OAKHURST — Jennifer Moss calls herself a serial entrepreneur. She’s had multiple businesses over the years, many very successful and a few that didn’t work out. She considers the not-so-successful learning lessons that have led not to discouragement but to bigger opportunities such as the one she has just created.
Jennifer strives to make Metta Yosemite a central place for mind/body/spirit wellness in the Yosemite area. In fact the word metta comes from the Sanskrit and means positive energy and loving kindness toward others. Achieving that state of being and helping others to do so is Jennifer’s ultimate desire. She plans to do so by offering classes in yoga, meditation, breathing and sound therapy as well as a boutique chock-full of unique personal care and gift items.
The center began offering classes earlier this month, and the grand opening of the boutique is scheduled for Saturday, November 27, just in time to afford locals and tourists alike the opportunity to view and purchase her unique items and sign up for classes.
Metta Yosemite is located at 40359 Highway 41, Suite 1, Oakhurst, (next to Visit Yosemite |Madera County—the visitor center). The center began offering classes earlier this month.
“The Metta Boutique has comfort, care, and magical items,” Jennifer says. “You’ll find products relating to the classes like yoga mats, beautiful bamboo water bottles, eye pillows, as well as home décor, tarot cards, puzzles, journals, books, vegan soaps, and jewelry. It will change seasonally.” Jennifer works with small-production artisans and local vendors who provide products not available on Amazon or in big-box stores. Jennifer says, “We are eco-friendly, inclusive and animal positive (vegan).” She does not do consignments, so all product is purchased wholesale outright. If a vendor feels that their product fits Metta Yosemite’s philosophy, they can contact Jennifer for a meeting.
Another component of Metta Yosemite, her meditation and yoga classes, opened for business a few weeks ago. While a few spots still remain, sessions are filling up fast. Not only that, she has established a schedule of yoga sessions for all levels of practice, as well as meditation sessions and classes, which are already taking place. Classes range from gentle and chair yoga to more advanced practices such as Chakra Healing, Transformational Breath, Power/Vinyasa Yoga and more.
When the buzz got around that a new meditation/yoga center was in the works, a number of interesting, talented providers and teachers, of several different generations contacted her. She didn’t have to search for instructors. “One of the reasons for opening Metta was that there were so many talented providers in town teaching all over, and I wanted to centralize the offerings.” All Metta Yosemite instructors are certified in various forms of yoga, and they include Madison Kollenborn, Sarah Montgomery, Camella Nair and Lisa Wobler. She has just added classes with Dr. Brenda Negley in sound therapy and relaxation as well as Transformational Breath classes with Jennifer Gronbach, adding to Metta Yosemite offerings.
Metta is not Jennifer’s only current endeavor. She owns Moss Web Works and still supports her existing web clients; however, she’s not accepting new projects or clients at this time. She and her family have owned the website BabyNames.com, which has been a profitable business for over 25 years; together she and her sister host the Baby Names Podcast, published monthly.
In addition, Jennifer is a published author, and she’s currently working on a new edition of Yosemite Home Companion, with co-author Kellie Flanagan, which will include Mariposa. She and Kellie expect to publish the new edition by spring 2022.
Even though her business endeavors are multi-faceted, Jennifer says she’s lucky that she can work from anywhere. She proclaims, “I’m so lucky to love EVERYTHING that I do!” And she’s never bored.
Asked where the idea for Metta Yosemite emerged, Jennifer states, “During the 2020 quarantine I felt very isolated – like everyone! Although I’d been working at home for over 15 years, I wanted to do something that would get me out and reconnect with my friends and our community in a positive way. Although I’m the sole owner of Metta, my friend Susan Madden was a huge inspiration for me, and also served as a sounding board for ideas. She helped me envision what the center would offer, my goals, and what services I wanted to provide. She even lent her graphic design skills to the lovely logo!” Susan Madden was Metta’s first provider, and leads group meditation at the center twice a week.
The actual idea formulated around March/April 2021 when people began to get vaccinated and started venturing out into the world again. Jennifer ran spreadsheets, made a “vision board” and started bouncing the idea off friends and family. She began seriously looking at possible venues over the summer and discovered the current location in September. “As soon as we walked in, it just felt right. I knew I wanted to be on Highway 41 to be accessible to tourists and being right next to the visitor center is a HUGE perk!”
With limited retail experience herself, Jennifer contacted those in-the-know and learned from them, including her son-in-law’s aunt, Deb Kennedy. Deb is a retail consultant and was a former merchandiser at Disneyland for their stores. Deb guided her in space planning, furniture, displays, her unique “selfie wall” and the overall vibe of the center. “I believe in any business you should hire people who have the expertise that you don’t,” Jennifer emphasizes.
Asked what she sees as her business goal in five years, she says if the Metta Yosemite business model proves successful, she would like to open additional stores in other high-tourist destinations.
Metta Yosemite is open for classes 6 days a week and the Metta Boutique is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Kellie Flanagan.