Daring Spirit: Amy Cieslik of Oxygen Mind and Body
This week, we went looking for a physical as well as spiritual work out and Amy of Oxygen Mind and Body delivered! As the owner of this pilates, barre, trx, and yoga studio located in Andover, MA, Amy inspired us and reminded us of how much good is in the world - that you really do get back what you put in.
Settle in to your favorite pose and say hello to Amy!
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Amy: The decision to open a business in my twenties, in a down economy, with my teeny tiny savings account. That felt bold! I remember writing a check for two months rent for my studio space, which was just about everything I had. I was able to boot strap everything else I needed to get started between leasing equipment instead of buying, working all hours myself, and putting yoga mats on a credit card. I knew I had to make some money in my very first month or else I'd be in the negative. But I knew what I wanted to build, and I knew it was possible. I'd have to learn along the way and knew that my journey would be (and still is) one of trial and error. My parents never told me that I couldn't achieve something. In some ways that was an amazing way to grow up, though it can sometimes be a dangerous mindset to have. I'm so grateful to have had two parents and an older brother who are all entrepreneurs. It made the decision to start my own business seem a tiny bit less insane.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe delivered.
Amy: It was New Year's Eve of 2013. That year I made some really big life changes. Business was good despite an emotionally difficult year. I was getting ready to celebrate the start of a new year when I received an email that my studio's bank account was overdrawn. Impossible! The studio was doing great, I just wrapped up my year end finances, so how could that be? It turns out my account had been compromised. Some clever devil used my debit card to pay for a sweet vacation; thousands of dollars were emptied out of my account. My family was profoundly generous and loaned me what I needed to make sure my financial responsibilities were met until the bank was able to correct things. I was crushed though. It took a long time to recover the funds and that feeling of being "in the hole" was a pit in my stomach. But the dust settled, and that following spring was the most profitable few months in studio history. Seemingly out of nowhere, classes were full, and business was booming. It could have been the universe, it could have been coincidence, but I was really down and I needed some stars to align. My great friends and my super supportive family had my back, and I've never forgotten how that all felt. I think that positive feeling of being so supported translated to caring and supporting our staff and students more - a lesson in paying it forward.
Daring Spirits: What’s one thing you really want people to know?
Amy: That I care. I really, really care. I care so much, about everything, all the time. So much that sometimes it eats me up. My biggest fear is that someone might think my heart isn't in the right place, and that's a blanket statement that covers just about all situations in life. I am forever checking in with my students, checking reviews, checking social media, making sure everyone is getting what they need and more. What's beautiful is that as much as I give to the wonderful people I work with, I get back - many times over.
Daring Spirits: Beach or Mountains? Sweet or spicy? Window or aisle?
Amy: Beach, but ideally also a mountain. I don't like the idea of being landlocked, which I think is why I've never wanted to move away from New England. Anywhere else I'd ever consider moving would absolutely be coastal.
Definitely sweet. I'm a baby about spicy food, though I always like to try it to see if I can handle it. I never can. I'm really more of a savory person than either though. I LOVE salt. If you mix sweet and savory? That's heaven.
Window, hands down, every time. I can barely function in an aisle seat on an airplane, especially during take offs and landings if the person in the window seat puts the shade down so we can't see out. If you're a person who puts the shade down, I'd have a sneaking suspicion that you're also one of those odd people who don't like dogs. And that means we probably wouldn't be great friends.
Daring Spirits: Thank you, Amy. We are glad you stayed in New England!
At Oxygen Mind and Body, you will find a welcoming and knowledgeable staff ready to assist you. Check it out today, if you are in the area!
Owner, Oxygen Mind and Body LLC
2 Dundee Park, B01, Andover, MA
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