Mary Fountain demonstrates a yoga pose in her studio.
Photo by Jessica Long.
By Lesley Hitson
Driven by her passions for growth, wellness and dance, Mary Fountain, a native of the small town of Griffin, Georgia, founded Intent Yoga Studio. She is a beginning entrepreneur whose business grew quickly in a short time period.
With business wisdom and inspiration to share, she can offer advice to other budding entrepreneurs. Fountain and her husband, David, have the character, perspective and compassion to bring in new people and turn them into loyal customers at their Intent Yoga Studio.
Fountain described Intent Yoga Studio as her passion project. “At this point, I’m just trying to think, ‘How can I put back into the people that have put so much into me?’ To me, it’s my outlet for that. You know, for creativity and all of it. This is who I am,” she said.
In discussing her husband’s support as she built her business, the Fountains said that they have always worked together in their marriage. They have always chosen to follow their passions and dreams and support one another in their business endeavors.
David Fountain said that Intent Yoga Studio is “definitely her business and we try to make it that, as much as possible, but I mean, it’s ours. It’s something we do together, and I try to help out as much as possible.”
Just like any other business, Intent Yoga Studio comes with stresses and praises.
“You’re catching me at a really funny time about all this, because I just moved into the new location and we have a really bad leak. And it is tempting my patience, big time, but I think it’s definitely taught me how to get organized, how to prioritize,” Mary Fountain said. “And when you have people working with you, you have to consider other people, so I think that it’s just like character building all the way around.”
Discussing key pieces of advice she would offer someone attempting to start a business in Griffin, she said that No. 1 would be to know your demographic. Know how you will reach out to it because that is something she often encountered. She also advised the entrepreneur to be organized.
“Plan at least six months worth of events and ways that you’re going to get the community to come and meet you and talk with you and be around you,” she said.
For the Fountains, it’s all about people. They both mentioned how important relationships and collaborations are in business, as well as simply surrounding yourself with cornerstone people who can provide wisdom and guidance, whether that’s in spiritual matters, marriage or business.
Elizabeth Orr, the founder of EDO Kitchen and a yoga client, said that Intent Yoga was life-changing. She began deep stretch yoga classes in 2015, looking for hip pain relief. Now, she finds herself feeling incredible physically, as well as mentally and spiritually.
“What I did not expect to find was the mental and spiritual clarity that I found from the meditation at the end of Mary’s classes. It’s rare to be so quiet and still. Yoga gave me permission to turn off and to take care of myself,” Orr said.
Dusty Takle, a contributing writer for “The Grip” and long-time Griffin resident, offered an outside business perspective. She considers Intent Yoga Studio to be successful and beneficial to the town. The employees themselves make it unique, as they design each class differently, which has attracted customers. The mediations in each class are all uniquely prepared.
“Intent has made downtown Griffin, Georgia, a center for citizens to gather together and pause and breathe and regroup. It’s a beautiful addition to downtown’s already growing appreciation for the arts and theater. The arts and theater make you appreciate the beauty around you. Intent has helped people appreciate the beauty within you. What a magical combination for those two things to come together downtown,” Takle said.
Hitson is a public relations senior