Meet the Badass Yoga Teacher Who Left Behind a Fancy Advertising Job
Jennifer Jones is a Midwest native who had a shiny advertising career in New York City. It was the dream. Until it wasn’t. Exhausted by the demands of corporate America, she quit her stressful yet stable big-deal job to open New Love City, a twinkle light-covered yoga studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. No longer stuck in a suit behind a desk for 70 hours a week, she now spends her days downward-dogging in Lululemon. Here's how she made it happen.
What were you like as a teen?
I was a weird combination of dreamy and focused. I was always elbows-deep in some project or another, and very focused and determined in my projects. They just weren't always super realistic, which I think is good. If I had stayed within the realm of realism about my life and possibilities in the suburbs, I probably would not have ended up where I am today. I learned potentially stupid risk-taking at an early age, which set me on this path. I'm still taking stupid risks and pouring all my determination into my dreamy projects to this very day!
As an adult, what do you wish you could tell your teenage self now?
I actually really loved being a teen, but I would probably tell myself to cool it with the planning. I am very organized and was structuring my whole life in detail in my head in my teenage years, and hanging my happiness on those ideas. Someday I'll be happy if... xyz. Things can (and often do) change drastically from instant to instant and I would love to gently encourage my teenage self to find happiness in the present rather than reaching for it in some distant future that may or may not ever show up.
How exactly did you get to where you are now, professionally?
I started in advertising as an intern in college. I loved the agency I interned with in Milwaukee, and I worked really hard and convinced them to hire me prior to my college graduation. I stayed for two years, then I moved to NYC. There, I worked for a handful of agencies and at a startup, where I had some free time and decided to do a yoga teacher training. By this point I was thoroughly sick of the advertising hustle and so stoked on the idea of making my life better through movement and sharing that with other people...so I quit my fancy job and started teaching full time.
After about a year of teaching yoga, my organizational skills must have been showing because I was soon hired to manage studios. Then I realized I'd rather do it myself and open my own space. I decided that on a Sunday afternoon, signed a lease on a Monday, and New Love City opened six weeks later.
What's one thing you wish you had known then that you know now about having a career?
I wish I had known that there were non-conventional career options available to me. I always did well in school and felt somewhat pegged into the idea that I had to become a doctor or a lawyer. Even being in advertising felt wild to me, and it's not that wild. The idea of entrepreneurship or movement instruction was never presented to me.
I was also never advised towards other areas where I excel—like engineering or tech. I think I felt very capable but was unaware of exactly how many options there were out there, and the idea that I could also create my own option for myself. Careers change, and there are ways to make a living offering things you're passionate about. That is very important to me, as a human with a beating heart.
What work advice do you have for teens or for young people just starting out?
Take the internship! Get the experience! Try all the things and learn to articulate what you like and don't like! You're allowed to leave if you hate it! Make sure you're getting paid! Don't forget that the hours you spend at your job count towards the hours that you spend in your life!