Namastream’s Story of Origin

Namastream's story of origin

Namastream: A Manifesto

Most software startups probably don’t have a deeply personal transformation at their heart; but ours does. We believe in deeply personal work. In fact, it’s kind of what we’re all about. Juicy, deep, brave, conscious work. Combine that heart-centered work with technology and magic happens. Our motto? Be kind. Be brave. Be love. Here’s a little bit about how we came into being…

It was never in the cards to start a tech company. I was building a non-profit and working to address the human rights implications of global climate change. I was striving to reimagine the future into something hopeful and beautiful and filled with possibility. But if I’m being honest, I was operating in a world of apocalypse that often lacked hope and I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I was tired of traveling to difficult, dangerous places. I had just given birth to a baby girl and I wanted to be the kind of mama who filled the room with joy. I wanted to be present to the daily life of my child and not off on some far end of the earth uncovering yet another unthinkable atrocity. I wanted to build something beautiful that empowered people — including myself and the future team I would gather. I wanted to create financial abundance to support the social and environmental justice work I’d spent my life working towards.

There are many paths to service in this life. My lesson has been to make sure that my own path to service is also serving me — all of me. For some reason, this has been the most difficult of lessons. The poem, “Wild Geese”, by Mary Oliver symbolizes everything I was feeling; everything I was craving:

So, against all odds (and somewhat on whim), with a toddler underfoot, I decided to embark upon this idea to start a business — a software company no less. It was the boldest, most empowering decision of my career.

As a longtime lover of yoga (with over a dozen years of personal practice and some teacher training under my belt), I decided to explore this market as a starting place. I enrolled in an entrepreneurship program and set out to interview 75 yoga studio owners in North America to determine what they were missing from their current software tools and services. I LOVED those conversations. I learned so much and I will forever be grateful to those first few studio owners who generously gave me their time — some have become close friends. Some have become my teachers.

I worked on what would become Namastream in the spare moments I could find. Pre-dawn hours at the coffee shop. Naptimes. Weekend afternoons. I gave up training for triathlons. I walked away from lucrative job and funding opportunities. I began to pour myself into the project with the same hustle and unwavering commitment that I had previously reserved for law school and newborn child-rearing. I felt more empowered and proud than I had ever remembered feeling.

I want to deconstruct these feelings a little bit here. Because this is important work. Because many of our clients have similar stories about their relationships to their own work. [A brief aside: While we adore the men on our platform, the truth is that we primarily serve women.] Some are young. Some are older. Some are mothers. A number are single mothers. (Virtual fist bump to the single mom business owners.) Some have told me stories that literally took my breathe away. I want to share something here about myself. I was essentially disgusted with the idea of “business” until I was 30 years old. Business, when conducted in a vacuum, can be a terrible thing. Think sweatshops. Think excessive carbon emissions. Think factory farms…

But business, when done with soul and intention, can be beautifully empowering. This kind of business, the kind of healing business that many of our clients engage in, can be of great service to the world. Day after day in my work with Namastream, I see stories of entrepreneurs and small business owners showing up, being brave, and being generous. I believe that money and technology are the currencies of power in our culture. Often, people (particularly women), shy away from both money and technology because we associate those things with “other kinds” of people. But we each have the same right to this power. Starting and growing a business, especially a business that incorporates technology, is the best way I can imagine, to undo those limiting beliefs and tap into that raw power.

Namastream is still at the beginning of its journey. We’re grateful to have so many friends and kindred spirits along for the ride.

With Joy + Hustle,

Jennifer

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