Julie: Yoga Instructor, Artist

Name: Julie Luisi

Age: 31

City: Charleston, South Carolina

Main Hustle: My day job is working for Yoloha Yoga, a family run company that produces eco-friendly, sustainable cork yoga mats and cork yoga accessories. We have a small team with a large reach so my day-to-day duties vary from filling orders to customer service to working in the financial side of the business and running our wholesale accounts. We also opened up a yoga studio adjacent to our warehouse called Yoloha Yoga Factory where I am the manager and also teach 3 classes a week! Every day is different, and we are always developing product and looking for ways to expand, which is super exciting and gratifying. I get to work with my best friends in an industry that is reaching more and more people each day and improving so many lives at the same time—it really is a dream.

Side Hustle: Besides teaching yoga at Yoloha Yoga Factory, I teach a monthly class at a local brewery, Revelry, on their incredible rooftop looking over the city. I also run a small side business called On The Fringe Supply. With On The Fringe, I make custom macrame and woven wall hangings, macrame plant hangers, the occasional mural or window display, chalkboards for businesses and events, as well as hold the occasional workshop.

How did you get started?: I started practicing yoga when I was a teenager, but it didn’t really catch on until I started doing power yoga at Charleston Power Yoga and my whole life changed. I got the physical workout my athletic self was craving and then got so much more mentally out of the practice than I could have ever hoped for. It has changed my life.

The way I came to work for Yoloha is that I have a background in corporate retail management and merchandising first at Urban Outfitters, then at Free People, and finally at West Elm ,where I was a store merchandiser. The skills that I developed after years of doing that combined with my passion for yoga made me a perfect fit for Yoloha, and when one of my best friends, who happens to be the owner, was looking to grow the company, I was the first one he turned to.

With my art and On The Fringe Supply, I have always been very creative and good with my hands from drawing and painting to building things. My parents have always fostered a creative environment and encourage me to express myself creatively. I kind of put that on pause for a long time, but when I came to West Elm as a merchandiser, it was ignited again, getting to create murals and paint treatments as well as window displays, and I was hooked again. I started weaving late at night after working overnights in the store when I couldn’t sleep. Then one day I wanted a macrame hanging for myself, so I just decided to teach myself how to do it, and the rest is history!

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: At night after work, I weave and macrame while we catch up on Netflix, but honestly it happens whenever I can squeeze it in. I’ve never been one to sit still, so when I’m not doing or teaching yoga or surfing with my boyfriend, we are both usually creating some kind of art (he is an artist full-time) We have a studio at our house, but I do most of my work right in our living room, ha!

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: For me keeping up with communication and staying organized/staying on a realistic time frame. I have a habit of saying yes to a lot, sometimes too much to get it all done in a realistic time frame, so I would say one of my biggest challenges is giving a realistic time frame to finish projects. Other than that? That there aren’t enough hours in the day!

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I absolutely LOVE when customers send me pictures of my pieces hanging in their house—that is the BEST! And there is nothing better than a yoga student telling you something you said really helped; that’s the stuff that makes your heart melt.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My boyfriend, my family, my coworkers. We really are all like one big family. I’m very lucky.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I love interior design and look at as much home inspiration as my brain can handle sometimes. That’s where I get most of my inspiration for art from, and nature, the ocean specifically. I’ve been really lucky to grow up at the beach (back in New Jersey I grew up in a small beach town called Point Pleasant) and now to live in Charleston. I don’t have to look far for the beauty that surrounds me. For yoga I really take the most inspiration from my local community here, especially my teachers Mimi Rose, Sarah Fricke, Beth Plante, Kate Counts, Molly Casto, and so many more.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I would love to keep growing my business with On The Fringe Supply and create a website finally, as well as a personal yoga site, so that I can reach more people locally who might want small group or private instruction.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Do something that really speaks to your heart. Don’t start something just because you think it’s going to make you more money; it has to be a passion project that feeds your soul as well. Work from your own creative heart; whether you are a yoga teacher or a badass painter, there is only one you and the world will be robbed of your gift if you are just trying to be a second rate version of someone else you admire.

For more information on Julie’s yoga classes, follow her personal account on Instagram, Yoloha Yoga’s store and studio Instagram accounts, or check out the Yoloha Yoga store or studio websites. To learn more about Julie’s art, follow On The Fringe Supply on Instagram or email her to connect or collaborate!

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