It's JUNE! For Little Hoboken, that means it's time for a new Mom Boss! Our friend and featured boss this month is Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez -- mother, owner of Sw3at Sauna (one of our fave places!) in Jersey City, professor, and active member of the military! Want to know how to support Alyza and her family during Covid-19? Buy gift certificates now for use later and follow them on social media here.
Most people don’t even know what infrared saunas are and how they work. Tell us a little about them, how you got into infrared saunas, and what made you want to open a location of your own?
Infrared saunas use infrared lamps to project the heat inside the sauna. Unlike a steam room which heats the air around you, this method heats the object directly (ie. the person inside). Because of this unique technology, you are able to experience a more intense sweat. A steam room or traditional sauna produces warm air whereas infrared saunas penetrate your body 2 inches in depth which is how your body truly detoxes. I learned about infrared saunas back in 2013, when I went to California. Sauna studios were relatively common and after my friend taught me all about them, I wondered why we didn’t have a place like this back home. I had intended on opening one earlier but got deployed in 2016, so once I came home my first order of business was to bring this amazing holistic health approach to Hudson County. The sweat is so heightened that it produces some amazing benefits such as weight loss, muscle recovery from soreness, cardiovascular health and one that I find to be most important....toxin detoxing.
What was the best business advice anyone gave you? How about the worst?
I never had a formal mentor so I basically just learn as I go. No one has really given me business advice good or bad because I’m the first person in my family and circle who has ventured into entrepreneurship. I come from a low income family so no one could afford to take risks like owning a business.
What I will say is that whenever I’m in spaces and there are people there that I can learn from, I pick there brain. I go to conferences, I listen to podcasts. Anything to help me make more informed decisions instead of just winging it.
SW3AT- tell us about the name, the spelling and what it means to you.
SW3AT (said sweat) is spelled this way because 3 is my favorite number and it represents mind, body, and soul.
What is your favorite thing about raising a family in Jersey City?
I absolutely love Jersey City. It’s a city that embraces all types of people and I feel that’s going to be great for Aubriel growing up. When I considered having children I always wondered if they would be teased for having 2 moms....I highly doubt im going to have to worry about that in JC. There is so much diversity in this city, differences that may be uncommon in other places isn’t the case here. There are other same sex parents, mixed race kids, various religions and such an array of difference....it’s a beautiful inclusive place to raise a family.
You are military reserve, a business owner, a doctoral student, you work full-time for NY state, AND mom. You and your wife are busy, to say the least. What is your best advice to someone who also has a lot on their plate and is determined to make it all work? And, what do you hope that Aubriel learns from having such a bad ass, multi-tasking, hardworking mama?
I thrive in chaos so being busy is my normal. I'm pretty critical of myself so I always feel like if I have time then it means I’m not doing enough. Like I have an open window that could be used in some type of constructive way, which by the way doesn’t necessarily mean just making money. Constructive to me is also spending time with my family, fitness, self care, studying or simply just cleaning my house. I use the 24 hours we are afforded daily better than most people I know so my advice would be to value time and have good time management. I can always make money, but I cant get back time. Because I respect the value of time, I am on time places ...especially meetings. To me, I feel like I’m disrespecting someone else by being late. The 20 minutes I was late, that person could have been spending time with their family. I also do my best to use time wisely, for example if I’m on a lengthy train ride where the average person would sleep or listen to music...I answer emails, listen to podcast that is teaching me something, do homework, manage Quickbooks...you know, something constructive! If you’re determined to make it all work, you can’t be lazy and if you have a lot on your plate, you have to manage your time. You have to be a task oriented person, organized and realize the hours you aren’t using...someone else is.
I hope that Aubriel not only understands why we work so hard but I hope she appreciates it, learns from it and aspires to work just as hard.
What is your funniest mom fail?
I drank breast milk in a way I never considered and now I understand why they say don’t move the baby too much after they eat. It was like direct projectile vomit in my mouth. Major fail. TMI, but it truly was like cottage cheese. You only make that mistake once. I have now learned to give a good burp and a solid 20 minutes before I airplane her 😂
When you actually do get a break from your 300 jobs and being a mama, where do you like to unwind locally for a date night?
Date nights are rarity these days. My wife and I tend to go out “just us” for business related activities but some of our favorites are Hard Grove, Just Beclaws, and Left Bank Burger.
Speaking of your service, first of all, we thank you for that. We literally all owe our lives to you & many others like you, so we appreciate all that you do. You are expecting to receive that call…one day soon…telling you details for your next deployment. This is not your first deployment, but your first as a mother. What can the community do to support you, your family, and other active military members in our community?
Thank you, but stop. No one owes me anything. I could have gotten out years ago. I can be annoyed with it at times just like any job, but I truly truly love each day that I put my uniform on. The real thanks should go to my wife and all the others that marry service members. They bear the burden of an absent spouse/parent while we get tunnel vision and go do our job. For example, it goes from me doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, days with the baby, managing the business, etc. To her taking on ALL OF THAT....plus the task she already does. Top that with the emotional aspect, an empty bed, and different time zones. It’s tough and she is truly the real MVP.
I do anticipate getting sent to the Middle East some time this year and being a new mom is going to make it 10 times harder. I don’t look forward to seeing my daughter grow via Facetime and missing major milestone moments but I will continue to do what I took an oath to do.
I just ask that my community patronize my business, check in on my wife from time to time, but most of all be kind. I don’t put my life on the line for people to be jerks to each other.
A day in the life of Alyza…go!
Hahahaha I'm not going to do that to you guys, we’d be here all day. But ill say this, no two days are the same. On average, I'm up by about 6 am and asleep by 1130 pm, of course, with some overnight interruptions from my little one 💕