Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Your CEO & Founder here! Although we are truly only in our infancy here at spark, I wanted to take this moment to reflect on how we’ve gotten to where we are today, rooted in purpose.
On March 16th, 2020 I walked out of my final in person fitness class in DC and created a Canva
The Canva from the first class
post to share with all my friends and network. That evening, we pushed our living room furniture out of the way and 50+ of us pressed play at the same time on a Spotify playlist to sweat. Although few of us remember the specifics of that day, I remember feeling as if I had purpose. This sense of purpose was unique; as if it gave me energy I had never known before. I truly felt a calling towards the unknown and I was excited.
Since that day, purpose has driven all that we do at spark. Although I did not know it at the time, the core of what many of us experienced that day is still at the core of what we do now: mindful fitness has the unique ability to provide a release unlike anything else out there. Why? Because fitness and mindfulness are scientifically proven to be the most effective stress relievers. And when combined together for a purpose, mindful fitness creates a magical ability for people. It’s likely that if you’re reading this, you’ve experienced this feeling before. If you haven’t, I encourage you to try a few classes and see what happens.
From March 2020 - December 2021, spark was a space for all folks. And it was working; we our clientele grew, I hired instructors, and expanded our offerings. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew spark needed something more: a greater purpose for existing. Mindful fitness for stress relief was only the tip of the iceberg of possibility.
So, starting in January 2021, I started to iterate on a few education-specific pilot programs. By March 2021, I had devised a business plan to incorporate the system of education into our space. We ran 8 pilot programs between January and July 2021. If we could help the 44% of educators that leave classroom in the first 5 years (like my former self) interrupt burnout and thus STAY in the classroom, then we would be running a business that had purpose.
And we did just that. Because of our incredible network, we partnered with 15 schools by November 2021. Again, the work we did had deeper meaning: if we could help just 1 teacher feel successful in relieving their daily stress, then we would be working towards something larger. Ideally, we would help many more than 1 teacher. Data from December 2021 confirmed we were doing just that. Clients who take 2+ classes/week were 33% more likely to report feeling relaxed and 24% more likely to report having energy to spare (among others things).
What became difficult to predict was (surprisingly) COVID. The pandemic rocked education in ways that I think none of us could anticipate, even in this current school year. There were many days I cried, doubted myself, and felt frustrated. At the end of the day, I learned what it means to be an entrepreneurial CEO working for people who give so much of themselves to others. Like them, I hit points of compassion fatigue and near burnout. This work is by no means easy. I also saw our work transforming the lives of our clients. That kept me going. To meet their needs, we hired, iterated, and listened to educators. We learned what we were doing well and we doubled down on it: mindful fitness with a purpose.
Today, I write to you two years later with a new career, master’s degree, amazing team of 16, and clientele of 650+ incredible human beings. Today, I write to you as a changed woman. I am rooted in my dream to create and make an impact on the world. I feel honored to be able to do that work with you. Because, at the end of the day, absolutely NONE of what we’ve accomplished would been possible without you.
As we hit 2 years, I want to share with you our Northstar: to co-create a world where burnout is the exception, not the norm.
I hope you join us in making it a reality first for yourself and then for others.
Happy 2nd birthday, spark family. Let's go change the world.