We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Melissa Angell. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Melissa below.
Melissa , appreciate you joining us today. Almost every entrepreneur we know has considered donating a portion of their sales to an organization or cause – how did you make the decision of whether to donate? We’d love to hear the backstory if you’re open to sharing the details.
We take pride in the fact that The Yogi Treehouse is a community that gives back. Our donation based classes serve as a way to monetarily help the Connemara Meadow restoration efforts.
Melissa , love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My yoga journey started in 2002, where I was a college athlete participating in two sports. I didn’t fully understand why the benefits of yoga were so therapeutic for me. I just knew that they were necessary physically and mentally. For someone who defaults towards anxiety, the practice allowed me to create a sacred space where I could decompress and center my energy to gain clarity and insight. At the time I didn’t realize how much my past was effecting my well-being. Through the practice of yoga I was able to start the healing process. When declaring my major in business, I intended on creating a space for others to do the same. I found myself eager to work and thought positions, titles, and money were what served me. I veered from my initial intention. Yoga has a way of pulling you back and refocusing your energy towards your hearts calling. What feeds my soul is helping others. For me money is needed to sustain my living expenses, but connecting with others and holding space for them is my purpose. You can’t put a dollar sign on the feeling you get when you have created something that serves as a conduit for others to heal, and that’s where I am today.
I had been manifesting the idea of an outdoor space for people to connect their yoga practice to nature. Understanding now the full benefits of both, I created The Yogi Treehouse.
The Yogi Treehouse is a complete mindful experience. We host classes that take place in this beautiful house of pecan trees at the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve. You start by entering through a trail of trees that leads you across a bridge with Rowlett creek passing underneath. You walk through a grove of pecan trees and arrive on your mat completely inclosed by a cathedral of loving branches of green leaves that allow the sun to peak through just enough to add its touch of light, but not enough to compromise the temperature. We offer different yoga practices to include every type of practitioner. Our yoga practice styles include: vinyasa, restorative, hatha, yin, aerial yoga, kids aerial yoga, and meditation. The Yogi Treehouse is an all inclusive environment. What sets us apart is that we are creating a safe haven for yogis to practice and experience healing by accessing the benefits of yoga in nature. We are also ambassadors of nature preservation and the education of reducing our impact on the environment by the use of sustainable practices. We take pride in the fact that The Yogi Treehouse is a community that gives back. Our donation based classes make yoga available for all regardless of socioeconomic status.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
I’ve had to unlearn the idea that everything has to be perfect in order to get started. What kept me away from starting The Yogi Treehouse initially was not knowing where to start, not having capital, not having a business plan, not having a space to operate. I sat around day dreaming about my goals and intentions, but refrained from taking action because I didn’t have everything perfectly lined up. I had peers that I spoke with that started to lift me up and encourage me to take baby steps. So one foot in front of the other began a beautiful journey towards my dreams. I now understand perfection doesn’t get things started action does. I’ve learned that if you don’t ask the answer is always no, and if you want something bad enough you can work hard to attract it. I’ve learned to stay open minded about how my request show up and to be grateful for every opportunity that has propelled me to continue growing my business. It’s best to get started and gain clarity on what it is you want as you work through the process of building your business.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
If we operated in an ideal world, starting The Yogi Treehouse would have looked like this:
The Yogi Treehouse is a state of the art facility located along hike and bike trails nestled in area nature preserves.
The Yogi Treehouse is a community focused studio that provides education on the social impacts of nature preservation while connecting individuals to a mindful yoga practice in a sustainable facility powered by renewable energy.
Pivoting to where the business is right now. It operates in a nature preserve, but it is a land conservancy and respecting the wishes of the donor permanent structures are prohibited. I still have aerial structures but they consist of portable aerial rigs, the shade comes from the beautiful pecan trees, the renewable energy is the temporary solar lights that allow evening classes.
The sustainable structure will have to wait, but not having the structure does not prevent me from operating the business. It has inspired me to start cultivating a community that appreciates the mission and supports the business all the while generating revenue. That helps sustain the business and prepare for future growth.
I’ve learned not to
set parameters or expectations because disappoint can appear. Instead, I am grateful for what has been offered and look for possibility, so the scope of what can be created is limitless.
- Website: theyogitreehouse.com
- Instagram: theyogitreehouse
- Facebook: theyogitreehouse
Nina Meier Photography