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

Hi Malik, how do you think about risk?
I think risks are necessary for growth, and often they’re the catalyst for change. January 2020 I quit my corporate job as a Regional Sales Manager for a Fortune 400 chemical company to pursue my dream of being a World Renowned Yoga Teacher. Two months later a global pandemic ensued, I vacated my 17th floor high-rise apartment, cleaned out my 401k, and moved in with my aunt to save money; teaching yoga in person would be put on an indefinite pause, and I would lose thousands in bookings. Saying no to that job landed me In a slew of national campaigns with brands like Glaad, Human Rights Campaign, Liforme, Wussy, and more. I leveraged my yoga platform to lead voter engagement initiatives for Raphael Warnock for U.S. Senate that helped him get elected as Georgia’s first Black United States Senator. If I didn’t take that risk I’m not sure I would’ve accomplished all the great things I dreamed of doing.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have a 6 year career in B2B sales & marketing in the home furnishings industry, and I manage complex deals with brands like Rooms 2 Go, Neiman Marcus and Wayfair. The most exciting part about working in the Architecture and Design field is the talented designers I meet at conventions like High Point Market (furniture capital of the world), and Las Vegas Market. The journey here wasn’t always linear often I’m the only Black person and have experienced a lot of micro aggression from industry snobs who aren’t use to black men occupying space in our field. I was laid off from my first B2B role as an Account Executive 7 months in. I was heartbroken, but I knew I wanted to be in this industry so after that lay off I took a retail management job for a few months and emailed every major furniture manufacture in the country my cv/resume until I landed a role as a Account Manager for one of the world largest home furnishings manufacture in the world. That job propelled me to new heights and gave me name visibility, experience and contacts that I cherish and covet to this day.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start Friday night at Bar Margot at the Four Seasons for the live DJ set which starts around 9pm and close the spot down at Midnight. After recovering from Friday nights shenanigans we would sleep in until 10am, catch a yoga class, get a juice and head to High Musemem of Art. After checking out all the new exhibits and culturing ourselves we would have dinner at Two Urban Licks in Old Fourth-ward and end the night with a slumber party filled with ghost stories about our exes lol. Sunday morning sleep in until noon and get dressed for brunch at Poor Calvins in Midtown. Poor Calvins is a Thai and Southern cuisine fusion restaurant that’s an Atlanta staple. After brunch we would end with Sunday Funday bar hopping, drag shows and making the men blush. How could you not love Atlanta?!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to my HS Junior and Senior English teacher Jan Frazier Worthy who taught me the key lesson of defining myself for myself and telling my own story. Jan, I’m grateful to have been your student. Thank you.

Instagram: @malikyoga_

Image Credits
Photographer: Adam Tirado – @marginwalk3r

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