Real Talk With Maxine Chapman, Founder + CEO of BuddhiBox Yoga Lifestyle
If you’ve ever found yourself looking for a little guidance in your yoga practice and searching for the best items to help you on the mat, then you’ve probably heard of Buddhi Box. Even if you haven’t, it’s one of the few subscription boxes that can really add value to your life — and the founder and CEO, Maxine Chapman, can too. Maxine took time out of her busy schedule to break down how she implements the yoga principles in her business and life, strives for balance, and aims to learn from her company and experiences every day.
Name: Maxine Chapman
Location: San Diego, CA
Company: BuddhiBox Yoga Lifestyle
What it is: Subscription Box and e-commerce Store
Educational Background: Santa Clara University, Communications
What inspired you to create BuddhiBox?
BuddhiBox was founded out of my passion for yoga and yoga living. As a yoga teacher, I truly believe that yoga is accessible to all regardless of age, gender, or race. I also believe that living the yoga lifestyle of holistic mind, body, and soul is accessible to all and I want to empower people to be their best self. Professionally, I have 14 years of e-commerce, operations, and retail experience. BuddhiBox came to be by combining my professional background with my passion for yoga.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Is there such a thing? I usually start my day with a tall glass of water and a walk with my dogs. I then try to meditate and/or workout with a run or a quick session of yoga. This helps me start the day energized and calm. From there, I usually spend a few hours answering emails from the day before, taking calls from vendor partners, or chatting with my customers. My afternoons consist of tackling different projects or strategic planning meetings. On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays I teach yoga at a local studio. As an entrepreneur, each day tends to vary, but I try my best to keep a structured schedule so I stay on top of my to-do list and feel accomplished.
If you could have given yourself a piece of knowledge or advice when you started what would that be?
Don’t forget to breathe and make sure you drink plenty of water. Things get so busy when you’re running all aspects of a company that you often put everything else before your personal needs. As a founder, it is so important to get your basic needs met to ensure you have the energy to stay strong and keep moving – it’s an uphill battle! The more nourished you are, the better you function, and as the driving mechanism behind the success of your business, it’s worth it to invest in yourself!
Would you do anything differently?
Everything is a learning process, but of course there are a few things I would do differently now that I’ve had the chance to experience them firsthand. What I’ve learned is that if you approach difficulties from a place of learning, you will grow from the experience. Also, even in the most disappointing and stressful situations, I try to be as kind as possible. I really believe that as individuals we strive to do our inherent best. Sometimes we fall short so kindness goes a long way.
How do you define success?
If at the end of the day I can say I handled each situation to the best of my ability and my work in an ethical and passionate way, I would say I have succeeded. For me, one of the best feelings is receiving emails or social media messages from customers saying thank you or telling me they loved the items in their boxes. When I see that, I know my vision and commitment to my company is being felt by my customers and that is the absolute best!
What’s been the hardest part of starting your own business?
Trusting and believing in myself 100% of the time. There are days when I have doubts about myself and even my business, but being able to recognize that these thoughts are toxic is very important. They only hold you back and limit you from achieving your full potential.
What has been the most rewarding part of starting your own business?
Knowing that BuddhiBox thrives because of a vision I manifested, the intense amount of hard work I put in, and the passion I have for yoga and yogic living, has been the most rewarding part of starting my own business. I see the authenticity in the brand and am eager to share it with others.
What did you do differently when you launched the Jewelry BuddhiBox that you wish you’d done with the Yoga Box?
The Jewelry BuddhiBox was created with the same intention as the yoga box. It’s based on finding inspirational jewelry and accessories, mindfully created by artisans. Many of the items are handmade here in the US. We launched the jewelry box just a few months after the yoga box, so we used the same practices.
Why is it important to you to give to different charities each month?
A main principle of yoga is seva or service. Giving back in some way is a pillar of yoga living. When I created BuddhiBox, I wanted it to be authentic to yoga philosophy, so donating a percentage of sales to a different charity each month was a non-negotiable for me. We also donate boxes to charitable organizations to use for raffles and silent auctions at their events. I like to support my community and the passions of other individuals, so I donate boxes whenever I can.
Was the charitable giving always a part of your business plan?
Yes, from the start. The business had to be authentic to yoga in every way.
How do you implement the principles of yoga in the everyday running and managing of your business?
Yoga was founded on the yamas and niyamas or, the eight-limb path. Here is a brief explanation of each and how I incorporate them in BuddhiBox practices.
- Ahimsa (non-harming) – Offering cruelty-free products. NO animal testing on any of the products promoted in the box.
- Satya (truthfulness) – Just as you set an intention for yoga class, each box comes with an inspirational quote or mantra to inspire you and allow you to set an intention for the month. They change each month and range from quotes to song lyrics to poems.
- Asteya (non-stealing) – We partner with vendors that focus on eco-friendly practices and products. Our boxes are made of recycled cardboard. I hope to continue to evolve and become more eco-friendly as I grow.
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness or non-stealing) – We are a for-profit business, so it is important that we give back to non-profits and charities.
- Brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality) – We offer a healthy recipe card in each box to help our community stay vital and healthy from the inside out.
- Tapas (discipline or passion) – We are committed to remaining passionate about the yoga lifestyle and inspiring subscribers to live their best lives by showing just how easy it can be.
- Santosha (contentment) – Happiness delivered through a wonderful customer experience, they do come first after all!
- Saucha (purity or cleanliness) – We offer all-natural products, free of chemicals and toxins.
- Svadhyaya (self-study) – Our Yogicards, designed by Mari Anderson, explain the benefits of the featured yoga postures and show how to access them. Each month’s box will contain a card with a different posture, eventually creating a set.
- Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to a higher power) – We are all connected and we really are all one, so it is essential to spread kindness to our communities. I also do my best to spread this message in each client interaction, whether it be by email, social media, or by sharing interesting stories about the non-profits and vendors we support.
Did your experience as a yoga teacher inform your journey as an entrepreneur? How?
Oh yes. You can read more about that at YogiApproved.com where I wrote a whole article on this. Yoga is my life. Not the physical practice but the philosophy.
How has social media helped shape your brand?
Since I am completely bootstrapped, social media helped me launch the business and continues to support me every day. It is an essential tool for small businesses. The support from the Instagram yoga community has been amazing. They really embraced me and the business from day one. I am so grateful that we have this vehicle to empower us small businesses to grow.
How do you make sure you stand out on social media?
I try to be authentic to the brand voice. Ultimately, I want individuals to understand that yoga living is accessible to anyone – something as simple as purchasing products created with intent. I create content that de-mystifies yoga philosophy and simplifies it. For example, I created chakra Instagram posts to explain what the chakras are and what yoga postures compliment opening up the energy channels. I also post simple yoga sequences that help people open up parts of their body or show examples of ways to use yoga props to help evolve their practices. It’s also essential to be authentic. People will see right through the bullshit, so you have to be real. BTW – yogi-entrepreneurs cuss…a lot. We also drink wine, eat dessert, and live with a full heart.
What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re not working?
What are those? (Just kidding!) I love to explore, travel, hike, spend time on the beach, read, and exercise, basically anything that keeps me active and learning. I love spending time with my dogs, friends, and my boyfriend.
How do you balance your work with your personal life?
Ahhh… this is still a work in progress, but I do my best to make time with family, friends, and my man. I make sure to take weekends and holidays off, so unless something serious is happening with the business, I give myself permission to unplug. True story – for the first nine months of launching BuddhiBox, I worked 8-14 hours a day every day. Every day. That is not very yoga or very healthy for that matter, so now I do my very best with altruistic intentions. I am human, and though sometimes it’s difficult to truly unplug, I realize that making time for the things that keep me inspired and happy is imperative.
What’s next for you?
I will continue to focus on growing my business and living life the very best I can, taking things day by day and staying open to opportunities as they come. I hope that BuddhiBox continues to grow and inspire people to live their best lives.