Photo Credit: Photo by @shotbylongchamp
Flex-N-Fly: The Black-Owned Wellness Program Coming To Airports And Flights
For some, having to travel through airports can be stressful. From making sure you arrive early enough and dealing with long TSA lines, to praying that your bags make it to your destination or preparing for your upcoming meeting while in the air— it can be a lot.
NYC, by way of Haiti, native, Youmie Jean Francois is changing that. As an avid traveler, she has seen firsthand the chaos that comes along with moving from airport-to-airport, and even flying.
“I love to travel,” Youmie told Travel Noire. “I believe that travel has been my best teacher. It’s taught me compassion, how to connect with other cultures, as well as the four languages that I speak. It is even a tradition of mine to wake up in a new country, at the start of a New Year.”
One day while on a layover in Morocco headed to Lisbon, Youmie noticed a man go into a space to begin praying before the flight. While it was customary in this part of the world, it immediately made her realize that this type of space was needed in airports all over the globe, too.
She envisioned a yoga and prayer space that people could pop into, while waiting for their flight. Thus, Flex-N-Fly was born.
As a seriel entrepreneur, Youmie quickly sprang into action to set things up the right way.
“I knew this would be something that I wanted around for a long time. So I called up my lawyer, accountant, and anyone else that I needed to make sure I got this business off the ground properly. I was so serious, I even told my boss that I planned to quit my job within a year to focus on it entirely.”
Flex-N-Fly is a yoga and wellness brand that will provide programming not only in airports, but on airplanes, too. There will be yoga classes, meditation sessions, and on-demand videos that Youmie will curate.
The videos will provide affirmations especially created with the business traveler in mind. She wants to ensure that travelers don’t spend their flight time stressed over what is to come once they land, but rather they build up their confidence and shift their mindset so they can attack whatever is ahead.
The in-person classes were set to begin in May, but COVID happened and put everything on pause. In the interim, Youmie went to work to create products that would help get the word out about the brand.
“I personally designed washable, eco-friendly yoga and prayer mats,” she said. “The support from people all around the world has been amazing. I knew I needed to create something like this so that when the classes begin in-person, people won’t have to worry about not having a mat with them to join in.”
In addition to the mats, she also released her own collection of travel wear, called the Candace Tyler collection. It includes hoodies, crop tops, and joggers— comfortable clothes that allow you to travel in style.
Youmie has been working hard to also get her videos into the hand’s of our favorite airlines. Her hard work has paid off, and we should begin to see them appearing on planes early in the new year. The in-person classes will likely pick up in the spring, and will start in airports across New York City first. But don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time before the brand will go global.
“I want people to realize that a Black woman made this, and that Black women care about mental and physical health. I want to expand the face of wellness all around the world.”