Moms Moms Moms! I have a confession, I have been sitting on this interview for months, as I am completely immersed in my new business Les Lunes Lingerie and Loungewear, SFmompreneurs has fallen just a tad off my radar (BUT really I love-love-love you all, and am trying to find ways to spend more time here!!) Bad mama lane 😦 Low and behold here is our mama of the month, the beautiful, Oreet!
Tell us about you and your business!
I am a mom of 2 kids, a 3 year old son and an 8 month old daughter and the founder and creator of SharQui – The bellydance workout®. I started my business 12 years ago in NYC before kids and recently moved 5 years ago to San Francisco to expand the format on the West Coast. SharQui® is a bellydance fitness format and is the ONLY accredited bellydance format in the world. Worked very hard to get this status and very proud of it! I have 60 instructors across the US, have classes in NYC, SF, Baltimore, Southern and Northern California, Las Vegas, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I offer 3 instructional DVDs on amazon, apparel, music, and instructor trainings.
What was your career prior to becoming a mompreneur?
I was a modern dancer, fitness professional and bellydancer in NYC. I started SharQui in 2000 before I was married and had kids.
Why do you want start your own business?
In the late 1990’s I noticed that dance/fitness started to become a big trend, especially latin aerobics. I noticed that the fitness facilities were NOT hiring certified fitness professional to teach latin aerobics but professional latin dancers. This was bog problem as dancers are not trained to teach a structured fitness class and fitness enthusiasts were not happy because they were not getting a proper workout. Fitness enthusiasts learn by where they should feel it in the body, not visually like a dancer. So then I thought why not bellydance! My heritage is Yemeni/Israeli which makes me a jew of arab descent. Bellydance is part of my culture and I remember how I felt dancing with the women in my family. So freeing and non-judgmental. Any body type, fitness or dance level can do it. By the late 90’s I was so tired of teaching all those trendy workouts and my body and self-image needed a change. Then I thought this could help a lot of women’s self-image! So I gave bellydance structure. With my fitness expertise and my bellydance knowledge, SharQui was born in 2000.
What makes you unique and makes your business different from anyone else out there?
What makes my business unique is that it’s for ALL women. You are also not only getting fit but you are learning authentic bellydance and being educated about it at the same time!
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far?
Getting my format accredited by the top 2 fitness associations, being a presenter and teaching my peers at fitness conferences and getting the word out about what bellydance is REALLY about.
What do you like most about being a mompreneur?
That you can have your cake and eat it too. Even though things take longer to get done, it still gets done. I love how being a mom empowers me to be driven. It’s not only for me, but for my kids and husband.
What advice do you have for other aspiring mompreneurs?
Take it slow. Think it through and try not to make expensive mistakes.
If someone knocked on your door, and it was during business hours… (assuming you work at home) how will they find you? Kid on hip, overalls… pjs?
In my workout wear (because I taught a class in the morning) and my daughter right next to me.