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August 22, 2014
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Running a Business and Raising a Family

Mom: Christy Cozad

(L to R) Brian Cozad and children J.L., Steve and MyKelle help wife and mom Christy at her yoga studio

What do you do?
Cozy Yoga Studio offers YogaFit® style classes for all ages and activity levels. YogaFit® was developed for the athlete and the general health club crowd. It demystifies yoga, making it more inviting to the average person who wants the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

We are a family friendly studio, offering childcare as well as child participation classes such as our Mom/Dad & Me class—a shorter class where we play games and learn to calm ourselves through mindful movement and breath. We also offer Multilevel, Beginner and Baby Boomer Classes, where we modify poses with straps, blocks, or chairs. Additionally, I am certified in postnatal and prenatal yoga.

Although I ran track in high school, I dislike most aerobic exercises. However, I have recently been introduced to Zumba, a dance class that is a lot of fun. Mary Jo Hayer, an instructor certified in Zumba® and Zumba Gold®, has agreed to add this cardio class to our schedule twice a week and according to Mary Jo, Zumba is “more like a party than a workout.”
We’ve also added evening karate classes with Adam Aukerman.

Due to popular request, we now offer Boot Camp, a strength-style yoga class. This class meets at noon on Tuesday and Thursday and on Saturday at 9 a.m. The lunchtime classes include complimentary bottled water, fruit and your choice of yogurt or a Luna Bar so you aren’t tempted to grab fast food on the way back your office.

Tell me about your family

I have a 15-year-old daughter MyKelle, who will be in 9th grade this fall. She is my pride and joy, plus my sanity! I also have a son JL (John Louis) who is 10 years old. JL lives for sports and is currently playing baseball. Since he noticed the Tulsa Drillers doing yoga poses to warm up before games, he has started practicing the yoga poses that benefit athletes. My youngest son Steve is 8 years old and loves to golf. He also helps at the studio whenever he is able. Steve sometimes finds being the youngest child frustrating, so he uses the tree or eagle standing poses to calm himself down.

My husband Brian is CFO of Tulsa Green Country Staffing. Brian and I have been married for 18 years. He’s my best friend and now joins me as my business partner. My family continues cheering me on, and encouraging me to make my dream come true.

Why did you choose this business?
Other than my children, this is my passion. I have worked office jobs, restaurant, retail, and health clubs. However, nothing is as satisfying to me as helping people improve their health. As a parent myself, I know how hard it is to find a little peace of mind. With Cozy Yoga, parents can learn to tune into themselves and listen to their bodies whether they are at the grocery store or the beach. I want to share the physical and mental benefits of yoga with everyone and YogaFit makes that easy to do!

How did you get started?
I started practicing Yoga in 1988 to help with the anxiety I had of leaving home for college. Then in 2004, I went to my first YogaFit® Training and absolutely loved it! Soon the Family YMCA in Bixby asked me to teach yoga classes. Then I received training to teach Baby Boomers who are beginning to experience the physical difficulties of aging, and started a seniors program at the Family YMCA in Bixby.
While I miss my YMCA Baby Boomers in Bixby, with Cozy Yoga I hope to introduce YogaFit to all areas in Tulsa.
I have also taught at numerous gyms in the Bixby, South Tulsa area, as well as private instruction.

How do you balance being a mom and running a business?
My kids are wonderful. I worked in an office crunching numbers until my third child was born. I then became a stay-at-home mom. I would not change a minute of that time with my kids. I taught yoga freelance and taught at the YMCA while my kids where small. Now that they are older, I have time to get back to work. However, I limit evening events so I can be with my family.

My kids have all offered to help in the studio with childcare or at the front desk. Since yoga helps balance life, it has helped me from losing it when things have not worked out just the way I want.
Whether it’s a school field trip or a sick child, sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough room to slow down and breath. In yoga, we teach letting go of expectation and judgment of others and ourselves and to just be in the moment.

What’s the worst thing that has happened since starting your business
No one showing up for class.

What’s the best thing that has happened since starting your business?
Partnering with YogaFit® who is the leader in the mind/body/fitness industry since 1994, and being able to live my dream of being an entrepreneur like my father.

How are things going and what are your future plans and goals?
Things are going well and we have new students weekly. Eventually, we hope to enlarge the children’s play area and add bamboo floors and a coffee shop.

What advice would you give other moms who might want to start a business?
Follow your dreams. The only one stopping you is yourself. Inhale, picture your business. Exhale, live your business.
For more information:

Moms: Julie DeLong and
Lorrie Doerr

Mom-Vanilla Dreams.jpg
(L to R) Samantha, Julie, and Emma DeLong, Lorrie and Elizabeth Doerr

Tell me about your business. What do you do? When did you start?
Vanilla Dreams was officially launched in March, 2009. We specialize in children’s parties. Whether the party is at a home or another venue, we help make hosting the party stress-free.

I t’s really up to our clients how much we do for them. We can do anything from planning, setting up, delivering balloons, and organizing crafts, to simply helping create party favors or delivering a dress-up trunk. Vanilla Dreams is very flexible. Our goal is to ensure a memorable birthday party. We also have wonderful playgroup activities that are perfect for extra fun this summer!

Tell me about your families.
Julie – I’m married to Chris who is an emergency room physician. He works crazy hours! We have two daughters: Samantha, 9 years old, our aspiring rocket scientist, and Emma, 5 years old, our princess rock star! The newest addition to our family is Willow, our adorable puppy. (Our 3 cats and fish are still not sure what to think of her!)
Lorrie — I’m married to Peter who is a telecommunications engineer. We have one daughter, Elizabeth, who will be two in August and wants to be just like her cousin Emma. Our sweet dog Corbin said not to reveal his age!

Why did you choose this business?

We have been to and hosted many birthday parties; we know what it’s all about: going place to place gathering balloons, plates, napkins, drinks, crafts, games and party favors. Whew! Forget about trying to get your child to wear that birthday outfit! Parties require a lot of work and time, not to mention the hundreds of dollars you end up shelling out. We developed this business so we could help parents make that special occasion truly exceptional and affordable!

How did you get started?
The idea started several years ago when we were planning one of our children’s birthday parties. That idea came and went with the busyness of being new moms. Then years later, when planning another party, the idea was reborn and we literally dove in and never looked back.

How do you balance being a mom and running a business?
We are both busy during the day with all the children’s activities, so organization is the key! Most of the work is done at night when our little ones are dreaming. We’ve had many nights of staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. With those late hours of work, we’ve had many giggles – just like we did when we were kids!

What’s the worst thing that has happened since starting your business?
This business is our baby. We get up at all hours during the night to feed it, feed it again, change it, change it again, and then wait for it to smile back!

What’s the best thing about having your business?
This has been an amazing journey in life! There have been many laughs (until it hurts!) between us. In those laughs we recapture a little bit of childhood. Working together as friends and sisters is the absolute best thing.

Do you have any funny stories about running your own business?
We were up late one night preparing for a party. Everything was neatly set out: streamers, party favors, plates, and napkins. We were just about to call it a night when Willow, Julie’s new puppy, suddenly decided it was playtime and began racing through the family room as if she were on a race track. Our tired, droopy eyes met and we both said, “Oh, no!” Willow grabbed the streamers from the coffee table and continued on the race track, while purple streamers unraveled everywhere! We chased after her picking them up as fast as we could, only to find that we were making the situation more chaotic! When we bent down to grab them, she would run off again, thinking we were playing. We laughed and laughed and finally decided to let the puppy have her streamers!

What are your future plans and goals?

Tulsa has been extremely kind to Vanilla Dreams. We will soon be expanding our business to include baby and bridal showers — two more ways for us to help others celebrate life!

What advice would you give other moms who might want to start a business?
Find something you love to do and do it!
For more information:

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