When I first conceived the idea of OMNoire, early 2016, it was due to the lack of representation I saw in the yoga classes I was teaching around New York City, as well as the general enthusiasm from friends of color who would always ask me when and where I was teaching. It made me realize that they wanted to be taught by someone who looked like them in a safe and judgement free zone.
You see, I started practicing yoga three years ago because I was experiencing entrepreneur burnout running two other companies (LuxeLife Media and LuxeLife Adventures, both which I have since moved on from) and I NEEDED to find a (healthy) outlet to channel my energies towards. Over the years I experimented with running (even ran a half marathon), kickboxing and just regular daily exercise but I would never stick with it. A good consistent 6 weeks would turn into every other week then a few times a month until I would stop altogether.
It wasn’t until my former assistant (who had lost a ton of weight) told me about a $5 hot yoga studio she was obsessed with that was literally just a few blocks away from my office. Even though I had taken yoga in the past, it was at this tiny little studio that I finally found...home. I couldn’t get enough and I was there if not every other day, every few days. After one class the teacher announced that they were hosting their fall RYT-200 teacher training that got me to thinking that this would be the perfect gateway to further my knowledge in the practice. I hadn’t anticipated teaching (over a fear of public speaking but that’s another story for another time), I just wanted to absorb more education.
Well just a few weeks into the training, which was October 2015, I knew I wanted to teach without a doubt which ironically has helped me get over my fear of speaking in front of crowds.
But let’s back up. Over those 10 weeks, I was the only woman of color in a 50 person training, and as I started teaching during my training and after graduation, my classes would have just a few people of color, if any at all.
Thus, the idea of OMNoire was born – to create a safe space for women of color to blossom in their wellness, through events, retreats, workshops and an online community. I purchased the domain, launched the social media and it quickly took off.
However, as the year progressed and life got busy, it wasn’t until I sat down with another wellness entrepreneur in November 2016, that the concept for the OMNoire Glow Up Wellness Retreat in Grenada was brought to life. Together, through more than enough long days and late nights than we care to count and numerous learning curves, we planned the most glorious, beautiful, enriching retreat for over 50 women of color from all over the world.
Now here we are TODAY, four retreats in 18 months, with our fifth and biggest coming in April, Glow In OM Arizona, a few months a way.
What’s next for OMNoire are more retreats, both in the U.S. and abroad, events, workshops and continuing to build a community for women of color (men are welcome too) that will support, encourage and inspire each other as we #GlowUp in our wellness together.
Love + Light,