Rachel Estapa, More to Love, Somerville, MA
Chasing Her Own Dream
Rachel Estapa wanted to become a business owner for a long time. After losing her job in her early 20’s, she vowed to make it happen. Rachel was done working on someone else’s dream.
More to Love (MTL) was born out of the frustration Rachel felt that body-acceptance and yoga were not blended together. “Being larger myself, it was hard to go into wellness spaces and feel intimidated,” shared Estapa. She became trained in yoga and as a coach, and founded MTL in 2013 with the goal of making yoga and body-positive wellness more welcoming. Rachel believes all women are allowed to feel connected to their bodies – any size – and deserve a welcoming space, high quality tools and resources to learn and experience. She channeled her own experience overcoming poor body image into this project in a positive way, determined to empower others to love themselves.
| Rachel Estapa, photo by M. Davidson-Schapiro Photography
Estapa has created a thriving community designed to help you love, accept and appreciate your body a little more each day.
She came to CWE- Eastern MA in 2016 for the support she needed to kick start her business. “For operations itself, as a small business owner, you’re responsible for it all. And with few resources available”, said Rachel. “I learned quickly how to make it work with what I had, how to make smart decisions and do things simply; and how to keep developing myself as a leader”.
Taking Care of Business
“One of the gaps I needed to fill was creating a business plan around my ideas. I knew I had something amazing, but I didn’t have the outline and was unsure how to make my idea grow and become sustainable.” “I saw CWE and instantly knew I wanted to join. It was local, the approach to supporting women was important to me, and they offered a program that was exactly what I was looking for.”
Rachel enrolled in the CWE Eastern MA 10-Week Business Planning program. “The program provided me the tangible steps I needed to turn my amazing idea into an actual business. I also appreciated the combination of skills learned in the class- everything from operations to the creative process, financial to marketing, and more.”
Rising to New Heights
Just a few months after completing the Business Planning program and pitching her business at the final class, Rachel was featured on Chronicle. Then, in December 2017 she was named the winner of Mastercard's, "Grow Your Biz Contest," receiving both a $25,000 grant along with one-on-one expert business advice. She created a 30 second video about how she will grow her business moving forward and was chosen out of four finalists.
MTL’s primary services are Boston-area yoga classes, events and online courses which teach the central message of body positivity. Support for MTL is strong – within two years, thousands of clients, known as “More to Lovelies” have experienced the programs. Locally and nationally, MTL’s work has been praised and awarded for its innovative approach to wellness. And Rachel is now working to grow her business and continue to reach more people.
When asked what lessons she’s learned throughout her journey so far, she says “passion is important. But consistency and being reliable in your life and business is essential to any success”. Rachel shares with aspiring entrepreneurs that it’s important to listen more, ask for help often, and be open to letting the process take your ideas and business to places you didn’t think were possible. She takes these lessons with her and applies them every day, acting with consistency and commitment in every step she takes.
Watch Mastercard’s video about More to Love and Rachel’s journey: https://vimeo.com/245506196
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