We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Smith CEO of A&I, Instructional Designer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen Smith, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I am not afraid to pivot and to innovate. There have been countless times over the past few years that I realized my business needed to shift in order to thrive and survive. My service-based business has shifted to an entirely online operation, with both pre-recorded and live offerings, which has mostly come to life in the past 8 months. This shift helped me navigate the changing times and also gave me permission to use my creativity and instructional design expertise in a whole new way. This pivot helped me to reach more people with my virtual yoga certification and our virtual yoga studio. It has truly shaped what A&I is becoming and growing into!
What should our readers know about your business?
Growing this business has been a journey filled with pivots as we scaled and adapted to meet the needs of our clients. We have become an entirely virtual yoga studio and online yoga certification school. We made this transition with our certification a year ago and within the last six months we launched our virtual studio platform. We faced many challenges while creating this product, and are constantly modifying and improving our service as we learn and grow. We have also scaled our team, adding several instructors and administrators to our team to ensure that our clients receive top-notch service and a high quality virtual, live yoga experience. We are on a mission to normalize modifications and adaptations for a yoga practice, dismantling damaging yoga stereotypes one pose at a time. We create a space where all bodies, ages, and experience levels can participate and relax in a low-pressure environment. We also offer modifications and accommodations to create an inclusive space. Our online environment allows us to offer a more inclusive and affordable product for all.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Phoenix is an amazing hub for food and beautiful scenery. I highly recommend visiting Thai Recipe Bistro for fantastic food and beverages and the friendliest staff. I highly recommend visiting Papago Park on McDowell Road for a day hike with beautiful sights and a red rock experience. I also highly recommend visiting downtown Phoenix to experience the Art Museum and all of the local art galleries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Matthew Smith, helped me to strive for my dreams. Every time I need encouragement, advice, or help sorting through a lot of information, he is always right there by my side helping me along the way. I appreciate him and would not be this far on my business journey without him!