At Starr Yoga & Julie Starr Nutrition it’s all about passion, perseverance and loving the journey.
When Brookline mom and nutritionist Julie Starr toured a vacant commercial spot in Roslindale nearly seven years ago, she couldn’t have believed all that would come next.
“I kind of fell into yoga to begin with,” Julie says. “I had been a concierge nutritionist at a yoga studio and the National Nutrition Director for exhale. I started taking classes with one of the instructors when he opened his own studio. When he suggested I do yoga teacher training, I agreed—but, honestly, I didn’t think much about it at the time. I was tired, so I said, ‘sure, charge my card,’ and started the training.”
Fast forward to 2014 and, while in the middle of a divorce, Julie’s friends suggested she tour the Roslindale spot, as a potential hub for what they believed could be a thriving wellness empire—in addition to yoga and barre, Julie was already a sought-after nutritionist in the greater Boston area.
“I started to see the possibilities,” Julie says, “but then my financial backer fell out, so I assumed that was over. But then—amazingly—the landlord offered to lend me the money to open a yoga studio in the space. I was blown away. It was incredible.”
Making a major move and powering forward
With space and financing locked down, Julie kicked into high gear. Now in its sixth year, Starr Yoga offers yoga and barre, with more than 15 teachers on staff. A top yoga teacher prior to her studio launch, Julie continues to teach at least one class per week, in addition to training new yoga and barre instructors and managing the nutrition side of the business.
Julie also runs Julie Starr Nutrition, which offers individual and group counseling as well as corporate wellness. She’s been working in the nutrition arena for more than 14 years, providing targeted support to her diverse client base.
“What’s interesting is how the business has evolved,” she says. “Especially the nutrition piece. A few years ago everything was face-to-face—I met clients in their homes or they came to the office, I did lunch-and-learns for corporate wellness programs, things like that. Now everyone wants to do Facetime sessions or virtual sessions. So I’ve definitely had to adjust to that, but I get it—everyone is so busy. The benefit, though, is that this approach lets me expand my reach beyond Roslindale and Boston.”
Staying true to herself and her passions
No matter how her business has changed and evolved, though, there’s always been a constant foundation in place—everything she does, Julie says, comes from her own personal passions and beliefs.
“I’m incredibly passionate about helping people, and about sharing my love for yoga and for barre,” Julie says. “Everything I do is very authentic—I do it because I love it and I love sharing those experiences with people. It might sound cheesy, but it’s true.” Often, she says, she practices yoga in her home, with just a towel on the floor. “I don’t even have a yoga mat here. It’s still such a tremendous passion point for me, and I will spread out on my floor and just go.”
Julie is also deeply influenced by now 11-year-old daughter Izzy, her ultimate partner-in-crime, and the place the duo calls “home.”
“When Izzy was three months old we left Boston and moved to Brookline,” Julie says. “We’re in the Chestnut Hill section of Brookline—so, yes, it’s the suburbs, but it’s definitely got a real urban vibe, which we love. It definitely suits us—we love the laid back feel and love being close to everything. It’s perfect.”
No matter whether they’re in the ‘burbs or the city, though, one thing stays the same: “Izzy and I are a team—we’re always together. She took her first steps at a client’s house. She’s at Lululemon when we’re doing yoga in the windows. She comes to talks and events and travels with me. People haven’t even met her, but they know about her and they ask, ‘where’s Izzy?’ when she isn’t right there. She has her own little following.”
Looking ahead, Julie is eager about continuing to grow the reach of her wellness business, so she can share the love and share the experience.
“I am in love with everything I do,” Julie says. “I just want to be myself—and here I can be. I love talking to people, listening to people and really being open to them. I pride myself on being kind, too—I’ve seen over and over that, when you’re there for people, they will be there for you, too. People have supported my journey, and it’s so inspiring and touching. I want to give that back.”
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Images provided by Julie Starr