Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Fagerlind.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Erin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My vision for happy baby began to develop in 2013 through my personal journey to motherhood. At the time, I was working long hours as an attorney in a large law firm, commuting daily to/from Century City, and finding very few support + wellness resources accessible to working moms. When my daughter was born in 2014, I enrolled in many enrichment and community-building activities around LA, while also seeking out opportunities to make her a part of my yoga + fitness practice; however, I found myself feeling very fragmented. I wished there was ONE place (close to home) I could go for self-care, support, sisterhood + stimulation for my daughter. Upon returning to my legal practice from maternity leave, I noticed that (surprisingly!) my priorities and career goals had dramatically shifted – I felt increasingly unfulfilled professionally and strained personally. Throughout 2015, I continued to dream about creating a holistic haven for young families, where women could form lasting relationships (even during pregnancy) while caring for themselves + their little ones.
So, following my heart and a series of serendipitous events, I made the leap in January 2016 – just days after learning I was pregnant with our second child – and happy baby was born in March of that year. The last 2.5 years have been a whirlwind both challenging me and fulfilling me in ways I never imagined. Ironically, the highs and lows of growing + sustaining this small business are very reminiscent of parenthood: it is HARD and often fear/anxiety-inducing… BUT my heart has also never felt SO FULL. I’m excited and optimistic about happy baby’s future, especially with our beloved yoga instructor, Jules Hogan-Sahay, becoming my new business partner in May 2018. With her added energy, experience + commitment to our community + mission, I am confident that happy baby is going to thrive!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Entrepreneurial pursuits are certainly not for the faint of heart… and I’m not sure business ownership is ever a smooth road. Building a business from nothing has been, and continues to be, incredibly rewarding AND incredibly challenging. Our instructors and clients are truly AMAZING people but we also face the reality that our primary demographic (prenatal through preschool) is constantly evolving. Practicalities such as limited maternity leave, postpartum recovery time, varying sleep, work, and school schedules, among others make long-term retention + predictability tough sometimes. We are trying to overcome some of these challenges by adding YOGA classes for older kids/teens and the community at-large, which definitely aligns with our mission in the sense that EVERYONE can benefit from mindfulness + connection. That being said, the natural referral cycle within the community is essential to business growth but that takes time. And navigating the various, and often conflicting, programming needs and wants of clients such that everyone is satisfied… well, that’s virtually impossible. We welcome feedback and continue to try new things, adopt a flexible approach, and seek innovative ways to facilitate community outreach + promote our services.
Another challenge as “mompreneurs” continues to be finding BALANCE. There is, and never will be, enough time in the day to do it all. Fortunately, the beauty of my business is that in many ways – certainly more so than my legal practice – I am able to combine business, motherhood, and even self-care. My children are an integral part of happy baby and my clients have become family. There is no personal-professional divide BUT that drives my passion for, and my commitment to, the community that happy baby has created. My advice for young women navigating career aspirations is to search inward and consider the things you LOVE, as well as the environments in which you thrive — when your work is also your passion, it doesn’t feel like work … and that’s a pretty awesome feeling!
What should we know about happy baby? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
It is the mission of happy baby — a family yoga, resource + wellness studio — to create a safe, nurturing space for parents + children in El Segundo and the South Bay community. MINDFULNESS, MOVEMENT + MUSIC are at the core of all of our programming, which incorporates a holistic approach and offers a supportive, nurturing environment. Our hope is to help parents raise happy, healthy children while caring for their own body and mind. Our belief is that happy babies build happy families and happy families build happy communities and happy communities build happy babies ~ we are all connected!
In addition to offering (+ believing the benefits of) YOGA classes for EVERYONE, happy baby also offers an array of fitness, music, and dance classes, baby + toddler support groups, prenatal + parenting education/resources, and special events. We LOVE fostering connection + building community by providing a fun, interactive platform for parents to engage with, and model healthy habits for, their little ones.
I am proud of bringing happy baby to life! Seeing the community growth + impact that we have achieved in just two short years is so fulfilling and makes every risk, sacrifice, and even mistake, along the way, seem worthwhile.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I’m a strong believer in collaboration in general; there is so much to be learned from others. I especially enjoy finding cross-promotional opportunities with other local, like-minded entrepreneurs and small businesses. It’s a wonderful community-oriented way to develop business while supporting other business owners as well. Taking the time to learn about our clients has also been invaluable, as they are pretty talented people! Much of the merchandise we sell in our boutique is locally-sourced from our clients, who are authors, designers + creators of cool, sustainable products. Some of our instructors + educators came to us as clients first. And other clients have been tremendous referral sources for us as a result of the complementary healthcare/wellness/family support services they provide.
- New Student Special (1st Month Unlimited Classes): $65
- Single Class/Drop-In : $22
- 5 Class Pack: $100
- 10 Class Pack: $190
- 20 Class Pack: $340
- Individual Monthly Unlimited Membership: $140
- Family Monthly Unlimited Membership: $175
- Address: 353 Main St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
- Website: www.happybabyLA.com
- Phone: 424-218-9774
- Email: erin@happybabyLA.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/happybabyLA
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/happybabyLA
- Other: www.vimeo.com/happybabyLA
Self Image Photography, Chloe Moore Photography, Kristin Anderson Photography, Annie Vovan Photography, Erin Fagerlind