Today we’d like to introduce you to Safiya Bouhouch.
Safiya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I Am Well Community started from my own desire to have a supportive community of like-minded women to practice mindfulness, self-care, and wellness together. I started my journey in Los Angeles in the TV and film industry, trying to work my way up the career ladder. I loved being in the world of content production but felt disconnected from my purpose.
So I started a business called Beldi Collective working with Moroccan artisans who sold leather goods. It fulfilled my sense of purpose and was a great creative outlet, but quickly led to burning out as I was trying to balance a 60 hour a week full-time job with launching my own business.
When I finally decided to transition out of the TV industry and pursue teaching yoga and running my own business, I knew I wanted to do something that used wellness as a way to support other female entrepreneurs and creatives who had similar journeys to mine.
So many of us put our health on the back burner when we start a business, and if we don’t learn to take care of ourselves, it quickly catches up for us. I’m here to speak out against the narrative that says we always need to be working harder in order to be successful. I believe that when we take care of ourselves first, we’re better equipped to run successful businesses and make an impact.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road, but obstacles are always a part of the journey. When I launched my first business while still working a full-time job a slew of health issues popped up, as I was definitely burned out physically and mentally.
I did all the tests and saw all the doctors, but nothing was conclusive, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and research holistic wellness. I started practicing yoga and making small changes to my diet and was amazed to see how focusing on making small incremental lifestyle changes could make such a difference. My own struggles with my health is what ultimately led me to pursue teaching yoga and mindfulness to others, which I am grateful for.
Something I didn’t realize when starting my own business was how much of a learning curve there would be. There are so many stories out there that make entrepreneurship sound glamorous and easy, but it takes a lot of hard work, learning, and bouncing back from setbacks to build a sustainable business.
There were definitely times when I wanted to give up, but surrounding myself with a supportive community of female entrepreneurs has been the key to keep me going. Support is everything, especially when things get hard and you feel overwhelmed.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about I Am Well Community – what should we know?
I Am Well is a community that equips female creatives with holistic wellness and mindfulness tools through events, workshops, and retreats so that they can make wellness a priority and thrive.
We exist to disrupt hustle culture by educating women on how they can take small, tangible steps towards incorporating self-care and mindfulness into their daily lives. We believe that you don’t have to sacrifice health to make an impact and that health looks different to each person, there isn’t a one size fits all solution.
It’s important to me that I Am Well Community is a space that feels inclusive – we welcome all different body types, colors, and shapes to practice wellness with us. We want to make yoga accessible and take away the intimidation factor that people sometimes feel when they see beautiful photos of fancy yoga poses.
To me wellness isn’t about looking a certain way, it’s about nurturing all parts of your well-being from your physical and mental health to your relationships. Our events are intimate and provide a safe space for women to talk openly about their struggles, and our goal is always that the women in our community walk away feeling supported with small steps that they can take towards a healthier life.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had so many amazing mentors and supporters, which I’m so grateful for.
The communities of female entrepreneurs I’ve met in LA from Yellow Collective and Bossladies to Jig+Saw and Kitchen Table App have been paramount to me doing what I do. There’s something so powerful in having vulnerable conversations with like-minded women that have similar experiences and can relate. There is so much comfort in knowing you’re not alone in your struggles as a solopreneur that gives you the motivation to keep on going despite obstacles.
Last year, I participated in Grid110’s Idea to Prototype program which provided me with mentorship while trying to take the idea of I Am Well and turn it into a business. Other mentors and supporters include the wonderful co-Founder of YesRally, Lizzy Okoro, who shares her own entrepreneurial journey with me so honestly and vulnerably that it motivates me to keep on going. And of course, my biggest supporters always have been my family (especially my father), friends, and my partner.
- Website: www.iamwellcommunity.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @iamwellcommunity, @safiyabouhouch
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamwellcommunityLA
Alex G. Harper