When Nicole Fraser (38), from Cairneyhill, was made redundant she took stock of her life and made the decision to not only go to university, but set up her own business - The Yoga Rebellion – offering classes throughout the west of Fife.
What does your business do? I run body positive yoga classes across west Fife. Yoga can sometimes seem quite daunting, especially for people who feel that they don’t have a yoga body – whatever that may be. My mission is to spread the word that yoga really is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, level of ability or body size. Being able to touch your toes or stand on your head is definitely not a prerequisite!
How and why did you start in business? I discovered yoga a good few years ago when I was recovering from a long illness and thyroid surgery. Being able to move and breathe freely felt great and I got quite hooked on practicing yoga. Then I got the chance to train as a teacher. I never thought of it as a business venture, it was just something I loved and wanted to share. Before I knew it www.theyogarebellion.co.uk was well underway and I was running a business.
How did you get to where you are today/what did you do before launching the business? I worked in the corporate sector for the best part of 20 years in Germany, Ireland, and Scotland, but I lost my job when Tullis Russell Papermakers went into administration in 2015. It was a pretty traumatic time, but I also felt it was an opportunity to make some life changing decisions. I went back into full-time education and started my yoga teacher training simultaneously. It took a while to adjust, but I never look back.
Who has helped you along the way? I received funding from the Fife Task Force and a start-up grant from Business Gateway Fife. Without both, I simply wouldn’t have been able to get The Yoga Rebellion off the ground. Business Gateway has been great, offering lots of advice and hands on help. It’s fully funded workshops helped with the nitty gritty of setting up and running a small business, and the advisers are all really supportive and honest. As well as helping me access funding, my adviser pointed me in the right direction when it came to finding a good, reliable web designer. Starting a business can seem like a bit of a mine field so knowing that Business Gateway is only a phone call away has been reassuring. I should also mention my long suffering husband, who has been super supportive. He attends many of my classes and is quite often the only guy in the room. Hopefully he’ll inspire some more men to roll out their mats.
What was your biggest mistake? Thinking that everyone is dying to try yoga! And not realising that there’s quite a bit of paperwork attached to being a yoga teacher.
What is your greatest achievement to date? Probably my life as it is now. I used to hold a lot of self-limiting beliefs. I left school at 16 with few qualifications, and was convinced that I wasn’t academic. I was also never interested in sports or anything particularly physical. But here I am, two years into a university degree in social sciences and a self-employed yoga teacher. Funny how things change.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? Balancing on my forearms, crossing my ankles behind my head … just kidding! I’m forever fascinated with how the ancient Eastern science of yoga corresponds with modern western social sciences. Both are all about what it is to be human, and finding ways of making life better and more joyful. If I can reach out to people and help them to overcome their self-doubts, reach their full potential and improve their lives, I’ll be very happy indeed.
Do you want to recruit in the future? Probably not.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business? Being on my own! I was used to working in offices and being part of a team, and getting paid a set amount at the end of each month. So running a business, just on my own, is a very different experience. In saying that, it’s also great being my own boss and making my own decisions.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Do something you feel passionate about. I really think that is the most important thing, because students, customers, clients, anyone you deal with will realise pretty quickly if you’re not 100% behind what you’re doing. Plus your days will seem pretty endless. Also, support your fellow small local businesses, and speak to Business Gateway Fife for advice.
How would your friends describe you? Hopefully as kind, caring, generous, peaceful and a bit of a hippy. Well I try to be all these things, but in reality I’m outspoken and opinionated and forever trying to change the world.
Favourite film and book? My favourite films are Billy Elliot and Amelie. And I love the Boudicca series by Manda Scott, a brilliant Scottish author.
How do you relax? I love spending time with friends, cooking and rambling through the great Scottish countryside.
If you would like to find out how Business Gateway Fife can support your business, please contact us on 01592 858333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org