iShine is a one-stop wellness shop at its best: yoga, health coaching, child care, reflexology–even bakery goods and beverages are offered. iShine is also a cooperative, a true example of community where yogis and employees can invest back in the mission. The mind (and heart) behind it all, Genevieve Boulanger, dipped her toe into yoga young–when she was six years old, in fact–and decided, after ten adult years spent chasing other dreams, that it was time to open her own studio.
When Genevieve is not on the mat and running iShine with her mom, Anita, and with the support of husband Andrew, you can find her with her camera, creating images for her Love & Light photography business. Her approach to business ownership and the yoga world is dichotomous: she’s a curator of mindfulness and meditation, but also an endless bundle of energy, full of quick quips and big laughs. Alongside her passionate (and compassionate) yoga teachers, therapists, life coaches, and health professionals, Genevieve is bringing her vision of health and healing to Lake Norman.
How were you first introduced to yoga?
My mother became actively involved in yoga and holistic healing in Savannah, Georgia in the 1980’s when my brother and I were born. At the age of six, she took me to my first yoga class where I loved moving into the postures and the savasana and meditation at the end. At a young age, I respected the classes and knew it was something special.
What drew you to yoga?
Yoga has brought the most wonderful blend of focus and passion into my life. It allows me the time and space to gain clarity on what makes my heart feel alive—what my heart’s desire is. Yoga gives me a compass to live by and a way to navigate life with while experiencing a sense of joy. It also comes with this awesome community of lovely people!
Were you always “in the industry?”
I graduated with a degree in Communications Management from Ohio University and worked in sales and marketing for 10 years before opening iShine in 2017. I am trained in classical ballet, and I danced all through high school and into college. I became a certified yoga teacher in 2008.
Did you know you wanted to own your own business?
I love holding space for individuals to discover and realize their true potential and greatness. I come from a family of entrepreneurs—my great grandparents, grandfather, father, aunts and uncles. You could say it is in my blood. I feel grateful for the opportunity to have iShine be our family business while also providing a space for our community of yogis and friends. I feel honored to live my mission everyday.
Sometimes the plan is that simple, and the path becomes clear when you know where you’re supposed to be.
When and how did you actually launch iShine? How did you settle on a location?
We were originally looking at locations in Cornelius but the space near Birkdale found us. Our original renovation plan was made much simpler when we found the space we are in now: Not a single wall needed to be put up nor nor taken down. A big studio space was already there, two bathrooms, a room for wellness and a space for child watch—all things I knew I wanted to offer. The plan went from a complex configuration to updating floors and paint. There was even beautiful, well-lit space to photograph the newborn babies of my prenatal yoga clients. Sometimes the plan is that simple, and the path becomes clear when you know where you’re supposed to be.
What are your favorite parts about being a small business owner?
I love the freedom to create and offer services and events that I believe will help people to evolve and grow. It is my favorite to bring people together and see the ripple effect within our community—how our mission brings love to each person coming through the door and engaging with others.
What kinds of workshops and classes does iShine now offer?
iShine offers workshops and classes for all bodies and skill levels. Vinyasa, power yoga, stretch, restorative, and yoga nidra (meditation). iShine also specializes in Prenatal Yoga, workshops of all kinds, wellness retreats, health coaching, healthmath, reflexology, and weekly local organic produce delivery to the studio.