New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career, and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the balance of work and family. At NJMOM, we want to highlight these extraordinary women who build businesses in New Jersey, and learn the secret to their success.
Founder & Owner of Bee You Kids Yoga Studio
& NJMOMpreneur: Maura Bradley
As the mother of three children (now ages 8, 12, and 14), Maura Bradley, founder and owner of Bee You Kids Yoga Studio, began to notice her little ones were experiencing many of the same struggles that adults also experience: anxiety, stress, and sleeping issues. After considering how yoga had helped her curb these same problems in her own life, she realized that children could benefit from practicing yoga just the same as adults. Although, Maura’s training in yoga instruction did not begin with teaching kids; she was initially certified as a Yoga for Cancer Teacher with the intent to volunteer her time and skills. Today, Maura has turned her passion for giving back into a new business – the first kids-only yoga studio in Monmouth County, Bee You Kids Yoga Studio. NJMOM had the pleasure of learning how Maura’s own children sparked her interest in yoga for kids, the shyness she overcame before ultimately teaching over 75 children per week, plus her family’s favorite things to do around New Jersey in their free time.
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Maura: I am the founder and owner of Bee You Kids Yoga Studio in Manasquan, New Jersey. My studio offers yoga and mindfulness classes to kids ages 6 weeks to 18 years old. What makes my studio different than others is that it is a kids-only studio. Bee You Yoga was the very first kids-only studio to open in Monmouth County, and I think it is a very special thing for the kids to have a space they feel is their own.
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Maura: My family, and specifically my kids, inspired me. I have three children ages 14, 12, and 8, and to watch them struggle with anxiety, stress, and sleep issues at such young ages was really a wake up call for me. Yoga has been such a help to me in my life that I realized our kids could really benefit from learning the tools yoga can offer at a young age.
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Maura: My favorite part about my business are the kids and families I get to meet.
To hear from the parents how their kids are incorporating what they’ve learned from us outside the class, makes me know we are planting seeds and giving these children tools they can use the rest of their lives.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Maura: I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with YogaWorks. After that I went on to study with Tari Prinster in New York City, and completed Levels 1 & 2 of Yoga for Cancer Teacher Training.
After years of working with cancer patients, I was introduced to kids yoga while teaching at a summer camp for children affected by cancer. This was such an amazing experience for me that I decided to enroll in the Little Flower Yoga kids teacher training immediately. I have since completed all 3 levels of the LFY training, and hold my 95-hour children’s yoga teacher certification.
I have taught hundreds of children in weekly classes, summer camps, preschool programs, after school enrichments, and specialty workshops. Currently, I teach kids and family yoga classes at my studio, Bee You Yoga in Manasquan, New Jersey, and in schools throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Maura: I am most proud of the feeling that I am making a difference with kids. When I hear from parents that their child is doing better in school, or their anxiety is better because of coming to class, it fills me with so much gratitude for this practice and my ability to be able to share it.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Maura: Few people know that I am very shy. When I initially began my 200-hour teacher training, I did it with the intention of volunteering and working with those affected by cancer. I never had any intentions of teaching adults or children. Yet here I am, running my own studio, teaching over 75 kids per week and facilitating my own teacher trainings for adults. I believe the universe definitely has a plan for each of us and we may not know what that plan is, but just trust in the process.
NJMOM: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?
Maura: Personally, I am looking forward to the holiday season and spending time with my family and extended family. This is my favorite time of the year and it so special to my kids and husband, and I love that we get this time together celebrating our own traditions. Professionally, I have two more teacher trainings coming up at the studio. The first one is “Learn to Teach Yoga to Kids with Special Needs.” This is an amazing opportunity for anyone to learn to work with kids with special needs. You do not need to be a yoga instructor to take this training. The second training is “Learn to Teach Yoga to Kids Ages 2-7 Years Old,” which is the foundation training for my Bee You Yoga teacher training and a great beginner course for anyone looking to share yoga with kids (parents, teachers, caregivers, PTs, OTs, etc). I also have fun events planned for the kids at the studio, “School’s Out” camp in November and “Drop, Shop & OM” camp in December.
NJMOM: What charities are you most passionate about?
Maura: There are so many charities that I love, but two that are near to my heart are Mary’s Place by the Sea and You Cannot be Replaced. I’ve held donation classes for each in the past and would love to continue to fundraise for them in 2018.
NJMOM: Who is your role model?
Maura: My mom is definitely my role model; she was the strongest woman I ever met. I don’t think I realized how strong she was until I was an adult and she passed away. My mother never shared her struggles or worries with us as kids; she put on a brave face and got things done. She taught me to work hard, to never give up, and to be kind. She was also really funny!
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom ever gave to you?
Maura: My mom always said, “When you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, always ring the doorbell with your elbow.” (Translation: do not show up empty handed.)
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
Maura: “Be kind and always tell the truth.” This is so important to me because it is what I truly feel is missing in our world today – basic human kindness. I think it is important to teach our kids about kindness every single day. Also, to always tell the truth because more often than not, people get in to trouble when they are lying. Most of the time, whatever it is they are lying about isn’t even a big deal or bad, it’s the cover up that causes the problems. I tell my own kids that they will never get in trouble for telling us the truth.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Maura: My favorite thing to do in New Jersey with my family (and I think they would all agree 100% on this) is our annual vacation to Sea Isle City. I was born and raised in New York and my family (my father and his two sisters, my aunts) have been going to Sea Isle every August since I was 11 months old. This year makes 47 years for me! My husband jumped in on the tradition when we started dating, and now we take our kids, my siblings and their kids, too. Between all the family, aunts, cousins, we have between 40 to 50 people there each summer for one to two weeks, and it is the best!
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Maura: The best part of being a mom is watching my kids grow up into pretty cool people. They are each so unique in their own ways and they each make us so proud. I definitely miss the days when they were little, but I’m loving the people they are becoming and cannot wait to see where it leads them.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Maura: This is a good one! My favorite stores are Anthropologie, Athleta, Blue Mercury, Whole Foods, Katherines, and Waterlily. Our favorite kids activities are yoga (of course!), going to the beach, libraries, and playing sports. Our favorite restaurants are Shipwreck Grill, Remington’s, and Playa Bowls, plus my favorite coffee shops are Green Planet, Rook, and Starbucks. I love them all!
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Maura: I live in Manasquan and love it! My husband and I moved here almost 14 years ago and it is a wonderful place to raise your kids. We are in walking distance to town, just a bike ride to the beach, and close to all their schools and activities. As far as vacation, I feel like living in Manasquan is like a permanent vacation because there is always so much to do and my family comes down alot from New York and Connecticut to visit.
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Maura: Do your homework to make sure there is a need for what you are offering. Have a plan: what is it you want to do, why do you want to do it, where do you see yourself and your business in one year, three years, five years? Also, where is your family in all of it? I think as an NJMOMpreneur it is also very important to figure out if this is the right time for you and for your family to be starting your business.
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey?
Please stop in for a complimentary kids yoga class. Just tell us NJMOM sent you!