We had the good fortune of connecting with Jade Wonzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jade, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I thought about my son. I thought about how important it is that he sees me “doing the work”. Not just the work of starting a business, but that I show him things like character, integrity, honestly, love, compassion. Starting my own business, I work to encompass all these things. I am yoga instructor, and I see many spaces where things like Wellness, are not available to all people. I believe that yoga and wellness, is for ALL PEOPLE. My heart belongs to creating safe spaces, where people can feel seen and heard. The goal (which i’m still working on 🙂 ) is to open a space for yoga, meditation, and other healing outlets. More simply, I just really wanted to do something that I cared deeply about.
What should our readers know about your business?
I teach yoga to all people. I teach donation classes and free classes to ensure that I stay connected to the idea that yoga should not be reserved for only the wealthy. As a curvy or larger body woman, who is short and biracial, I teach to all levels and every body, I create classes where all bodies feel supported. I am constantly teaching in the community and connecting with students personally, if they want to talk, I listen. I’m honored when I get to be a part of someone’s life changing, and fortunately I also get to be a part of it. Of course I also do privates, and teach in very affluent areas, I don’t care who they are, what they look like, how much money someone has, I care for people. In so much of marketing and how yoga is represented, it is generally the same, white, affluent, thin, able bodied…and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being those things. The problem lies when we don’t see representation of allllll the other people who also practice and teach yoga. I am also maybe only one of those describing words previously mentioned, so getting the better teaching opportunities, to be included in workshops, to get clothing and brands to notice me, this was a challenge, a major hurdle. I did not fit the bill. I was NOT the norm. And I don’t really care about those things just for me, they are nice and i need to support my son, but I care because I am not what is generally accepted in the yoga community, and that means that when other people who look or feel like me, see me…they see themselves. Then, for someone, the “welcome sign” changes to an open door. I think how I started to change this, was be authentic. Be myself. Don’t be afraid to share my story. Being open to life and connecting with people. The moment I stopped trying to fit in with teachers, I simply just wasn’t like, the more people were able to see ME and lucky for me, they wanted more of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Funny question, my best friend was just here a few weeks ago. The rain kind of stole a few things from us. But we spent Saturday morning at the West Palm Beach Green Market…be prepared to eat! The local vendors are amazing, pretty sure, it’s all about the food and being outside 🙂 It was perfect. She of course came to one of my yoga classes. We walked around Rosemary square, and had drinks in Northwood. I took her by Grandview public market, where my friend bartends at the center bar, so much fun, and very laid back. I mean coming to south Florida and not at least walking by the beach, is a sin. So we got up early and walked on Lake Worth beach one morning. The whole weekend was basically “Eat, Pray, Love” lol, lots of food and wine. Had amazing pizza at Linoras on Dixie. And for her last night, we went to Sourbon in West Palm, again, amazing food, and there’s this cute little bar upstairs where they make handcrafted cocktails, that are wild! I had a lavender martini, with actual smoking lavender. So good!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Promenade counseling services with Jessica Mork. It is so important to have therapy available for ALL people that need it. Jessica has helped me in my own healing journey, and has countless resources to anyone who needs help with affordable services. Her approach, her softness, her knowledge… I am full of gratitude that I had someone like her helping me along.
Facebook: jade light yoga
Yelp: Jade Light Yoga
Irving Martinez (photo in pink) Vant Richardson (green pants, class photo)