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How Jennifer Barcelos + Sandy Connery Launched Namastream to Help Wellness Practitioners Bring Their Classes Online
- Who: Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery
- Website: namastream.com
- Type of Software: Software platform for wellness practitioners
- Interesting Stats: 170,000 users in 168 countries
Tell us about yourself and the business you started…
Namastream is a software company that helps wellness practitioners elevate their businesses by bringing their classes and workshops online. The site allows studios and independent instructors to train, teach, and coach clients online through memberships and live-stream programs. Namastream makes it easy for those with no technical expertise to grow a virtual business.
Namastream was created in 2015 by women for women, driven by the founders’ beliefs that pursuing entrepreneurship from a place of deep integrity is one of the greatest gifts of service in the world. There are currently more than 170,000 users in 168 countries.
Jeni and Sandy: We’re the CoFounders of Namastream, a software platform for wellness practitioners and their students.
Our larger mission has always been to build a company that we could leverage to create a tidal wave of empowerment for other women. Beyond the freedom, flexibility, and financial benefits of building an online business, deep down, we both felt called to help other human beings find personal and financial freedom through entrepreneurship.
Namastream provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools needed to grow businesses that don’t require millions of dollars to get off the ground. We’re shifting the conversation about what it means to start and grow a company. Today, the platform has 170,000+ users across 168 countries.
Who is the market for your business?
Jeni: Very few jobs provide absolute security and entrepreneurship in any form is a pathway out of oppression. Sandy and I so strongly believe that everyone should be an entrepreneur, if not full-time, then at least as a side-hustle. The market for our business is wellness practitioners looking to turn their passion into an income stream by bringing their communities online.
Sandy: Namastream’s users are a mix of independent practitioners, boutique studios, and their students. Recently, many brick and mortar studios have joined our community.
What problem does your solution solve?
Jeni: Before developing Namastream, I surveyed more than 70 local studios and independent instructors. I deeply listened to the challenges they shared about the expense of scaling their businesses and saw firsthand how broken of a business model the wellness industry can be. Namastream was born from our desire to have a bigger impact.We wanted to build a more resilient business that in turn enables other business owners to expand beyond the limitations of physical spaces. - Jennifer Barcelos Click To Tweet
Sandy: Through Namastream, we’re creating a pathway for entrepreneurs to build supportive and resilient businesses. In the present day, the way we’re living, earning and spending as humans will never be the same as it was. With Namastream, we have the opportunity to share a resource we’ve been building for years that empowers people to achieve financial freedom.
Why is it better than other solutions?
Jeni: We hope to instill a mentality among our users that their time and what they create is an asset. Through Namastream, it’s an asset that can never be taken away from them. This mentality and the entrepreneurial resources we offer differentiate Namastream within the wellness and tech industries.
Sandy: Through our research and the close community we’ve created, we’re able to maintain an understanding as to what our users need most. For example, before Zoom became a household name we had created an integration to enable our users to record and save their classes.
What are the biggest benefits for your customers?
Jeni: Namastream offers users unlimited opportunities for growth and control over their products. For entrepreneurs concerned about the learning curve of mastering a digital platform, Namastream makes it as simple as possible to create landing pages and connect with students through pre-recorded content and live streams.
Sandy: As women who broke into a male-dominated industry and as entrepreneurs, we can understand some of the fears around building a business, especially a technical one. We were inspired to create more supportive resources beyond the platform for our community.
We host a weekly podcast series, called And She Spoke, where we speak to different female entrepreneurs about money, mindset, and meaningful work. In addition to free resources for our users, we offer digital programs like Launch with Intention.
Where did the idea for the business come from?
Jeni: We met in 2014 through an online course, called The Foundation. From my previous career, I recognized that technology is the currency of power. I was drawn to the industry because of the immense opportunity to make a difference. In speaking with Sandy, we bonded over a gap we recognized in the industry. That was for female creators and our shared passion for innovation and yoga.
Sandy: We were excited to build our business in an unusual way. By forging our own path and saying no to outside investment early on, we created a powerful pathway for other female entrepreneurs, historically underrepresented in the tech industry.
What tools do you use to run your business?
Jeni: For bookkeeping, Bench is my recommendation for its simplicity. Our transactions are automatically imported into Bench, where we get on-demand financial reports. Opening up our profit and loss statements to review is a pleasure.
Sandy: We’ve always been remote business partners and were early adopters of Slack and Zoom for internal communications. Building our Instagram account proved beneficial. It helped us connect with our community and tap into the highly visual world of yoga.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
Jeni: Being an entrepreneur is being a lifelong learner. When it comes to our reading list, our preference is for books that spark conversation around uncomfortable questions. That’s where we believe the most growth can come from. We published “13 Books Every Emerging Entrepreneur Should Read” on our site, linked here. More of our favorite business books can be found here.
Sandy: We’re huge fans of Seth Godin and his work. He has inspired our way of thinking about our company’s core values and our mission to help other entrepreneurs build their businesses from a place of alignment and authenticity in service to the world.
What advice do you have for people just starting out in business?
Jeni: Running your own business means navigating financial highs and lows, and emotional ones, too. Financial literacy is foundational. Pay attention to your numbers. Trust that they’re not indicative of your inherent worth. Finally, put your business expenses on one credit card that you aim to pay off in full every month.
Sandy: Vulnerability is key.Give yourself permission as a creator to be imperfect. Lastly, there is no final version of an online product and you will always be iterating. - Sandy Connery Click To Tweet
Learn more about Jennifer Barcelos and Sandy Connery of Namastream.com:
- Website: namastream.com