Springfield, MO

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2015 40 Under 40 Honoree: Stephanie Lewis

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Stephanie Lewis believes she has the best job there is.

“At the age of 27, I became a small business owner, and at a young age I have been able to make a living while living my dream,” says the co-owner of Sumits Hot Yoga LLC. “I do what I love, I work with my best friend, and I get to be around amazing people every day in a loving and caring community.”

Lewis met co-owner Nikki Adkins in 2001 when they were on the cheerleading team at Missouri State University. Last December, the duo celebrated their business’ fourth anniversary.

“We have been able to remain successful through a number of changes in our business environment and also remain true to the product that we started our business with,” Lewis says. “I think being a woman business owner during an economic time that has had its ups and downs is my proudest professional accomplishment.”

Also last year, Lewis completed a continuing yoga education training to receive the Registered Yoga Teacher 500 designation, meaning an instructor has completed a 500-hour teaching program registered with the Yoga Alliance, a nonprofit association.

“This allows us to train others and to continue to offer our students the highest level of instruction possible,” Lewis says. “This is a designation that only a few teachers in the area have obtained.”

She aims to help her yoga students excel on and off the mat.

“One of the most rewarding things that I have experienced is getting a phone call or thank-you card from a student thanking me for helping them find the confidence to be the person they have always wanted to be,” Lewis says. “This is why I feel like I have the best job in the world. Our yoga studio is so much more than a business. It’s a community.”

Community involvement is important to Lewis, both professionally and personally. One way Sumits Hot Yoga seeks to serve is by offering discounted classes.

“We started a trend that many other fitness organizations have now adopted of offering a $5 community class six times a week,” Lewis says. “This allows students who don’t have the means to purchase a yoga package at our studio to attend class a few times a week.

“This has opened the world of yoga up to many people who might not have otherwise tried it, and we love that.”

Sumits Hot Yoga also has held donation classes for such organizations as Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, Ozarks Food Harvest and the American Red Cross. And in an effort close to Lewis’ heart, she started Springfield’s first support group for inflammatory bowel disease in partnership with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America after she was diagnosed in 2011 with ulcerative colitis.

Lewis also is an adjunct business instructor at Ozarks Technical Community College.

“My goal each semester is to help my students learn the tools they will need to succeed in the business environment.”[[In-content Ad]]


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