Well this month is a bonus: we bring you another story of a female entrepreneur. This section of My Swiss Story is super special and has always appealed firstly to me, as the founder of this website and also to our audience. Unknowingly, our features have inspired many – not only have the stories resonated with fellow entrepreneurs but some of them have inspired women who were on the edge to take that leap of faith.
It makes my heart swell up when I hear stories like these during our coffee meets. Have you attended one yet? Connect with like minded women over a freshly brewed cappuccino – well that surely is my idea of fun! Learn more here.
After that shameless plug 🙂 I would like to present to you Clare Bhalla who, after a long stint in the banking industry reinvented herself – she is a qualified sophrologist, yoga teacher and much more and empowers women to embark on their health journey.
Q: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself
My name is Clare and I live in a village in canton Vaud. I was born in London and moved to Geneva at the age of 25 for the love of mountains….bet you thought I would say for a man, didn’t you 😉 Well eventually that did happen too!
I am now a mum to two wonderful small humans and enjoy giving back to the community in whatever way possible. This is what keeps me happy, and I do what I can with the means at my disposal…. for instance hosting a Ukranian family or doing my best to raise funds for charities I support whole heartedly!
I like sport for the pleasure that I derive from it. I enjoy yoga, running, swimming, biking, skiing, dancing round the kitchen and cooking.
I love being surrounded by family and friends and I never take myself too seriously! It makes life better and enables me to take risks!
Q: Tell us about your current business
I am a Qualified Sophrologist with ASCA, and a Yoga teacher, certified in conventional medicine level 1 by The Institute for Neurofeedback and Biofeedback SA. I am passionate about empowering women on their health journey as well as everything related to family / children.
I have segregated my work in different areas which are strongly linked but this categorization supports more clarity:
Having worked in the corporate world of banking and commodity trading for 18 years, in 2019 I created my own company because I wanted to follow my purpose, a path aligned with mind, body, heart and soul. I combine my understanding of the corporate world with my love for western science and eastern wisdom to bring proven techniques to companies so that their female employees can be at the top of their game.
I understand that changing a work environment or the daily hours of work is not always possible, hence, I have created short and sweet practices that can make a world of a difference for the women work force.
- Prenatal online alternative birth preparation courses
I run fun alternative birth preparation programs that help women to move their body in a way that is safe and feels good.
“I am passionate about empowering and supporting mothers on their pregnancy journey, having had the experience of a c-section and also birthing a baby on a mat, both here in Switzerland. I am here to support and empower mothers regardless of the type of birth they plan to have! I believe this will reduce trauma that, sadly, many mothers experience, even here in Switzerland.“
My 6 week online program uses the unique combination of Yoga and Sophrology techniques that helps with various aspects of pregnancy as well as connecting with your baby!
- Studio and Events
I also run a studio in the village I live in with 2 other women, here I teach prenatal yoga and “mummy-baby well-being”, along with private yoga and sophrology sessions. I organize camps and workshops for children as well as adults, find my upcoming workshops right here.
Q: Tell us your story, how did you come up with this idea?
I came up with my business idea whilst on maternity leave with my first child because I became more connected with myself and the meaning for my life. That said, I’ve always liked to build a community, connect people, and work with families and children. I am very passionate about empowering women in their health journeys and this is the main part of my business.
I think that it is a must for individuals to take responsibility and for companies to invest in and recognize female health as an essential element and hence I created all the programs and avenues I described above.
Creating a personal brand can be intimidating and I’ve had to put myself out there time and again, and that is something that I do not take lightly – “I am my business.“
Q: What is a day like “in your heels?” or if you wear Flats (like me)
I wake up, drink some water, and do around 15 minutes of free-flowing yoga, even if it is with the kids crawling over me or in the bathroom or wherever I am. I like to close my eyes, lift my arms up to the sky, open my palms to the universe, and grow my roots into the ground and check out what they are like in my mind on that particular day.
On a regular day, I get my daughter to local school with the whole family walking to get daylight and start the day with movement. Sometimes my husband and I grab a coffee and chat together before starting work. We both work part-time so it’s either being with the kids or working. We love our lives and try to keep things simple.
My days are fun and whatever task I am on I enjoy the variation. I’ve always loved variety and that is reflected in my life and my business.
I feel like my day is a dance!
Q: For women entrepreneurs/leaders/content creators, what specific advice would you have?
I enjoy being an entrepreneur and the creativity and flexibility it brings to me so that I can run my life on my terms.
I feel Switzerland is a great place to own a business. I would say that as an expat especially if you do not speak the language you may need to search around a bit more to find what you need. I use a Facebook group full of talented women called “Women Rock Switzerland group” run by two coaches and I found many networking opportunities out there.
Create a team: yes, you can have a team even as an entrepreneur who is just starting out! It could be friends, family members, students, apps, you do not have to do it alone. It’s good to ask for help.
For days when you are not as motivated, it is really good to have an overall mission statement for yourself / your business (for me, I am my business). This can evolve but I like to use mine like a mantra when there are days when I need to have the grit to keep it going.
If you’d like to like to learn more about Clare and her business, check out her Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also visit the website at https://clarebhalla.com/ for more information on her workshops and offerings.
If you are a female entrepreneur or know one whose story needs to be heard, we’re waiting to hear from you.
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, our aim at My Swiss Story is to help you navigate your expat life with ease. Stay well and stay with us!
To read posts from October, click here