May’s One Successful Mama Profile: Deena Blumenfeld of Shining Light Prenatal Education
“Finding my niche and my career joy has opened the door for me to be a happier person and more present with my kids.”–Deena Blumenfeld
With May being a month of rebirth and renewal, I am excited to introduce to you a local mother who is helping new mamas and mamas-to-be celebrate the joys of pregnancy and new parenthood.
Readers, meet Deena Blumenfeld, a Certified Khalsa Way™ Prenatal Yoga Teacher and Lamaze® Certified Childbirth Educator and the owner of two Pittsburgh-based businesses: Shining Light Prenatal Education and Shining Light Doulas, which guide women from fertility through pregnancy and childbirth and into early parenting with grace and confidence. Through Deena’s classes and workshops, you’ll find both the information and support you need to make the best choices for you and your baby.
Deena and her husband Dan have two children: Owen, 10 and Elaine, 6. The family also includes two cats, Tesla and Edison; two rats, Squeaky and Smelly; and House the hermit crab.
“We know that your journey into motherhood is unique,” says Deena. “We understand there is no one “right” way to give birth; we honor and respect the choices our families make. We believe birth is a natural, normal process which is truly a transformational point in a woman’s life.”
To support mothers during this journey, Shining Light offers group classes, concierge-style private sessions and community groups. “Our intention is to build your confidence and help you to walk the path before you to a healthy pregnancy and birth. By choosing our classes you will find holistic support; mind, body and spirit,” she says.
As a thank you to my readers, Deena is giving away one FREE yoga class (Yoga for Women, Yoga for Moms, Prenatal Yoga, Mommy & Me Yoga or Yoga for Fertility) and a tennis ball massage gift set. To enter, click here: Free Yoga Class Entry Form (Email address will be used only to contact the winner.)
ONE COMMITTED MAMA PRESENTS: DEENA BLUMENFELD How long ago did you start your business? What led you to start it? Shining Light Prenatal Education opened in January 2012 at our location in Lawrenceville; prior to that I was teaching out of other yoga studios and out of my home. The idea for Shining Light Prenatal Education came from my students. I saw that they needed more than just a prenatal yoga class or a childbirth education class. Women needed continuity of care, a consistent message and community during their pregnancies. I realized I couldn’t offer all of this without having my own space. So, a full year’s worth of business planning later and Shining Light Prenatal Education was born!
What types of services/products do you offer? At Shining Light Prenatal Education we offer classes from fertility through pregnancy and beyond into early parenthood. We have yoga classes (fertility, prenatal, postpartum, mommy & me, yoga for women). We teach Confident Birthing (Lamaze), Breastfeeding Essentials and Infant Care. We offer specialty workshops such as VBAC considerations and Babywearing. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! We also have free community groups – New Parents’ Coffee on Mondays and Out of the Blue (postpartum depression) on Fridays. Our newest service is Shining Light Doulas. Our Doula Duos™ are Pittsburgh’s professional, insured doulas who offer the highest level of service to mothers in labor.
Describe your first few months getting started. What were your major challenges? Beyond screwing up my IKEA furniture? In my early months I had to learn which classes were working and which ones were not. There were classes I was sure people would love that ended up as duds, and ones I ran on a whim that became successful. I learned to preserver with classes I felt were important for parents and be patient while they grew. My big lesson – If you build it, but don’t market it, no one buys it. Marketing was a whole new arena for me. I’m still learning here.
What has surprised you the most about yourself when it comes to running your own business? I’m such an introvert. Yet, running my own business has forced me out of my shell to better interact with my clients. I have also found I enjoy networking with other business owners and learning from them.
How has owning your own business benefitted you as a mother and/or wife? I left my corporate gig to be a stay at home mom. I learned that I needed to be working and that I was a better mom because I worked. Finding my niche and my career joy has opened the door for me to be a happier person and more present with my kids. I am also setting the example for my children that they can choose to make their own way in the world.
What do you enjoy the most about owning your own business? I love the freedom to set my own schedule. By making a difference for the mothers and families with whom I work, I can help affect change throughout the whole maternity system. Making change one mom, one partner and one baby at a time – this is why I do what I do.
What are your goals for the future? Just having launched Shining Light Doulas, my goal is to grow this aspect of my business. I’d like to see my doulas take off and be successful in their own rights while offering the highest level of service to our clients. I also intend to add postpartum doulas to our list of services later in the summer.
What advice do you have for women who may want to take the leap and own their own businesses? Write your business plan! I spent a full year writing my plan and talking to my consultants. Whether your business is part-time, out of your home, or a large corporate endeavor, a business plan can set you up for success and it can help you avoid major pitfalls.
Is there anything else you’d like to add/mention? Running a business is one of my greatest joys and biggest challenges. It forever keeps me on my toes and helps me grow. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for those who are not dedicated. Being great at what you do (i.e. teaching childbirth classes and yoga) doesn’t make one a great businessperson. Business skills are a whole other category of expertise that must be learned before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. I am grateful to my mentors, both past and current. Without them, Shining Light Prenatal Education would not be the hub of support and education for pregnant women in Pittsburgh it is today.
Don’t forget to enter Deena’s giveaway for one free yoga class and a tennis ball massage gift set! Click here to enter: Free Yoga Class Entry Form Follow One Committed Mama on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!