Jessie Lucas is the sole-proprietor of Vivacious Mama, a local and global fitness and well-being consulting business. Lucas founded the company three years ago, but has been in the industry for 13. She says she saw a “need to bridge the wisdom” that the fields of traditional fitness, yoga and meditation provide. Here Lucas explains more about this union of practices and how they came together for her as a business model.
What is the nature of your business?
I consider myself a “Movement Muse.” I teach women to be their own personal trainers. I help them integrate their physical, emotional, and energetic health, well-being and fitness, so that they can feel less stressed and strained and have more vital and vibrant energy. I like to say I help them create empowered health through embodied movement. I mostly serve women who know they want to feel better in their body, but who don’t like, or can’t find time for, exercise, and who feel that there are other layers of their well-being involved in getting healthy in their body. For them it’s more about presence and embodiment (feeling at home in your body) than numbers on the scale or amount of weight they can push around.
What was the inspiration behind creating your business?
Several years ago I was going through a divorce. At the time I was only teaching yoga and really had no interest in fitness. In fact, I kind of looked down my nose at it! I had no idea why people would want to push and punish their bodies. (I realize now, I definitely didn’t have the whole picture!) Fast forward to a time when I was a newly single mom and needed to increase my income. The gym where I taught offered me a personal-training position if I would just get the certification — a trainer was leaving, and there were clients who needed support!
I, somewhat reluctantly, said yes. I signed up for the training, and started secretly practicing the new-to-me fitness moves, hiding in corners of the gym during slow times so I wouldn’t be seen!
What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with fitness. I was building my muscle, and because I was approaching the moves with my “yogi brain,” using my breath, being aware of my emotional and energetic experience, I realized I was simultaneously building my INNER strength! Something that had seriously atrophied during a difficult marriage and divorce.
How did you get to where you are today?
After having my own personal transformative experience, I wanted to study what was going on there. I took my questions into the Masters of Health Arts and Science program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt. It was there that I created the body of work that is the heart and soul of how I serve my local and international clients now. After leaving Goddard, I worked with a business coach, and other women who wanted to make global impact on women’s empowerment to build the structures that are in place today.
What makes your company unique? What is the most interesting aspect of your company?
The entire movement industry is changing. People, women in particular, are waking up to new ways to move their bodies that are nourishing instead of punishing. Despite good intentions and best efforts, the way people have been taught to exercise has unfortunately, for many, only exacerbated self-sabotaging patterns. The way that I help my clients build movement into their lives, in ways that uniquely suit their heart’s desires, their big dreams, and their very real lifestyles, is more in tune with feeling aligned and a sense of living your true self. I don’t see a lot of teachers and trainers who do this.
The most interesting thing that I find with my clients, is that when they re-align their physical body, honoring their emotional rhythms, they find such ease in moving, like the difficulty and resistance falls away. I am all about ease and efficiency!
I have lived in the mountains outside of Rutland for almost a decade and a half. I love serving this community. Working in this way has given me an opportunity to continue to work with the local community and at the same time expand to a global market, and work remotely, so that I could be more flexible for my kids’ schedules.
As a business-owner, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
Be flexible, be bold, and get help! Stepping out of the yoga room, and off the fitness floor, and into the wide-open world of online businesses was super scary for me. I knew I wanted something unique, something that didn’t quite exist yet, and to keep my local community service alive. I had to believe it was all possible, so being flexible, being bold and most definitely getting support were key to make it happen!
You can find me at www.jessielucas.com and on social media at:
If you are a locally owned Rutland-area small business or sole-proprietorship and would like to be featured in A Business Story, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joanna Tebbs Young is a freelance writer and writing workshop facilitator living in Rutland. Contact her at email@example.com, wisdomwithinink.com, facebook.com/TheWritersRoomatAllenHouse or on Twitter at @jtebbsyoung.