A Discussion Between Women Founders on Mother's day
This Saturday, May 11 at 12:30pm enjoy an extra-magical Mother’s Day panel at AQUASTUDIO, where AQUASTUDIO founder Esther Gauthier, Mama Glow founder Latham Thomas, and y7Studio founder Sarah Larson Levey (moderated by Dominique Porter) will discuss the impact their own mothers had on their business endeavors and health routines — as well as the importance of disrupting and empowering the wellness industry. Ahead of the panel, we’d love for you to meet each of them and learn a little bit about their work in wellness:
SARAH LARSON LEVEY, FOUNDER Y7STUDIO
Sarah Larson Levey, founder of y7Studio, believes we need to break down barriers to wellness by making yoga an inclusive and accessible act of care. In fact, y7Studio was listed in Inc’s 2018 “America's 500 Fastest-Growing Companies.”
As Larson Levy said at Girlboss, “Y7 was really started out of a need that I felt in the yoga space. I was super unsatisfied with all the classes that were being offered, so our mission is really to break down the barriers to traditional yoga. You are going to feel different every day. You are not going to look like the person next to you and that should be something that's celebrated.”
When it comes to making the y7Studio experience more inclusive — something not many studios focus on today — she told Forbes:
“We start from the ground up. The studio room is dark and candlelit with no mirrors. It allows our clients to be free to move their bodies no matter what they look or feel like….We're making sure to listen to everyone’s ideas, concerns and general comments to make sure that we’re seeing things through many different points of view.”
As a female entrepreneur, Larson Levy values empathy, open communication and adaptability.
We agree with Larson Levey. When we think about wellness, we want to care for ourselves in a culture where those values are front and center — not only because it’s different from other gyms and studios (where there are different set of values, like competition or judgement), but because these values help us grow as people. It’s a wellness environment inside and out.
Additionally, y7Studio offers glorious retreats (like this one in Amalfi, which is focused on both adventure and yoga), and their Vibe Higher coaching program. Vibe Higher takes the yoga studio experience to the next level, offering attendees insight around sleeping better, self-care, self-confidence, money matters and more. The program focuses on yoga, journaling, and other practices.
LATHAM THOMAS, FOUNDER MAMA GLOW
When you think of what you want out of your pregnancy and birthing experience, what do you think? Perhaps it’s abundance, radiance, empowerment and holistic wellness?
At Mama Glow, New York’s premiere maternity lifestyle brand, they certainly do. In their goal of supporting women and their childbirth experiences, Mama Glow is involved holistically at every step of the way — from pregnancy to labor and after birth They focus on connecting with women in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way, and they break boundaries by approaching all of this with inclusivity, safety and support for all sorts of family configurations.
Offering doula support at every stage, Mama Glow is focused on transforming the way women receive care in their birth journeys.
But Mama Glow is more than that: They’re heavily involved in community partnership, education, advocacy and training by offering a globally recognized doula immersion program.
As Mama Glow describes,
Birth is our rite of passage, a ceremony marking a transformative stage in your life, and Mama Glow is our birthright—to walk in immense grace, power, and wisdom, to have understanding, reverence, and the deepest trust in our bodies…. This is a call to all women to reclaim their bodies and the birth process as sacred. It’s a personal style that reflects confidence, beauty, radiance, and balance.
The founder, Latham Thomas bring her own experience to Mama Glow, inspired by giving birth to her son in 2003.
After a receiving a graduate degree from Columbia University & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham became a master birth doula, advocating for women’s birth experiences.
As Thomas told CareerContessa, she started Mama Glow from a place of deep passion:
I saw a need to celebrate the experience of pregnancy and motherhood—to elevate birth. I did everything backwards. I didn’t start with a plan, I started with a passion. Gloria Steinem said “dreaming is a form of planning” and that’s how I fashioned this brand. When my baby was sleeping, I would dream up ideas, write, and work on what would become Mama Glow. What started off as meet-ups in my living room turned into a booming practice.
Oprah Winfrey's named Latham on her Super Soul 100 list. She is the author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to a Fabulous and Abundant Pregnancy and OWN YOUR GLOW: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within. She also released a meditation audio program, BEDITATIONS: Guided Meditations and Rituals for Rest and Renewal.
ESTHER GAUTHIER, FOUNDER AQUASTUDIO
Wellness doesn’t have to equal pain or judgement or ignoring the emotional or psychological. At AQUASTUDIO, members are treated to a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, where the water works as a physical and emotional healer.
From providing an excellent low-impact workout to offering rejuvenation and restoration via lymphatic massage and a mediative, candlelit environment, AQUASTUDIO aims to disrupt the wellness industry and empower people to care for themselves in a truly holistic way.
AQUASTUDIO founder Esther Gauthier credits talking to women over the years about their needs: “We realized how important it was to make them feel comfortable, welcome, safe, and create a non-judgement zone where it was simply about you, your wellness, your own journey.”
Gauthier also credits her own mother for inspiring her on her wellness journey — and in creating AQUASTUDIO: “My mom has taught me to care for myself, to present well, and to have confidence in my own capabilities. By giving me her trust and constant love and support, she has always helped me believe that whatever I dream of doing, I should give myself the opportunity to do it, or at least try.”
When it comes to being a woman entrepreneur, which will be discussed in-depth at May 11’s panel, Gauthier says,
“There are still a lot to be done so that women have the same opportunities as men, but we are making huge progress. It’s all about continuing to give back and empower the younger women joining our team to build their successful business path. And that is really the most rewarding feeling.”
At AQUA, members can truly feel that love and support. The whole team, from the staff to the instructors, is focused on creating a caring environment for each and every person who walks through the door. This includes men and women, pregnant women, and anyone who has sustained an injury or is looking to vary their wellness routines and infuse it with magic.