Connect
To Top

Meet Lizzie and Joaquin Brown of Yoga Wake Up

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzie and Joaquin Brown.

Lizzie and Joaquin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Joaquin and I met the summer of 2013 on the longest day of the year in the desert in Palm Springs. We bonded immediately over bloody marys and a shared interest in entrepreneurship. Two years later we were married and within a few months time, we went into business together. I co-owned a lifestyle PR agency that had run its course and Joaquin was a programmer and software developer eager to launch his own app.

After two failed app attempts that our friends know as Awesome. and Find My Yogi, we ventured in again with a Kickstarter for Yoga Wake Up, the first ever yoga alarm clock that helps you start the day with 10 minutes of yoga and meditation from the bed. Now Joaquin and I are hustling to make the app our full-time gig and taking on other projects on the side to get us there.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
People ask us all the time what it’s like to work with your husband/wife and in that regard, we’re lucky to be able to say that that’s the easy part! We love working together and really compliment each other in life! That said, the overarching “always” struggle is making choices and sacrifices on a tight budget and no outside funding.

We’ve bootstrapped Yoga Wake Up since inception (the Kickstarter was for $10K which lasted all of about 2 months in start-up costs) and sometimes that means using credit cards to cover legal fees. This is the part of the business that people often keep under wraps but I think it’s important for other entrepreneurs to know that the struggle is shared.

Each month we meticulously budget and make strategic choices on where we can spend, whether it is promotional items or Facebook advertising. It’s always a conscious choice. It keeps the business lean though and we’ve gotten pretty accustomed to living frugally. We use it as a teaching moment with Joaquin’s son and always remind him that we’re working on something big, bigger than the car we drive, for example.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga Wake Up – what should we know?
Yoga Wake Up is an app for iOS that helps you start your day peacefully and with more ease. The app features hundreds of different “wakeups” which are 5 to 15-minute long audio-guided yoga and meditation sequences by the best teachers in the country! We have content from teachers in LA, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Florida, and will head to Austin to record teachers when we launch at the wellness expo at SXSW in March. We’d also like to record in Denver and Boulder, Seattle, Portland, Nashville and Miami and later this year, we will record in other languages.

The app is meant to replace your traditional alarm clock and help you get away from hitting snooze. By starting the day with a little stretching and a relaxing meditation session, many of our users report having a better day, feeling more alert, more focused and more contemplative! We’re happy to say that Yoga Wake Up is changing lives. We also love that it is giving back to the yoga community which we hold so dear. There are a lot of yoga apps out there but Yoga Wake Up is the only audio-guided yoga instruction that serves as a gateway to a richer yoga practice.

Because we’re audio-only we’re hoping to break down the barriers of intimidation that many feel when first venturing into yoga. We believe yoga is for everybody and when you’re not looking at a screen at another person’s body, you’re able to go inward and explore your own body. Also, because you are often practicing in bed and upon first waking up, we keep the poses simple and restorative. Beginners love this and honestly, we do too because yoga doesn’t always have to be an intense workout. Some of the best yoga is meditative and made up of long holds, relaxing into it.

People seem to like it too! Apple has featured us twice and we’re number 8 in yoga apps on the app store. Right now you can find us on the App Store. We plan to have an Android version by fall of this year. When you download the app you get two wakeups recommended to you for free. After that, a subscription can unlock all content for $5.99/month. We offer a free 7-day trial to get you started.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The teachers on our app deserve all the credit! They make it what it is and inspire us every single day! Jen Smith, the original teacher on Yoga Wake Up inspired the idea and has been supportive since day 1. We also have amazing contractors that keep Yoga Wake Up moving forward. Sarah Wohl designed the app and we credit her UI for the first Apple feature.

Jimmy Maheras is our digital marketing consultant, Eric Peterson is our backend developer, and Callie Morrocco is our content manager. Sage Miller and Stefanee Alcantar played an active role in supporting Yoga Wake Up in its infancy. Mentors like Dan Wilf and Daina Slekys Trout have also given us invaluable advice over the years. We also love our lawyer Sarah Fergusson Chambless of Manatt. They’ve always been super supportive of us and go above and beyond the scope of work.

Pricing:

  • $5.99 per month
  • $29.99 for 6 months
  • $46.99 per year

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Laurel Erilane, Ty Merkel

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in