My last blog about my friend Jordan and her business Keto Queen Kreations was so fun to write that I decided to continue this theme! I chose to feature my friend Laura, who has been on an incredible journey.
A little history:
Laura and I met while sorority sisters (go AE!) at CUNY Brooklyn College in 2006. Like myself Laura was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY; unlike myself, this is where she started her business. Over the past 16 years (Woah, where has the time gone?!) that I have known Laura, I have enjoyed watching her grow and learn through her fantastic journey. Lauraâ€™s business,Â Waves of Self Love, focuses on Reiki, meditation, and self-love.
Lauraâ€™s business venture started with her interest in Reiki. About nine years ago, while working at a non-profit, Laura was introduced to Reiki; however, she began to dig deeper into it four years ago when going threw a breakup from a 6-year-long relationship and felt like â€œher world was falling apart.â€ She reflected on what was happening around her and how she could grow from her experience and escape her funk. Laura decided to cross the country and take a solo trip to San Diego; her goal was to find healing there. During her journey in San Diego, she found Reiki Master Melanie Esperon of Reiki Room SD, and after her first session, she knew that this was something she had to explore. She explored it further, took it to the next level, and did a business out of her interest!
In July 2020, Laura started her ownÂ Waves of Self LoveÂ business. She received her certificate in Self-Love Coach, Mindfulness Meditation Facilitator, and Reiki Practitioner. So Iâ€™ll be honest, my friend has had this business for a little over two years, and I do not know much about what she does. It was time I explored this further. Laura explained, â€œI provide self-love coaching services, Reiki, and meditation classes. I work with mostly women on a self-love healing journey and feel called to go inward, work through past wounds, and heal their relationships with themselves.â€Â
As her business grew, she formed relationships with clients and others within the spiritual community. This networking led Laura to create her Badass Soul merchandise line. I asked where this name for her merchandise line derived from, and she said, â€œI had worked with so many people who just embodied what I feel like a Badass Soul isâ€ I donâ€™t know about you, but Badass Soul feels empowering to me! So as I focused on the â€˜Badassâ€™ part of it, Lauraâ€™s focus embodied both the â€˜badassâ€™ and â€˜soulâ€™, she shared â€œI wanted this brand to represent us as spiritual beings with each of our unique edges, living unapologetically in our truth and owning our magic.â€
Struggles along the way?
When asked if she felt it was easy to own her own business, Laura quickly responded, â€˜Not at all!â€™. She states that there have been a lot of ups and downs and trial and error. Laura was brutally honest with herself and me, saying, â€œI didnâ€™t know much about how a business runs, from marketing to financial management, and Iâ€™ve had to learn a lot of it along the way.â€ However, her passion for what she does helps to keep her focused and work beyond the mistakes she has made.
The future of her business:
Like most business owners, Laura has visions for the future of her companies. Her dream is to combine her work through Waves of Self-Love with her Badass Soul line. Laura envisions taking her Badass Soul platform and having people come for merchandise to make them look good and combine it with holistic services and healing tools to help them feel good. She strives to participate in events and pop-ups nationwide where people can shop for Badass Soul merch while receiving holistic services like Reiki, acupuncture, breathwork, etc. Most excitingly, Laura shared that she is also expanding the merchandise to self-care products and tools.
As my husband and I start our business, I wonder, is this something Iâ€™ve always wanted to do? Is owning a business a lifelong passion that most people have? So, I asked Laura if she always wanted to be an entrepreneur; Laura responded, â€œFor the last 6-7 years, I had the urge to have my own business so that I could be my boss and create something of my ownâ€. In 2017 I started a photography business, taking wedding and engagement photos and portraits (she did a super cute engagement session for my sister!). Lauraâ€™s photos were excellent, so I inquired, what happened to this business? Why did she not continue to pursue it? She responded, â€œI did this for about 1.5 years, but as much as I enjoyed photography, my heart wasnâ€™t fully in itâ€. As Laura began to understand the importance of passion and happiness, she could not continue with photography and knew she needed to focus on other ventures.
Connecting her passion to her life:
Understanding the importance of passion within her business, Laura knew she needed to find something to relate to. Laura candidly shared, â€˜I had struggled with self-love and a negative body image for many years. Once I started my healing journey in 2018, I realized how life-changing tools such as Reiki & meditation were for me to understand myself better and tune inwardâ€™. These tools substantially impacted Laura so much that she knew she had to share them and support others on their self-love journey. Once she started this business that she was passionate about, everything began to fall into place, and Laura knew that this was the path she was destined to be on. Happily, Laura shared that she still gets to use her love of photography in my business during photoshoots for her Badass Soul line!
Remembering again that Laura received a degree in Studio Art, I wondered how her family and friends felt about her life-changing journey. Laura feels her family especially knew that she wanted to have her own business after the multiple times she would come home frustrated from work and having to work for someone else. Laura worked in the nonprofit field for ten years; she loved the organizations she worked for but never felt quite fulfilled in her work. Luckily, Laura shares that her family and friends have been supportive every step of the way, from buying merchandise to promoting her business to sharing words of encouragement; Laura states, “I’m truly grateful for the circle that I have around me. I really couldn’t do this without them.”
Unfortunately (for her friends and family), Laura no longer lives in New York. For years, Laura spoke about leaving NYC, stating that â€œthe beach is my happy place.â€ She always felt connected to the Caribbean or somewhere warm. Laura knew eventually that this was not something she wanted just as a vacation but for somewhere to live where she could have beach access whenever she wanted.Â Once the pandemic hit, Laura felt it gave her the time to focus on her goal and plan it out. She quit her non-profit job in April of 2021 to go full-time with her business. This opportunity enabled her to work remotely, leave NY, and travel for a few months before settling in Miami.Â
Before moving to Florida, Laura went to San Diego for a month alone. During her time there, she focused on grounding herself by going to the beach, hanging out with local friends, and being outside as much as possible. She also took the time there to plan the following year for her business and had a brand photoshoot. Laura feels, â€œSan Diego is ultimately where my healing journey began years ago, so I knew I wanted to start my adventure there after leaving NY.â€
After leaving San Diego, Laura decided to settle in Miami. When asked, why Miami? Laura responded, â€œIâ€™m close to my family and friends in NY, so although I wanted to live in Cali, I knew it would be hard to travel to NY when I wanted, and the distance felt too much. My partner was also ready to leave NY, so Florida felt like the perfect place for us to get the warm weather and beaches while still being close to family and friends in NYâ€. Traveling from Miami back to NYC is not the quickest drive, but the flight is faster, and having the support of her partner makes the choice of Miami understandable. Before settling in Miami, Laura and her partner stopped in Vero Beach, Florida, for a month to get a feel of different places in Florida. It was a lovely area, and the beaches were beautiful, but Miami seemed to have many more opportunities for them at the time.
Beyond New York, California, and Florida, I wondered where else Laura has traveled. Laura has traveled throughout the United States, including California, Colorado, Maryland, Washington, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Hawaii, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, NJ, and Louisiana. Beyond the United States, she has traveled to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Martin, Jamaica, Canada, and Amsterdam.
She would like to travel within the country and abroad. she hasnâ€™t since 2019. I wondered if Laura had any travel goals, and she said, â€œTo travel more!â€. Since being in Florida, her focus has been trying to get settled there along with running a business, so she hasnâ€™t had the opportunity to travel as much as sheâ€™d like to.
Talking to Laura more about her experiences made me understand her wanderlust, so I wondered, does she think she will stay in Miami? Laura said, â€œI can see myself staying in Miami for the next year or two, but I would love to get an RV or a van and travel throughout the US to different places and possibly off the grid for a littleâ€. One of the things that appealed to her about being an entrepreneur was the ability to make her schedule and having the freedom to travel when she wanted. â€œIt took a lot for me to push past the fear of moving out of NY, but now that I took that leap, Iâ€™m excited to see where life might take me nextâ€. I feel that Laura has taken many leaps, leading to her current successes. Her journey wasnâ€™t always straightforward, but Laura pushed through and created two successful businesses while visiting different parts of the world. Not only am I proud to call her my friend and sister (sorority girls!), I am excited to follow her journey and watch her succeed!
If you are interested in other female-owned businesses by females that love to travel, check out the Keto Queen here!
Check out Laura on her socials and websites at:
For 10% off your Badass Soul merch, add promo code: BADASS10
Most importantly, check out Lauraâ€™s booking site: Waves of Self Love