Women’s History Month highlights the many accomplishments and contributions women have made to history, culture and society.
The National Women’s History Alliance has an annual theme for Women’s History Month. For 2022, the theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” which celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds who have provided hope and healing during difficult times, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year Arlington Public Schools (APS) has decided to celebrate women-owned local businesses. These business owners will be featured on this page, and across all of the APS social media platforms. APS is honored to have the opportunity to recognize these women for their dedication and commitment to the Arlington community. Check back for featured women throughout the month. Join us on social media using #APSWomensHistory
Trivia Question #4:
What influential Arlingtonian received accolades and awards in child development, which included opening a child care center in 1963 after discovering Arlington did not have a preschool system for African American children, and created the first Montessori school in Arlington?
— Arlington Public Schools (@APSVirginia) March 22, 2022
What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in business? There is always this conflict for women of wanting to “have it all”. I believe you can have it all just not all at once. Different seasons in your life call for different priorities. So if you’re pursuing a career in business, be prepared to make sacrifices. And start to view failure as a positive redirection. Failure is a sign that you tried and that fearless effort is what matters the most.
What challenges did you overcome during the pandemic? The challenges throughout the pandemic have been ever-changing and relentless. Our initial challenge in the summer of 2020 was how do we reopen with safety and integrity as our priorities. The pandemic has shown true colors for most businesses, and consumers are paying attention. So our focus has been on collecting client feedback and continually modifying our policies to follow the science and meet riders at their comfort level. We have had countless challenges- from our outdoor rides to masking policies. We are very fortunate we were able to ride outside for over a year, because as a brand new business without that option we wouldn’t have been able to operate. Overcoming these challenges was possible because of our amazing staff and their work ethic as well as willingness to be flexible. As a small local business, making quick pivots is doable when you have a string team!
Tell us about your business. Located in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Good Sweat is an indoor cycling studio committed to giving you the best sweat of your life all while improving the lives of others. We have been voted Best of NoVA and Best of Arlington for a reason: we are a community for everybody, especially those who crave a challenging, energetic, community-driven, socially conscious way to work out.
Erin T. Sonn, M.Ed., ERYT, YACEP
Owner, eat.YOGA.drink.®, LLC.
What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in business? First, take time to dive into your intention to make sure it feels authentic and inspiring. What are you passionate about? What–when you’re immersed in it–feels like exactly where you belong? After you identify what it is you’d like to pursue or develop, don’t let others write the rules for you. Keep going until you shape your business the way you want it to be. And know that you have something valuable to offer, so never underestimate your worth. If you face any challenges, don’t loose confidence in your purpose. Keep plodding along! And make sure you’re having fun!
What challenges did you overcome during the pandemic? Well, all of the physical spaces where I was teaching yoga shut down, so I had to pivot to online instruction for group classes and private clients. Learning the technology wasn’t as much of a challenge as learning how to connect with students over the virtual platform. Luckily, people were desperate for self-care and stress-relief, so attendance at my online classes stayed relatively robust. I also gained a few new private clients from the pandemic.
Tell us about your business. I teach yoga and mindfulness. When I started eat.YOGA.drink, in 2016, I was primarily teaching in nontraditional spaces (e.g., not in regular yoga studios), as a way to make the practices accessible, affordable, and fun. I still teach some classes in fun venues, but my business has evolved to include mindfulness workshops for educators and businesses, along with private clients who want to work on personalized wellness goals. Every day at “work” is a little different, which is fun. And since I love what I do, it never really feels like “work.”