We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Karel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Over the last 6 years, my work life balance has fluctuated several times for various reasons. One of the main reasons is because I’ve had three children since starting the business, for a total of four kids under the age of seven! So I’ve been running the business and teaching classes and teacher trainings while breastfeeding my new babies! For the first few years, I considered my business and my work as kind of a side job or hobby, and therefore my work time was prioritized around my husband’s work schedule, my kid’s preschool schedules, etc. In the last 2 years, as a family we have made the business more of a priority, which has allowed me to spend more time working, and the growth of the business is a result of that attention.

I really enjoy my time spent working, but because I have such a big family and they all have so many things that they’re up to, I actually feel guilty about working sometimes. I feel like when I’m working I should be spending time focusing on my kids, and when I’m focusing on my kids I feel like I should be working! But I think a lot of people feel that way.

But the great part about running my own business, is that even though I go through periods of super hard work, I’m able to take off on vacation for several weeks at a time! I have a great staff that can take over while I’m gone. And honestly, it’s really great just to be sitting here at the beach in Hilton Head, watching clients and sales come in!

So most the time I feel pretty good about the balance of my work in my life. Sometimes I go through periods when I’m working a lot, like when I was writing my yoga teacher training manual, or when we expanded in 2019, or the last few months when everyone decided all at once to come back to the studio and get in shape again after a year at home! And sometimes I go through periods where I don’t have to work that much and I can just enjoy watching the fruits of my labor. I use those down periods to think, reflect and plan our next steps.

What should our readers know about your business?
Our studio has always been a simple place for people to feel better about themselves. We’ve always just tried to meet people where they are, learn about them, and help them get where they want to go. We believe in the transformational power of movement, and we offer amazing classes that help people move and feel better than when they came in. What we teach in the studio translates into people’s daily lives, allowing them to move more confidently and more freely in their daily lives.

When we first started, we just offered yoga classes. And our classes were accessible for everyone because everyone in our area was relatively new to yoga! In 2019 we expanded into offering barre and reformer pilates classes. All of these movement activities are low impact, and are accessible for literally all ages. Any of them alone compliments any other physical activities that people are up to (or not up to), but together they offer a whole body approach towards wellness and fitness. All three activities bring balance back to your body.

I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but learning lessons for the last 6 years. I opened the business when I was 29, with no real business experience except for a business degree in finance and economics. It took me three years just to figure out that I could actually make money at this, but I had to make a plan to do it! I’ve had to learn how to hire the right people, to know where to draw the line on client demands, how to choose classes and schedules that are that work for the most amount of people, how to do all of the administrative things in the back end, and also how to be a better teacher. I try to take time for reflection, both to look back and see what I did right and what I did wrong, and how I could do it better in the future, and also to try to envision what I want the business to become in the future.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh this is a tough question, because since I’ve lived here, I’ve mostly just stuck around the Duluth area. It’s hard to go out and explore the area with a pack of kids in tow! When people visit, we keep it low key, I usually make them take a class at my studio, then visit downtown Duluth for food (Maple Street Biscuit Co is a fav, and so is Sweet Octopus) then we go for a long walk at McDaniel Farm Park. And finish the day with a bonfire in the backyard. Someday when my life isn’t so kid-centric, I’ll have a cooler plan, future best friend, I promise!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If Anthony Karel wasn’t there as my sounding board, my voice of reason (and sometimes confusion), a general repairman and fixer of broken stuff, and a great kid wrangler, and fantastic, mostly patient parent, EYP wouldn’t be the success it is today.

Website: www.endeavorpilates.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/endeavor_yogapilates/

Facebook: https://facebook.com/endeavorpilates

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