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Motor City Match winner creates inclusive space for underrepresented communities to practice yoga and healthy living

Oct 11, 2022

  • Welcome Home Yoga & Wellness is a woman-owned and LGTBQ+ studio that offers yoga and meditation classes and other self-care practices
  • Motor City Match has awarded $10.1M in cash grants, 85% of overall winners are minority-owned businesses and 74% women-owned
  • Welcome Home Yoga and Wellness is the 140th operating brick-and-mortar business have opened to date


Oct. 11, 2022 (DETROIT)
– Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and City leaders today opened the 140th brick-and-mortar Motor City Match business in Detroit. Welcome Home Yoga & Wellness provides yoga and meditation classes, massage therapy, trauma recovery and wellness amenities including crystals and incense for patrons.

The yoga studio is a woman-owned and LGBTQ+ business founded by married couple, Robyn and Melissa Childers, who was compelled to make yoga and wellness practices easily accessible to the community. After a life-altering accident, Robyn found yoga to be a healing pathway that transformed her road to recovery. But as a person who identifies as LGBTQ+, she didn’t feel there was enough representation in wellness spaces for people like her.

“I knew my life’s purpose would involve helping others experience the amazing benefits of yoga and wellness in a supportive, inclusive, welcoming space, especially for those community members who have been historically underserved,” said Robyn.

According to research from Vanderbilt University, 83% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) individuals reported going through adverse childhood experiences such as sexual and emotional abuse, and worse mental health as adults compared to their heterosexual peers. Numerous studies have also shown the mental and emotional injuries minorities experience after encounters with racial bias, ethnic discrimination and racism.

“Robyn and Melissa are a shining example of how your passion can fuel your business success,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Together, they have created something abundantly beautiful and a tremendous resource for the community.”

The studio, located at 6375 W. Seven Mile Road, Suite 103 in Detroit, is supported by a $40,000 cash grant from the 18th round of the Motor City Match program. The funding helped Childers open her business in a newly renovated building located in the Historic Avenue of Fashion neighborhood. The Childers believes their “recovery-based approach, with a focus on trauma-informed practices,” is what sets their business apart. They’re hopeful the space will become a “second home” for community members as they heal and experience a restoration of their health.

“As a guest, you can expect to experience deep connection, grow beyond your limitations, and discover your untapped potential,” said Melissa.

“We are privileged to support some amazing and dedicated entrepreneurs in the City of Detroit, and we’re committed to helping their business succeed from idea to open,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “Our work will never be done in elevating our talented small business community.”

After 20 rounds, Motor City Match has distributed $10.1 million in grants for start-ups and new businesses located throughout the city of Detroit. Through the pipeline of resources provided by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s small business teams, more than 1,600 businesses have received assistance along their journey to open their doors. This is all part of the organization’s greater goal to enhance the city’s economic development and beautify its commercial corridors.

Motor City Match continues to grow Detroit’s small-business landscape. Combined with its other small business programming, DEGC is creating a sustainable small business environment that nurtures new concepts and ideas. Motor City Match offers business owners a wide range of assistance in four tracks: Plan, Develop, Design, and Cash. The program helps Detroit entrepreneurs plan, formalize, and launch their business by providing business planning classes, site-selection assistance, financial planning, legal aid, design services, and gap funding.

Through 19 rounds of Motor City Match:

  • Total cash grants: $10.1 million (Total leveraged investment: $54.5 million)
  • Total business open: 138
  • 85 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 74 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 68 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents

About Motor City Match

Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at www.MotorCityMatch.com

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