Treina Alexander is a well-established makeup artist who has been in the biz for 17 years now. Her go-to makeup products include Bobby Brown’s corrector concealer and foundation kit, her GlōGirl lipsticks, and Touche Éclat eye brightener by Yves Saint Laurent. After devoting a majority of her time to beauty she diverted her attention to yoga in 2004.
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview this inspirational entrepreneur and mentor to her community. The following is the story of her journey into the yoga world.
West Oakland’s own YogaLove
Discovering Kemetic Yoga
I practiced Bikram yoga for a year and the whole time I felt like there has to be something else. I started doing research and I joined the Oakland Y. One day, my back was really aching and I went into the yoga class and fell in love with Vinyasa yoga and meditation. After the first class, the teacher announced that she was preparing to start a teacher training program so I signed up. The training was 200 hours and took a year to complete.
I specifically chose Egyptian yoga because it is based on a lineage called Kemetic yoga and Kemet is the ancient name for Egypt and I wanted something that was closer to my life, my goals in life, and my cultural background. It is based on another pantheon of gods and goddesses, who really resonated with me. I took my first couple of classes from a teacher that I really loved and I decided I wanted to get another yoga training certificate, but I was really looking for something that aligned with my life.
I started checking out different lineages of yoga. I was looking for something that was African and I found it with Kemetic yoga, which is actually the oldest yoga. A lot of the poses are found in temples and pyramids, it’s thousands of years older than the yoga lineages that most Americans practice today.
Six months before I opened Yoga Love, my partner asked me where I would go if I could go anywhere in the world. I said I would love to go to Puerto Vallarta and I would love a yoga immersion or some type of yoga teacher training to deepen my knowledge. I knew that I would love to be able to share this part of the world with people that I know. So, I started the retreat in 2014 in Vallarta and I called them “Summer camps for adults.”
Since a lot of people see yoga retreats and think they have to be yoga experts, I wanted to use language that would let people know it’s fun. We hang out. We do crafts and excursions. We do some yoga. We eat some really good food and just get to know people that you would probably not meet in your life.
People of Color Healing Retreat
Next year will be the 5th summer camp and I’m super excited about this. This year is the first year I’m holding the healing retreat for clients who don’t want to travel and I decided to really get specific in the demographic I was looking for, so I decided to call it a “People of Color Healing Retreat.” I wanted that specific audience because that’s the audience that needs the most self-care in my opinion. It is a 5 day and 4-night retreat and I usually work on them for 6 months to a year.
These retreats are for people that have probably never attended retreats before. I didn’t have a theme for it, but the running theme has been self-love. I mean going to a retreat is self-care but it’s really all about love. All of it is loving yourself, finding love, and the different types of love that are out there. It’s loving your body enough to go and check out different yoga styles and practices and studios. So, the retreat really is about loving yourself and finding different ways to do that.
Testing and Preparation. Take out your notepad entrepreneurs …
There’s been a series of mini-retreats this year, which we have used as a testing ground for different vendors, different practitioners, and different partners for the retreat in October. It taught me a lot about how different people like to work. It taught me about marketing. It taught me about collecting money and actually now I have a waiting list for people for the next mini-retreat.
A lesson for new entrepreneurs
Based on my experience, budding entrepreneurs need to sit down and plan. Planning is everything. Write down what you want. Have multiple streams of revenue and prioritize networking. Go out there and meet people. It’s not all about what they can do for you. It’s about meeting different people in all different industries.
I love when I’m having a conversation with another person and they bring up topics like, “oh, I’m looking for a vegan chef.” I can probably give them a name for 4 different vegan chefs. I love having this kind of mental catalog of people that are able to offer different types of services. I like connecting people. It gives me a lot of joy to be able to connect people because it all comes back around.