Meet Yoga & Wellness entrepreneur, wife and mother, Julie Millen. We are thrilled to have her contribute to this month's My World series.
We launched this series to honour and introduce an inspiring group of mothers, entrepreneurs and friends of Mamas Hospital Bag. Each person featured is someone who motivates us with their shared values and determination to do what they love! Julie was an early recipient of one of our Hospital Bags and true to her nature (as those who follow her on social media will know) she has been a warm and supportive follower of our brand since. Read on to hear how she juggles having her own business with a young family, her definition of success and the trip that changed her life.
Our conversation with Julie
Julie congratulations on both the launch of Julie B Wellness Hub and your impending arrival! I think anyone who follows you would agree that you are a great ambassador of both wellness and self-care. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family. I am a yoga & wellness teacher based in Dublin, I’m married to Neil and we have a gorgeous little boy Beau who just turned one and we are expecting number 2 in September.
Congratulations Julie. What is your memory of packing your first hospital bag? Thanks so much. Oh I remember feeling it was a big task packing the hospital bag and I totally underestimated what I would need before I started googling and then packing. I needed a bigger bag than I originally had picked out and must have packed, unpacked and repacked about 4 times before the big day. But I also really enjoyed it and it really helped me to feel a bit more organised and prepared.
How would you describe yourself as a mother? A work in progress… I’ve always wanted to be a mum and the reality has surpassed any expectations I had, but it has also been a steep learning curve. Being a mum has challenged me in ways I never expected but has also taught me so much about myself.
To be a successful mother I need to… Remember to take time for myself even on the craziest days.
What does a typical work day look like for you? As I run my own business, there really is no typical day. This is one of the reasons I love working for myself but it can also be challenging at times. I am a planner by nature but having Beau has made me shift my approach to work. Every day is a juggling act- in some ways Covid has helped as my husband is currently working from home, so he can mind Beau while I'm teaching classes or doing corporate talks. I often have early morning classes or private clients and before Neil starts work, I map out what is critical for the day and how I can make sure that gets done. I then have a list of what are the less important but still need to get done tasks, and try to fit those in as best I can. I often do my work calls whilst taking Beau for a walk- when he was younger I could do them on zoom whilst feeding him or letting him play in the background but he is 1 now and is so inquisitive and active, so it can be a bit chaotic. If I have clients or classes in the afternoon my mum and dad take him for a few hours which is a huge help and then once we have bath time done and he is tucked up in bed I jump back on the email and finish up anything that needs to be done.
Can you tell us a bit about how your business has changed in the last year? Are there any adjustments you have had to make to the business that you might keep- and others that you are dying to get back to the way they were pre-Covid? My business has changed completely- I have gone from teaching all my classes in person to doing everything online now. Even as things start to open back up and there are outdoor yoga classes / small indoor classes I've decided to keep my business online for now. I teach my regular classes, corporate classes and private clients online. It’s not the same as doing a class in person- I am a very hands on teacher and also feel a huge part of teaching yoga is the energy you bring to the room as well as the energy you get from clients. I’ve had to learn to try to bring that through the camera. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to teaching in person but I will also be keeping my online business going. I think one of the positives we have gained in this industry, in the last year or so, is the ability to have the classes we want with the teachers we want at a time that works for us. Many of my clients who no longer live in Dublin now join my classes online and it’s so lovely to be able to still practice with them. The convenience is key and I think there is a big interest in keeping an online space as well as having the option to go to a class in person when it suits.
What was your path prior to starting your own business and did you always want to work for yourself? It was very different from yoga… I was a sales director. I worked in London for a number of years in Sales & Marketing roles. The environments were always very intense and highly pressured. I loved the buzz of smashing my sales targets but something was missing. It took me a while to build up the courage and confidence to make the leap and believe in myself to make it happen.
What’s next for Julie B Wellness? I've just rebranded from Julie B Yoga to Julie B Wellness so it’s an exciting time for me and my business. Julie B Wellness is about movement, mindfulness and wellbeing. There is still lots of yoga in there and I now have an on demand library of classes so people can practice with me anytime but in the last year particularly, I have seen a shift in what people need and want. I am doing a lot more mindfulness and meditation along with helping companies and individuals to live their lives better. So Julie B Wellness gives people the option to join me live or on demand for a range of classes, guided meditations and tips on how to be a better version of you every day.
Who or what inspires you? Seeing other women follow their passion, face their fears and making a difference- people like Denise Kenny Byrne and Georgie Crawford. I love seeing other women succeed and find it so motivating and inspiring.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you? I doubt myself a lot- whether I'm good enough, whether I'm doing the right thing with my career/ business. I think it’s part of running your own business and also who I am- I always want to be the best that I can be and want to make sure what I'm bringing to clients is fresh and my best work so I put huge pressure on myself.
My definition of success is simple….Being truly happy in myself so I can be the best version of me for my husband, my children, friends and family.
What is the most memorable trip you have taken and where are you most excited to go once the world opens up for easy travel? The most memorable trip I took was to Bali in 2016… it truly changed my life. I had never been to Bali before and had been through quite a traumatic attack in London at the end of 2015. I was feeling very low and knew I needed to do something to start to build myself back up again. So I headed off to Bali for 3 weeks and it is the best thing I have ever done for me. It was a very healing experience- there is something very special about the people there. Before going, I wouldn’t have described myself as a spiritual person but there was something so captivating and powerful about Bali; it has left a huge footprint on my heart and it is a trip I will always be incredibly grateful for.
I cannot wait to go travelling again, even though it will be slightly different to last time we were away as that was on our honeymoon and the next time we will have 2 under 2 but I'm excited to get on a plane. My husband has family in Australia so we are really hoping to get over there. I’d love to get back to Italy too as a family.