In this article you can read about Jamie and her business teaching yoga to kids. Discover resources, books and videos to help you do it too.
Tell us about your family: Just recently married to my partner of 5 years, Martin Amor. We have two labradoodles called Spencer and Mini.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I was an actor and kids entertainer living in London. When Martin and I moved to the countryside, I needed to find a more settled and stable job. With no idea about what this should be, I had a real identity crisis. I knew I didn’t want to act any more and being out of London meant the parties were becoming scarce. I turned to yoga as a way of finding strength both physically and mentally.
When did you launch? I began teaching kids yoga in the summer of 2010. Cosmic Kids online launched in May 2012.
I had always practiced yoga and used yoga in my children’s parties to tell stories. I then qualified as a yoga instructor and a kids yoga instructor and started teaching classes in schools and nurseries in local towns. Martin, my husband, was working as an innovation consultant and believed there must be a way of scaling what I was doing so I could reach many more kids. So we decided to try putting my yoga stories online, onto YouTube. We set up a green screen in our local sports and social club, I put on a pink onesie and we filmed three of my kids yoga stories. We launched the YouTube channel and waited to see what would happen. Over the following days, weeks and months the views began to grow. The comments were lovely and it looked like we needed to create more videos. As word spread, it became clear that people were keen to learn the methods I use to teach kids yoga. We created an online teacher training program with Udemy which now plays a crucial role in helping us fund the production of our YouTube content. This is how we can afford to make our videos freely available to kids all over the world so they can practice yoga whenever they like.
It never feels like ‘work’. All of the energy, love and thought you put in comes back with tangible results whether it’s someone signing up to a course or leaving a lovely comment about a video. I also love the fact that Martin and I work together on Cosmic Kids. We get huge joy from creating stuff together, sharing it with the world and then seeing the results.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business
It’s hard to switch off. With every moment being an opportunity to plan or do something that will help to grow the business our brains are whirring 24/7.
What has worked well about your business?
Collaboration – having Martin to do it with has been crucial to its success. We get to bounce ideas off each other and keep the momentum going. Social media has also worked well for our business. Using Facebook to create strong and personal links with our fans and more recently the growing power of Google plus to help with online presence and ranking. Also making a feature of the actual ‘Cosmic Kids’ who practice our videos every day in their homes and schools. We call this Yoga Heroes. Sharing the results back to the world creates an appreciative cycle between us, the kids, the parents and the teachers who keep our business going.
The mistakes we have made have been when we have felt flattered by outside interest and over-estimated people’s influence. We were approached by an independent TV consultancy who seemed really excited to pitch Cosmic Kids to TV channels. We were flattered by it, but it turned out they wanted quite a lot of money to do it. Luckily we had the instinct to walk away and in a way it strengthened our resolve to keep making it ourselves – which we love. Whenever things get complicated, it’s because we are relying on someone else who inevitably has less love for what we’re doing than we do!
Our work begins when we’re ready every day and we stop when we need to, usually to walk the dogs in the evening. Martin, my husband, is right by my side working on Cosmic Kids every day too. He’s a coach to businesses and people and is writing a book about making your idea happen for Penguin so he’s perfectly positioned to be supportive! I still teach classes every week in schools and nurseries too – running after school clubs, trying out new stories and learning all the time from the kids I teach. We don’t have kids yet.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
We hope to make enough to continue to fund making Cosmic Kids so that it can be free for kids to do whenever they like. We also hope that we can earn a living from it, so that it pays the rent and bills. One day it would be nice to buy a house, have some more space and have a team of people working with us to continue to build Cosmic Kids.
At the moment, it’s hard to see this happening. I’m sure I will pause if/when we have a family, but to totally give up seems unlikely. That said, everything comes to an end at some point and when it does I am sure there will be another idea to get stuck into.
Do you have an exit strategy?
No. We are building a business we enjoy running.
Every January we have a ‘Whoa’ moment. Our views during this month always seem to double, so the number of people discovering us just leaps up, and it stays at that level. Seeing those figures grow always fills us with lots of confidence that people love what we’re doing, that we are doing something great and there is potential for it to grow even more.
I hope Cosmic Kids is a part of the daily routine in schools around the world, whether that’s through our online videos or teachers who have graduated from our online and live courses out there teaching. I hope our stories will have been illustrated and published so kids can use a book to enjoy their yoga as well as the screen. I hope to have helped kids all around the world be more self aware and learn that their physical wellbeing is necessary to good mental health. I hope to have my own family with Martin and be spending my time living between our home in England and somewhere lovely and warm by the sea.
Our online teacher training is a great way to learn how to teach kids yoga. Once you have the skills in place you are free to set yourself up running fun classes in schools, nurseries and local hired spaces. Working in this way is completely flexible and suits a lifestyle where family and kids are top priority. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers who are already in place at schools to expand their skillset and offer valuable sessions to help their pupils feel calmer and more confident in themselves. You can find out more about our online teacher training by following this link to our website – http://www.cosmickids.com/learn/
Your website link.
Our website – www.cosmickids.com
Our YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga