Westword: Belly Bliss opened its doors in 2008, and at this point, it’s a mainstay in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Pardon the pun, but how did you first conceive of the idea for a pregnancy and motherhood center?
Lauren: I was working in the industry as a doula and personal trainer, and I was teaching childbirth classes. I was running all around town offering these services when I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have everything in one spot?” At the same time, I could see that the moms I worked with were looking for a way to connect with other moms — they just needed the right space. And that’s how I came up with Belly Bliss.
Tell us more about what Belly Bliss brings to the table.
Motherhood can be isolating. At Belly Bliss, our goal has always been to bring women together. Typically, women would go to childbirth classes at their hospitals. Those are great, but they don’t always give moms-to-be the opportunity to relax and connect with other moms. By adding yoga and parent/child classes to our offerings, we’ve had the opportunity to help foster meaningful and lasting friendships within this amazing community.
We checked out your weekly class schedule, and there are tons of classes and workshops for parents to try. Can you give us the elevator spiel on your offerings?
We offer prenatal workshops and yoga classes, along with postpartum fitness classes, breastfeeding classes, parent/child and toddler yoga, and a host of workshops related to pregnancy and birth.
Is Belly Bliss the first business you’ve owned?
I come from a family of restaurateurs, and I’ve been a part of helping to get those restaurants up and going. I had a taste of what it was like to own a business, but this one is very different. Still, I knew what it felt like to always carry the responsibility of work with you, even after you've left the building. But I also knew the rewards that come with owning a business, and I love that my two boys get to see the inner workings of a woman-owned business. That's really powerful.
I have a six-year-old and a two-year-old, and I’m due with my third child in May.
Talk about busy! Get real with us for a minute. What’s it like being a mom and a small-business owner?
Ha! Am I supposed to be positive right now? It can be challenging, and I have to be really smart about creating boundaries. But it is also really rewarding and fulfilling. Owning Belly Bliss has taught me to value the times I spend doing each thing — and to be present in each respective part of my life. It’s also fun to be able to bring my kids to work with me and share what I do with my family.
You’ve been in Denver for almost a decade. Why expand to Stapleton?
I had a lot of moms who were coming in from that area, and we’d been wanting to make our services more convenient for them. It’s hard enough to travel to a class on your own, let alone with a baby or toddler. I got really excited when I heard about Stanley Marketplace because it’s all about creating the kind of community we’ve been striving to build all along.