Emma Siebold at her home in Mullumbimby.
“I love the ocean.
I am kind.”
Hi Emma, for everyone out there, what are a few must-know points about you?
I am kind.
I am passionate and driven.
I am a mother first and business leader second.
I am exceedingly grateful for all that I have.
I think the world is a beautiful place and I do my best to tread gently on it.
I love my husband and children endlessly.
I feel incredibly blessed to be living this dream life that I’ve created.
Talk us through what drove you to start your own business?
After my son was born almost 11 years ago, I started incorporating this new form of exercise I kept hearing about from the US, called “barre” into my yoga practice, and I very quickly noticed stunning results. I had never felt so strong and fit and I was doing so, so much less exercise than previously. I can honestly say that three or four 30-minute workouts per week transformed my body and I was hooked. I knew that if I, being as devoted to yoga as I was, loved it so much, then other women would too.
From there, I decided to create Barre Body (from scratch) and not long after, our first studio opened when my son was just 6 months old. Fast forward 10 years to today and we have 7 studios, a huge Pilates and barre (and soon to be yoga) teacher training business, an online platform and three brands – Barre Body, Bende and Glowė.
I love it and I’m still just as passionate about it as the day we started it.
Emma practicing yoga at her Mullumbimby home.
“I couldn’t love my tree change more. I tell everyone that is thinking of a sea, mountain or tree change to RUN, don’t walk.”
How did you come to be in the Byron area? Are you local? Have you moved here?
I moved to Mullumbimby almost 7 years ago for a change of pace for my young family. It’s truly one of the best decisions we have ever made and I’ve never looked back. The catalyst for the move was a trip to Bali where I noticed the different energic signatures of each place we visited; Canggu, Seminyak, Gili Islands and Nusa Dua. Seminyak in particular was frantic and stressful, whereas the Gili Islands (no cars or scooters) were heavenly and I decided on that trip that I wanted that peace every day.
We bought an acre block full of trees and grass and birds and peace and I couldn’t love my tree change more. I tell everyone that is thinking of a sea, mountain or tree change to RUN, don’t walk. My set point of stress is just so much lower now that I live here.
How does who you are, what you love, and what makes you happy, help you with your business?
I am guided by love in my life and business and make all decisions through the lens of love. When I was 22, I read “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson and it completely transformed my life and has shaped every decision I have made since. In the book (which is based on the principles from “A Course in Miracles”) Marianne says that there are essentially two emotions – love and fear – and we have a choice as to how we perceive and experience the world, and so I choose to live my life with love, and my decisions and actions come from that place. It’s rather unique in the business world, but it has served me very well so far.
“When the chips are down, that’s when you have to dig the deepest to harvest the magic.”
Tell us about one of the most inspirational moments of your life.
My most inspirational moments are not actually that glamourous and they have all been born of the hardest times and challenges I’ve faced in my life. When the chips are down, that’s when you have to dig the deepest to harvest the magic.
What simple things bring pure joy to your heart?
Cuddles with my babies (children AND dogs!)
Being in the water – I love the ocean, the bath, a pool, any body of water really!
A brewed cup of tea in a nice cup.
Listening or reading a good book. I read passionately and get through a book a week.
Meditation and movement – of course!
My home and the peace we’ve cultivated.
Emma practicing yoga at her Mullumbimby home.
If you could spend one hour with anyone, who would it be and why?
My mum and brother. I lost them both 5 years ago and miss them desperately. I would love to tell them all about my life and children, and check in with my mum to see if she thinks I’m doing ok.
What is your number one tip for finding balance?
Surrender. Decide what is truly important in your world and what balance looks like to you and surrender the rest. I am often asked how I “do it all” and I am very honest about what this looks like for me. If I want to be a good mum (with the caveat that the bar for being a “good mum” isn’t crazy high and I am kind to and forgiving of myself), a good-enough wife, a good boss and business leader, then I have to surrender the housework (I have a cleaner) and cooking more often than not. I can’t do it all and so I don’t try to.
Emma walking to Glowė studio.
What does beauty look like to you?
Good skincare. Natural makeup. Clean nails (if I could have a mani/pedi every week, that would be the dream). Lots and lots of sleep. Hydration. Sun protection!
How do you stay motivated and continue to grow in this ever changing and fast-paced world that we live in?
My daily movement and meditation practice keeps me grounded, and my spiritual and personal growth practices (gratitude, learning, visualisation and manifestation) keep me motivated and inspired.
“I’m not sure what is coming next for me professionally and creatively, and while it’s very unnerving, it feels like all is as it should be.”
Do you have any exciting projects in the works?
We’ve just opened our new studio at Habitat, called Glowė – a yoga, meditation, breathwork and ritual studio and I’m very excited to see that grow and evolve. I am about to go on a holiday and for the first time in 10 years, I’m not sure what is coming next for me professionally and creatively, and while it’s very unnerving, it feels like all is as it should be.
Emma at the new Glowė studio at Habitat in Byron Bay.