Celebrating BADASS Women
The EmpowHer Movement
Christine Reppa is the founder of the EmpowHer Movement and owner of Noya Apparel activewear designed by women for women. She promotes body-positivity, women empowerment, and eco-conscious living through their eco-friendly yoga apparel. The EmpowHer Movement is inspired to celebrate badass women both in business and in life. The EmpowHer Movement is hosting a yoga festival at Farmer’s Market in Dallas on May 12th from 10am to 3pm. Dallas Yoga Magazine will meet you there!
DYM: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Christine: I grew up in Granbury, Texas, Southwest of Fort Worth. I went to the University of Texas at Austin and received two bachelor’s degrees there, one in Marketing and one in Plan II Honors. After college I lived in Madrid, Spain for a year as an au pair. I then moved to Xela, Guatemala for four months working as a volunteer trekking guide for a nonprofit organization that supported a school of 250 children and an open home of about 20 kids. I left Guatemala full of passion and with a new sense of who I was and what I wanted to do in this world – namely, I wanted to start something that brought positive change to others. Guatemala is where the idea to plant trees was born – my company, Noya, plants 10 trees for every product sold.
I had already secured a job in Beaver Creek, Colorado, otherwise I would have extended my stay in Guatemala indefinitely (or at least until all my funds were gone!). I think it’s one of those experiences in life that I will never forget and never be able to replicate. It was life changing, eye opening, and I would be remiss not to mention how much fun I had. I knew I loved the outdoors before going to Guatemala, but my love for nature intensified dramatically in the four short months I spent hiking through the wild countryside of the Guatemalan highlands. It’s the only time I feel like I was living among a society which lived and died by the land. I was obviously privileged and not living the life of a local. But life there was very different than life in the States. I witnessed tragedy and sorrow, but also new life and hope.
When I moved to Colorado I was able to fill my need for nature, but life changed. A lot. I formed a love for food and wine working in the restaurant industry. And my job as a ski instructor solidified a fact that I’d known all along – I didn’t want to work for a corporation, I wanted to start my own company. A couple years later I truly found and fell in love with yoga. I say “truly” because I had encountered yoga in college when I rowed for Texas. We were forced to do yoga at the boat house led by a half-naked man on a VHS. I was unimpressed and equated yoga to stretching. As the inflexible person I am, I had no love for it. In Colorado my friend convinced me to try a more athletic flow. Partially because I wanted to make the friendship work, and partly out of curiosity I agreed to go. Two years of avid yoga membership later I enrolled in a week long intensive yoga course with Baron Baptiste in Sedona, Arizona. (Years later I also was honored to be the maid of honor at the wedding of the same friend who’d brought me to yoga – just a fun fact!)
All the while I searched for yoga clothes that didn’t severely distract me during my practice. As a former high school basketball player and college rower, leggings were not something I’d ever worn previously. I eventually grew to understand their function and then I even began to like their look. However, I still had issues with my shirt dropping up toward my face while doing down dog or other inversions. I decided I could pull off leggings, but I drew the line at a skin-tight shirt. Once I decided there were no good options on the market to fix my problem, I started dreaming up a garment that would work for me and that I would like to wear. Two years and a move to Dallas, Texas later, I found myself part of the fashion world designing a completely new product and starting a company that I vowed would do good in the world.
DYM: When did you start Noya and how did that come about?
Christine: Noya officially launched April 29, 2016. The name Noya comes from the company’s environmental mission and yoga inspiration. Nature Of YogA was the phrase that ultimately provided the name, Noya. Over the two short years of the company’s existence we have naturally transformed into a brand that encourages and supports women, who are naturally badass. We are apparel designed by women for women. Almost all of our products are made by women. We source as locally as possible – also supporting our environmental mission – and most of our manufacturers and pattern design teams are not only started by, but also ran by women.
DYM: What is your passion beginning your company?
Christine: My two greatest passions which have become the two passion points of the brand as well are nature and empowering women.
Being in nature is an automatic release for me. It has an undeniable power and place in this world. I believe the more we go back to our natural roots of living in harmony with the land, the better off and the more compassionate we’ll all be.
I could go on for hours about women empowerment. But I won’t, I’ll just say this: As a woman (both in business and in life in general) I’ve faced challenges that I don’t believe I should have to face. I believe that gender inequalities are so engrained in our culture that we don’t even realize half the time that certain behavior (both from men and women) stems from those inequalities. My struggle to ask for what I want, for example, stems from the societal norms I grew up with that boldness was not a ladylike behavior. The more of us who speak up and change the conversation, the more we’ll see actual change for younger generations.
DYM: Tell me about the Noya EmpowHer Movement? Where did this idea come from?
Christine: One of the aspects of Noya that I’m particularly proud of is the community that has began to form around the brand. So many amazing women and men follow and support us. One thing that I don’t particularly like as an e-commerce brand is the lack of face-time we have with our community members. To that point, I mentioned the idea of a women-focused yoga festival to Mai Lyn, badass women entrepreneur and founder of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors, who loved the idea. So, we got to work. Originally the idea was to host the festival on Noya’s 2-year anniversary. Due to scheduling conflicts, we ended up going with another amazing date that aligned with our women-focused event perfectly and only two weeks after the anniversary – Mother’s Day weekend. We also booked the beautifully redone Dallas Farmers Market which was a nice complement to our environmental mission, sourcing local, and enjoying and loving the outdoors.
DYM: What is the goal for the event?
Christine: The goal is to bring community together through fitness and to highlight and support local and female-owned brands. You should see our lineup of vendors! We have some AMAZING women-owned and local brands coming out, and of course that includes Dallas Yoga Magazine!
DYM: Thank you! We are so excited about the event! Who should come to the event?
Christine: Everyone who loves or is curious about any of the following: yoga, inversions, puppy yoga, goat yoga, and shopping and supporting local. Although we are thrilled to highlight women, that does not mean we are in any way excluding others! All genders are welcome and encouraged to come out.
DYM: What can guests expect?
Christine: Expect empowering Vinyasa Flows from some of the best instructors around Dallas. Expect uplifting, endorphin-activating interactions with curious, lovable goats and adorable puppies (available for adoption!). Expect a meet and greet with Olympian and 5x gold medalist, Dana Vollmer who is a Momma on a Mission and women empowerment activist (and she’s a DFW native!). And, of course, expect incredible local brands and excellent Mother’s Day gift shopping!
DYM: Can you explain the different price points and ticket options?
Christine: Of course! This is the best part. There are three tiers depending on what you want to do! You can mix and match within your ticket level. You do not have to attend all of what is offered, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can hit as many classes as possible!
DYM: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with Dallas Yoga Magazine and explain your purpose and mission to everyone. Your energy is inspiring and uplifting. The festival idea is phenomenal and we are honored to be a part of it.
Pricing for the Noya EmpowHer Movement:
Main Stage $25 – Access to all four 60-minute empowering vinyasa flows with different themes and/or music.
Werk, Werk, Werk $40 – Access to all four above mentioned Main Stage classes plus access to all four 40-minute workshops which will include tips, learning blocks, and playtime for a variety of poses like handstands, headstands, arm balances, and acro yoga.
VIP $55 – Access to all above mentioned Main Stage classes and Workshops plus puppy or goat yoga (as space allows, so when you arrive at the festival sign up for the one you want!) and an organic tank top from Noya (retailed at $35)!
To reach Noya:
Event Website: thenoyaempowhermovement.com