We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Jo Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie Jo, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Opening my own business was something the just felt right to my soul. I spent a lot of years working for other people and had also owned and operated several small businesses. Through those experiences, I learned valuable lessons and discovered that I am most happy, and most successful, when I am the one at the helm. I knew that a movement studio would allow me to call on many of the skills I had developed in previous roles. It is a business model that I was very familiar with and an industry I felt capable of navigating. Additionally, having worked for several years in human rights and the non-profit arena, it was also very important to me that my offering be of benefit to my community and serve needs that were not already being met. This is why the studio houses a non-profit under its umbrella, with the mission of bringing yoga and movement to underserved communities. Beyond being free to make my own choices about the direction of my offerings, I also wanted to be the architect of how I spent my time on a daily basis, so that I could live life as fully and authentically as possible and not miss out on the parts of life that make it worth living. On a deeply personal level, I had always struggled to find motivation to exercise on my own, so I figured that the best way to get more movement into my life would be to make it a part of what I did for “work.” As a studio owner, I have no choice but to show up for myself, my body, and my health! In 2020 I opened the studio with my husband and our then 2-year-old daughter by my side. Although she was very young, I knew she was absorbing it all, and I wanted to set an example for her through hard work and determination. As her mother, I want her to see that women can also work and bring in income for the family. The studio is family-operated, and even at this young age, she happily “helps” with tasks like setting up for classes or events, and cleaning up afterwards. Even more important, it was a dream of mine that she receive the gift of growing up in a space where she could be a part of a community of people that take ownership of their health, move their bodies, and collectively raise their vibration. Our studio is a safe space for so many…in addition to physical movement, we hold space for spiritual development and all kinds of workshops (from art to sound healing and beyond!)…what a unique space for a child to grow up in! Even though I had this vision, it was certainly daunting to be opening a business in the middle of a global shift, but I leaned into my intuition and looked for signs that it was going to work…and the universe gave me plenty of those, starting with a location so close to my house that I can walk there, a whole tribe of community cheering me on, and of course a very flexible, patient, and supportive partner/husband, without whom none of this would be possible. With all of these factors at play, along with more blessings and synchronicities than I have space to mention here, I had no choice but to open my own business and, more importantly, my heart.
What should our readers know about your business?
We opened our sweet space in the middle of the global shift of 2020. While many other studios were closing their doors, we were opening ours. It very much felt like going out on a long skinny limb, but we just knew that something larger was beckoning us to take the leap! There have been many challenges along the way, but we learned a long time ago not to take life too seriously. We know that if we are committed and work hard, good things will abound! What sets us apart is that our space is here for folks who are searching for community and who are looking to connect in person. In a time when people are staying home and doing more online, we are staying true to the good old fashioned way of doing things, fearless and face to face. We also happen to be a real-life mom and pop shop, and we are a black owned business. We have some of the most talented teachers in Miami and we’ve got classes for kids and adults. We host everything from yoga to zumba, hip-hop cardio, and belly dance! We’ve also got special events like new moon gong meditations and sound healing sessions. The space is also available to rent as a venue for gatherings or for private lessons. Parking is easy, ample, and free. We’ve got so much to offer! We are most excited to see what 2021 brings our way. We weren’t able to have the grand opening that we had pictured, but I am sure that the right people will find us! I just want the world to know that we are here…arms wide open!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend in town we’d probably take a class at the studio to kick things off 🙂 Then we’d head to some of the beaches in north miami for fun in the sun without the crowds. While there, we’d order food from The Last Carrot and have it delivered to the beach. Another day we might head to John Pennekamp State Park for a reef snorkel and maybe a camping trip in the keys. Id also make sure we ate at Ghee for dinner one night. We’d probably take my kayak out on Biscayne bay and if the timing were right, we’d for sure head to a sun dance or moon dance by Ritual Experiences! There are obviously lots of great things to do in Miami…Im sure we’d find our way!
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?
Without my the support and patience of my husband and daughter, as well as each and every member of our fiercely radical community, this space would not be what it is today. We have been shown support by so many, and I am eternally grateful.
Other: telegram channel https://t.me/thepeacemakerstudio
Alejandra Libertad (photographer)