Jessieca Bledsoe, Owner of Indigo Bloom Yoga and Wellness, talks with Ladyboss Midwest about falling in love with yoga and taking the leap to turn her passion into a career.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Coon Rapids, MN. I grew up in West Fargo and graduated from West Fargo High School. I went on to NDSU. I have a bachelor’s in apparel retail merchandising and design. After college, I fell in love with yoga and decided to pursue my 200-hour training. After completing that training, I taught at a studio in town for roughly two years. Then COVID-19 hit, which took many of us out of the fitness industry. During that time I pursued an additional 300 hours of training, making me a 500-hour master now. When travel opened back up, I took a yoga class in Arizona, and I fell back in love with it. Coming back to Fargo I decided that was my passion, to bring a solid yoga community back to Fargo. I’ve also been able to tie my passion for fashion into the business [Indigo Bloom Yoga and Wellness] as well.
Q. How old is your studio Indigo Bloom Yoga and Wellness?
We opened on August 2, 2021. We are very young, but the growth over the last few months has been incredible. When I was younger I thought I’d own a cupcake bakery or a wedding business. I was familiar with the wellness industry because I’d been teaching at a studio for a while, and I found this space is really about making connections with people. You really get to know people, and it’s important in making people feel comfortable and empowered, especially for women. I knew what I wanted to do with the business in the beginning, but once we got clientele, it’s been about making sure we meet their needs and expectations too. It’s been incredible so far. We have a lot of returning faces, which is so great to see.
I feel so blessed to have our incredible 14 instructors here as well. There hasn’t been much yet that’s been super difficult. It helps that I was known in the space before opening our doors. I had built relationships and a clientele base before we opened.
Q. Do you think having been immersed in and really having gotten to know the wellness community in Fargo before opening Indigo is part of what has made these early months so successful?
It helped a lot, being known in the community. When I went through training, I really held onto the idea that I was going through all of these hours so that I could share this practice with others. I found myself in the practice, and what I wanted to do was give that same experience to people. I wasn’t there to teach a fitness class or a yoga class; I was there to guide mind, body and soul. With COVID I think a lot of people were looking for an outlet, something that would help their entire wellbeing and pull them out of the darkness. It’s incredible just for someone to take an hour in their day to focus on themselves.
Q. You’re obviously very passionate about yoga. I’m curious how you set boundaries when your job is something you love so much.
That has been one of the hardest things for me. All of the instructors here I know as a friend. Being able to draw the line between boss and employee and friend has been especially difficult. I’m lucky because the group of women here are so respectful of that relationship. I’m willing to listen and be open and keep communication open with them. I try to nurture those relationships here, make sure they have the resources they need to be their best.
Q. What advice or insight do you have for other young women who want to start a business?
A. Why wait? We all have excuses. Owning this studio was supposed to happen ten years down the line for me. I woke up one morning and I was like, “I need to do this now. I’ll figure it out.” I had a great support system who helped me get the doors open. You can have a five-year plan, but when those five years are up, will you really do it? I say take the leap and trust the process.
Q. Did you get any good advice when you were just starting out?
My dad really pushed me to do it. He had moved to Fargo when he was nineteen and started working for the railroad and eventually started his own business. He said he’d asked himself, “why wait?” So, when I was talking with him about opening this studio he looked at me and asked, “why are you waiting?” I had all of these excuses. He’d say there’s no reason to wait for a dream. Then he started saying if I didn’t open the studio, he’d do it himself, hah! But knowing my dad was able to make his dream come true really inspired me to do the same.
Q. Why do you think mindfulness or just taking that hour on the mat to be with yourself is so important?
A lot of us are focused on others and figuring out how to help others. Since COVID I’ve heard so many women talk about falling into a hole, maybe losing sight of their purpose. I started yoga for anxiety and depression. Mental health really took a crash during COVID, and I felt like I really found myself again through yoga. Even if you bring your friend with you to class, when you’re there, you’re focused on yourself. You’re there for yourself. A lot of my instructors will say at the beginning, “For the next hour nothing else matters.” It helps you get yourself out of your head. We find when you give yourself that hour of focus it can help even outside of the studio.