When COVID-19 hit, many businesses, especially black businesses, suffered or collapsed. One of those black entrepreneurs who suffered was a resident of the Bronx Yosara. She founded a yoga and dance studio, but the business has struggled to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yosara opened the Sweet Water Dance and Yoga studio in the most difficult time of her life. At the time, she couldn’t even afford a yoga class. According to her, yoga classes were the thing that kept her sane while studying law.
However, due to financial constraints, she couldn’t afford to take one, and more importantly, her son was born prematurely. Yoasara needed a space to clear her mind of everything that was going on around her associated with breastfeeding a baby.
She tells Humans of NY that her mother, whom she described as a con artist, ran an insurance company. She said her mother gave her an office that she used to set up her yoga studio.
“When you walk in this space, you breathe in how beautiful it is. Even if you are tired and stressed, you will come away happy, ”Yosara said of her yoga studio in the Bronx. “And that’s exactly what this community needs: a space to heal.
She charged $ 20 per class and, among other things, her plan was to help her Bronx community. But it wasn’t easy for her at first.
“At the beginning, I worked 16 hours a day. I wasn’t asleep. I was not paid. For the first five years, I moved into the studio with my son, ”she said. “The customers watched me raise it up with nothing but a griddle, fridge and toaster.”
While Yoasara’s plan was to help her community, she also wanted to make a profit. She also wanted to hire a few hands to help run the studio, but she couldn’t.
“I couldn’t get the funding so we relied on these shitty payday loans. Sometimes I couldn’t even pay my instructors on time. It wasn’t fair to them, ”she said.
All classes had to shut down when the pandemic hit and there was no help from banks, lenders or organizations. However, with the determination and support of some Bronx residents, her yoga studio was able to grow and she could afford to pay their instructors.
“… We made up for it. We have paid all of our debts fairly. We were growing up beautifully.
Locals also started investing in his business by purchasing an annual membership. “They came to me and said, ‘I want to buy an annual membership,’ ‘I want to buy a lifetime membership.’ They said, “Can I lend? “,” Can I invest “,” Can I get a percent? ” “$ 5,000, $ 4,000, $ 3,000 at a time,” she recalls. “I didn’t even know they had it. But they had it. They got me. My people got me. Artists, workers, mothers. Especially mothers. There were many, and many, mothers.