I was born in Brazil and my parents, little sister, and I moved to Miami 28 years ago when I was only nine years old. My father always loved plants and had a plant nursery in Brazil. After trying to start our new life in America, he worked in construction, as a pizza delivery guy, and other various jobs until he got established enough that he could open up his own little plant nursery. I always worked with my parents helping at the nursery, selling and growing plants.
In fact, I met the love of my life at a plant sale we were involved with. He was an American guy with his own bonsai nursery. I moved Pine Island and we got married. I switched from working for my parents nursery to working for my husband’s. The bonsai part of it was all new to me, but I knew about plants and running a plant nursery. We bought our own property in 2008 in North Fort Myers and moved the nursery there. We also live on that five acre property with our two English bulldogs, nine cats, eight tortoises, six peacocks, sandhill cranes, koi fish, etc.
It’s a lot of work owning your own business. We are open seven days a week, so I often work every day with no days off. Hard work has led our business to grow and thrive. We feel very fortunate to have a successful business. We have been married for almost ten years now. We have no children, but trust me—the pets and bonsai trees keep us plenty busy.
I started yoga three years ago by taking the Intro Series at The Yoga Sanctuary. A customer of mine, Rosemary, recommended The Sanctuary when I mentioned that I was looking for a place to start practicing yoga. I live in North Fort Myers and could have gone to studios in my area, but I’m glad I found The Sanctuary in Punta Gorda. I couldn’t be happier. I don’t mind the drive.
When I started Sunrise Yoga, which I believe is a level 2 class, I was terrible. I had just started practicing. But Jennifer didn’t kick me out, and I didn’t give up. I said to myself, “I’m really bad at this. I need to come to this class twice as often.” I had a lot to work on! I definitely feel more comfortable in the class now. However, I still have a lot to learn.
I started doing yoga because running my own business can be really stressful and I was looking for something to help me relax. It has become so much more than that. Yes, it does give me that short time during the day to do something for myself, but what I never expected is how it has made me feel stronger, physically and emotionally.