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Local Entrepreneurs: A new niche in reaching women

November 22, 2009

By Kylene Fickenscher
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

Stephanie Stano, founder of Recycle Your Mat, and Zenana Rose of Zenana Spa are developing successful businesses within a specific niche market. By delivering innovative ideas to an untapped market, and supplementing their products with strong connections to the community, these women have developed lasting entrepreneurial models.

Recycle Your Mat: socially responsible yoga mat recycling, upcycling and reuse services

Stephanie Stano revealed her business opportunity to the yoga industry –an arena which is growing rapidly – and now offers recycling, upcycling and reuse services for yoga practitioners and yoga centers.  Recycle Your Mat strives to modify consumer behavior, and alter individual’s thoughts on what they can do with their mat.

Recycle Your Mat has experienced incredible growth since its founding in 2008.  This is partly due to the fact that the firm is not affiliated with any one particular company, and instead acts as a resource to those in the yoga industry.  Anyone that makes or uses mats can utilize their services, which has helped to establish a variety of relationships and expedite the firm’s growth.  Although Recycle Your Mat began in Oregon, the company is now expanding their services, setting the standard for recycling, upcycling and donation programs in other countries as well.  Recycle Your Mat now has an ongoing partnership with the European Yoga Network.

Zenana Spa: a spa with a twist

Zenana Spa is the only family-focused day spa and wellness center in the Pacific Northwest.  Zenana Rose, who began her career as a labor and delivery nurse and a lactation consultant, recognized the underserved needs of pregnant and parenting families in Portland.  The spa she worked hard to create now boasts naturopathic services, lactation consultations, classes, support groups and a boutique offering unique mom and baby products.

One of the greatest resources Zenana has developed is a network of other local spa owners.  The group meets on a regular basis to share their successes, failures, tips and advice.  This experience has served to provide meaningful support among a group that understands her entrepreneurial challenges.  Zenana makes it a point to take advantage of the multiple educational opportunities and networking events available in Portland, believing that by supporting others, she is doing her part to help build community growth. This past year, Zenana attended Angel Oregon, and felt this opportunity expanded her knowledge on investor requirements, and the process of pitching a business.

To up-and-coming entrepreneurs, Zenana provide this advice, “Take the time to do your research, build a good team, write a solid business plan, raise more money than you think you need, and then get to work and make your dream come true!”

  
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