It’s officially January, time for everyone to start making resolutions to get healthy and fit, attain happiness, spend more meaningful time with family, and so on. Well, I have great news for all of you. There is a magnificent gem in Chicago where many of these goals can be reached: Sweet Pea’s Studio.
Jenny Barron Fishman’s journey in creating Sweet Pea’s Studio was an accidental one, as she originally focused on a career in theatre, but then followed the path to understanding and helping others attain wellness, especially as related to birth and pregnancy. After becoming a labor support and post partum doula and receiving yoga training, in addition to her vast experience in massage therapy, Jenny connected with Chicago Community Midwives and decided to fill a void that was still under the radar: a yoga studio/wellness center. Jenny and her creative partner Carin Peterson saw the opening of Sweet Pea’s Studio in 2002 as an opportunity to teach expecting and existing parents how to use yoga, childbirth education, and massage therapy during the most special time of life. With her extensive knowledge and certifications (Jenny has a Level Two Yoga Teacher Certification from the Temple of Kriya Yoga, and is recognized as an ICEA certified childbirth educatior and CAPPA breastfeeding candidate, among her previously stated accomplishments), Jenny is able to provide a positive and supportive community for those on their journey to parenthood and beyond.
I came across Sweet Pea’s Studio based on a friend’s recommendation when searching for Mommy and Baby yoga classes. Although it was a bit of a drive for me in the suburbs, Jenny created such a warm and supportive environment (nursing was encouraged and fussing babies were soothed by all the mamas, including Jenny, so you could take some time to perfect your yoga pose) that it was well worth the trip. In addition to “Baby and Me” yoga classes, Sweet Pea’s Studio also offers prenatal yoga, childbirth classes, lactation classes, and other types of educational and therapeutic support for parents and parents-to-be. It is no wonder that Chicago Magazine gave Sweet Pea’s the distinction of “best escape for moms and babies.”
While building her studio along with her husband Scott, the pair were also busy building something else: a family. As all moms know, juggling the demands of family life and work can be a struggle. Jenny actually closed the studio for a time while dealing with a difficult family health matter in order to take care of not just her family and business, but also herself. A friend took over the space and rented from Jenny for a time until she was confident in independently reopening the studio. Upon reopening, Jenny was able to be more creative and have more responsibility since her kids were older. She was driven to create an urban retreat center that everyone can slow down in, including herself. The suites within Sweet Pea’s Studio truly build a community of wellness, and the community is wonderfully family-friendly; you can find information regarding these other providers here.
When asked what advice she would give to other moms who are contemplating beginning their own business, Jenny states, “Being a parent while being a dynamic business owner is a challenge.” As her previous experiences have taught her, sometimes you need other people to help fill in the blanks so that you can take a step back and do some “self care” when necessary. She has an amazing partner in her husband Scott, who is also self employed, and they truly support one another’s endeavors. As many other moms in this series have noted, it is important for entrepreneurs to be realistic and committed, and Jenny also recommends having a clear and detailed business plan.
One of Jenny’s favorite things about running Sweet Pea’s Studio is that she gets to be present with so many families during one of the most important times of their lives. She is also in a position where she can adapt to the times and finds balance in listening to what her clients need, especially since there are rotations in who she works with just about every nine months! In 2015 Jenny is excited for changes ahead, including her growing yoga certifications, adding teachers for the pre and post natal yoga classes that Sweet Pea’s Studio provides, and an overall emphasis on yoga.
So if you are looking for a yoga studio that is a judgment free, safe space that focuses on celebrations and where you are “now,” look no further than Jenny’s beautiful Sweet Pea’s Studio.
Be sure to check out the other amazing mom entrepreneurs who are making parenting in Chicago the best experience in the world.
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