By Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman
It’s not just a cliché: You really can start a business with your BFF and become an Internet celebrity.
Laura Kasperzak, 36, has been dubbed “Instagram’s hottest yoga star” after amassing more than 700,000 followers of her gorgeous yoga poses on the photo-sharing site. The New Jersey mom of two, who still works full-time for a software company, is now hoping to find the same success with Two Fit Moms, the wellness company and website she formed last August with her friend Masumi Goldman.
“If you have a passion for something, make it happen ... no matter how old you are. It’s a lot of hard work, but the end results are so rewarding,” says Kasperzak of Two Fit Moms, which delivers guidance and tips on yoga, fitness, and nutrition.
Their story begins back in 1991, when Kasperzak and Goldman became friends during freshman year of high school. Fast forward to June 2012, when Kasperzak began attracting a mass following on Instagram as @laurasykora, with fans obsessing over her colorful yoga pants, impressive inversions, and beautiful photography. (Laura uses a Nikon camera to take her “selfies.”)
“Instagram is a visual social media app and photography is my other hobby. I think combining the two [photography and yoga] has definitely had an impact on my following,” she says.
In April 2013, Kasperzak and Goldman (who has almost 90,000 Instagram followers of her own handle, @masumi_g), began training to become certified yoga instructors; last summer, they began offering $5 yoga classes and occasional workshops.
But the idea to create Two Fit Moms began before Kasperzak and Goldman even completed yoga teacher training. In fact, it had always been Kasperzak’s dream to be a yoga instructor, and it had always been Goldman’s dream to build an online wellness hub.
"Just maintaining a friendship for 23 years is an incredible blessing. Being able to run a business together and do what we love most is truly like icing on the cake,” says Goldman, also 36.
Along with tips for yogis and Instagrammers, Two Fit Moms has plenty of tempting yet nutritious recipes (like Masumi’s Double Chocolate Chip Pancake Surprise). Practice yoga, eat well, and you too can turn back the hands of time and be strong, fit and healthy at any age, the two friends say in the website’s mission statement.
“Youthfulness is a state of mind,” says Goldman, a former stay-at-home mom, part-time children’s photographer and Wall Street analyst, who only began practicing yoga in October 2012. “Knowing that I am still physically capable of doing everything that I did as a kid makes me feel young and alive. Although I have always been active, I am now doing things with my body that I’ve never done before. Yoga has introduced me to the world of inversions and deep flexibility. All of this, along with a healthy diet, makes me feel young.”
Kasperzak is also amazed that she’s still able to do her famous handstands and forearmstands “at the ripe age of 36” -- and urges other “moms” out there who would like to turn yoga or any other passion into a business to give it a try.
“It is never too late,” she says.
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