my passion for wellness would remain my side hustle. I quit my job as a producer for the biggest new organization in the world, and traveled to Rishikesh, India to study yoga, breathwork, and meditation. I thought I would come back and just find another corporate job. I was so wrong. India challenged me. India shined a light on my passion in a new way. It made me feel confident and ready for the challenge of full-time entrepreneurship. So when I returned, I tossed my resumes and decided to focus all my energy on bringing wellness to the workplace, and teaching people how to use wellness as a tool for personal healing. I had no savings, no business plan, no training on business strategy or marketing. I just had passion and focus. I decided I would commit myself to learning as much as I could about all things business. Teaching myself, reading, learning from other entrepreneurs, lots of trial and error.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Prana Wellness brings wellness to the workplace through onsite yoga, breathwork, and meditation. We offer wellness education to individuals to guide them toward a more productive, creative, and mindful lifestyle. We are unique in that our practices are rooted in traditional Indian methodologies of wholistic wellness. We educate our clients on the benefits of our practices, so that they are equipped and informed on how to heal their own bodies. Our services are wide-ranging: onsite yoga, breathwork/meditation, bootcamp fitness, lunch and learns, corporate retreats, health fairs, wellness events and workshops, and online wellness courses. All of these offerings are available virtually, from anywhere! I am most proud of hosting so many successful wellness events, in various cities, in such a short period of time, and being adaptable to changing business needs. I am definitely most excited about the amazing online wellness courses that are in the works! Covid19 made me hit the gas on ideas I had planned for 1-3 years out. They are happening now! So needed. Virtual offerings and online courses will allow Prana Wellness to reach and teach many more people. I got where I am in my business now, honestly by continuing to LEARN everything. From myself and others. I made a lot of mistakes, and I took notes. I engaged in meaningful conversation and built solid relationships with seasoned entrepreneurs and peer founders, and I listened to everything. I also adapted quickly and willingly when things needed to change or pivot. I tapped into my strength as a people person and natural networker to build clientele, and it worked! I gained clients by being myself and going out to events and meeting people. It was in no ways easy. There were many times where I was sooooo frustrated, but I kept going. It was hard because I had no back up. I had no funding. Literally started from scratch. I overcame challenges by continuing to evolve and learn. I took my (many) mistakes and just studied them, to see what I could do differently next time. Sooo many lessons along the way! So many. I’m going to write a book about it one day, but here are a few. 1- Don’t get too attached to your first ideas. There will ALWAYS be a pivot of some kind. 2- Do your research! On your ideal client, on your market, and on your competitor. 3. Stay hungry! No one can want it more than you! I want the world to know that Prana Wellness is here to offer guidance for your wellness journey, and we have soooo many exciting things coming up in the digital space! 21 Day Meditation Experience on “Finding Your Power” releases next!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My bestie is close-ish, in Oakland. We love wine so we always drive out to Malibu and hit Rosenthal’s Winery! On the weekend they have live music, beautiful open air patio and delicious food trucks. A must-do, all day affair. We are also both serious foodies and cooks, so most of our itinerary would include food stops. Gracias Madre for sure. Open Sesame Mediterranean. Def a Jose Andres Restaurant. Fave Chef. Roof top drinks during the day at Mama Shelter, night at EP/LP. Sunday Funday at Le Jardin for a litty day party or Lock and Key. Getty Center or La Brea Tar Pits Park for a cute picnic. LACMA Friday evening jazz in the park. Definitely a hike! Temescal Canyon is a good challenge! Cannot leave out Tatsu Ramen!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Grid 110 Community in DTLA! For sure. As a brand new entrepreneur, I came in starting from scratch and no formal biz training. I knew I needed help. I applied and got accepted to the Grid 110 8-week Accelerator program. They gave me so much insight into how to structure my business from the beginning, and guidance from dope mentors and educators along the way. Through the program I was able to refine my focus, dig deeper into my audience profile, and perfect my pitch. They offered us an abundance of resources to help support our businesses, and they still offer them to us Alum! Most of all, Grid 110 gave me an amazing community of founders I didn’t know I needed.
Other: Would love to send people to my new virtual studio! Monthly subscription classes in Yoga, Meditation, and Bootcamp fitness https://www.patreon.com/pranawellness