Holy Moly, 2020 has been such a journey already for everyone hasn’t it!

I am a small business owner owning KalmaBaby Stockton and kalmababy Sunderland, both franchises of the amazing kalmababy children’s yoga provider.

I am a mother, a wife and a registered mental health nurse, amongst a few other things.

Before Christmas last year, just six weeks before the pandemic arrived, I put in my notice at an amazing 9-5 job so that I could focus on building my amazing business that was going from strength to strength. I found two amazing teachers and expanded my team investing heavily to continue to grow and offer more classes in schools and the community, and I had such amazing plans in place for the next 6 months to help bring yoga and mindfulness to as many children as possible…

Then, Covid 19 arrived along with all of its terrifying effects.

Over night the schools closed and community classes stopped. My own children who were settled in school and nursery were now at home 24/7 and my husband set up his office at my dining table each morning…

I have to admit. I got lost in the cloud of Covid 19 despair, anxiety, grief for my business and dreams, stress and personal loss. For a while, I didn’t bother getting dressed as I wasn’t going anywhere. I ate anything I didn’t have to book, and I had a drink in the house most evenings. It wasn’t a good head space to be in, and I wasn’t much fun to be around.

There was no ‘epiphany’, or special moment when I got my fight back (sorry if this disappoints you – I didn’t see the company logo on a slice of toast or anything as beautifully mysterious…) – I think I just had to let myself be sad and genuinely terrified for a few moments (OK, weeks); and I think I always knew I would fight – I just didn’t quite have the strength straight away, but I did find it and realise that;

I AM a business owner.
I HAVE got 100% control over my work life.
NO ONE was dictating to me when to work.
I DID NOT have to send my children to school and go into work.
and I COULD still fight to keep my business alive.
So that’s what I did.

Now, as the world starts to open up little bit by little bit, I am still standing here with my business in tact. I am still full of optimism in terms of propelling my business forwards and providing amazing work opportunities for myself and my teachers.

I am stronger than ever and I am fighting so desperately hard to explain to anyone who will listen how important yoga and mindfulness can be in helping improve wellness as lockdown ends.

As a franchise owner I am so grateful to have a truly inspiring work family who have picked me up (dragged me up on days) and reminded me what I am fighting for during this period.

If you ever thought about becoming a business owner and this period of time has discouraged you – please believe me when I say – this position has been nothing but empowering.

EVERY professional decision I have made during this pandemic has been 100% mine to make. My family have been able to be right at the centre of my business decisions. My business has weathered the storm that sadly, a lot haven’t.

So don’t be discouraged or frightened if this pandemic has made you consider change – take control and do something that fills you with passion. when you have passion, you don’t just survive – you thrive.


Jessica Kalma Baby Sunderland and Kalma Baby Stockton, Yarm and Thornaby