If you’re familiar with Yoga Bitch Apparel, then you’ve likely seen us use the phrase “bold and unapologetic women” on our social feeds and even as the theme for our inaugural Instagram Yoga Challenge. It’s more than a brand statement. To be a bold and unapologetic woman today takes guts, and heart, and for most of us, experiences that shape us as women who embrace our voices and each other.
That’s why we’re launching our Bold and Unapologetic Women Blog Series. In this series, we’ll spotlight bold and unapologetic women and their experiences on topics like: their yoga practices, lifestyle, careers, and families. Our goal is to build connections, encourage women to share their stories, and to celebrate our growing tribe of yoga bitches.
To start with, meet the woman behind the clothes, the concepts, the drops, the designs and the brand. I’ve known Yoga Bitch founder Jen Stenberg for more than a decade and am lucky to call her a friend. When I met her, I very quickly saw myself in a lot of her qualities. Interviewing her now makes me certain that women who are attracted to Yoga Bitch should know her, too, because like me, they’re sure to rapidly relate to her and understand the why behind this bad bitch brand: Yoga Bitch.
Your brand is called Yoga Bitch – what inspired the name?
Because it means something - not just to me, but to all women. I remember when I was first exploring the concept of the company, one of the first things I knew was I didn’t want to go down the road of using atypical and cliche symbols and words that we usually see associated with yoga brands. It was more about building a brand for strong women with a more irreverent side. That’s the flavor I’m going for… a brand for all women working toward strong bodies and strong minds.
Tell me more about the kind of woman you designed Yoga Bitch for.
Yoga Bitch is for women who have led lives with real experiences. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages. They’re the women who have been through challenges, who have struggled, and they’ve developed a sense of humor and honest self reflection. So now they are attracted to that irreverent sense of humor and the ability to look at themselves and not take it all too seriously. These women know they’re strong badasses, but they’re vulnerable, too. At their core, they are open, authentic women. And obviously, they have great style.
You talk about core values that shape women into who they are when they’re their most authentic selves. What core values define you?
For me it’s integrity – to myself. Having a minimum standard of what I know to be true – that I operate with courage and kindness. I never forget where I came from and how much I have to be grateful for.
Tell me about the journey you’ve been on to be able to get to the point where you were able to launch your dream of Yoga Bitch.
It was definitely a journey to get to that place. My background isn’t in design. The bold personality is something I’ve always had. Yoga Bitch came from my own journey of finding my voice and harnessing it. I was most recently a VP at a company that focused on cybersecurity resilience for retailers. I spent ten years in a space working with executives and technical people, and the experience allowed me to grow in ways which weren’t always comfortable, but that I’m ultimately better for having had. I had to go head-to-head with that little voice inside which had me believing that I wasn’t technical enough, educated enough, experienced enough…and have the courage to tell it go f*ck itself. It’s been a journey of quieting the noise to get down to what I know to be true of myself. Now I embrace who I am - what I am, what I’m not, and what I bring to the table. Through Yoga Bitch, I want to embrace women at all stages of that journey.
What advice would you give to women who are just starting that journey of finding and using their voice?
It’s about simplifying your mind. Something I always struggled with, and a lot of us can relate to, is regardless of our background, families, and other commitments, a lot of us are working through a life that is very noisy. We have different demands on us and our time – career and family or school – there’s always a lot of noise. I had to learn how to find and make the time for quiet in my own head. It’s something I struggled with because there are so many conflicting inputs – advice, expectations, work personas, and I had to learn to quiet that noise, and narrow it down to what are the core truths about myself – what do I know to be true. What do I desire most and build from there. I think you start small, create habits, and prioritize yourself to build a foundation for the life that you want.
Be sure to follow Yoga Bitch on instagram @yogabitchapparel and check back here for the next installment of our Bold and Unapologetic Women series. Spoiler alert: next, you’ll hear from members of our Bitchin’ Tribe for a behind the scenes look at the women behind our inaugural #boldandunapologeticchallenge!