Interview with Doreen Foxwell, Owner, Mom Francesca Paglia, The Children’s School of Yoga

Tell us about your company, it’s purpose, mission, target audience, goals, what makes it unique.

My company is called The Children’s School of Yoga. I founded it in 2004, and it has grown to be in over 25+ locations throughout the Hudson Valley,NY area covering 9 Counties.

My program’s mission is to teach yoga to children in a fun, age appropriate way with the goal that they will continue practicing yoga into their adult life.

It is unique in the way that we teach yoga to children, the growth that we have had, the curriculum we use.

How did you come to work together in the first place?

In my 2nd year of business, I went from a home office operation to opening an official site. At the time I needed a birthday party assistant. My, then 19 yr old daughter fit the bill. She was always good with kids, and wanted extra $$.

Please describe your respective roles in the company.

I am involved in all of the day to day transactions and operations of the business. My daughter is a teacher full time for the program and also helps in the office when she can.

How has working together affected your relationship outside the “office.”  In other words how do you keep family matters separate from work related issues?

It is easy for me to do, as I can set limits and boundaries, and leave work at work, however, my daughter being only 21 has a much more challenging time with this and most recently showed her lack of maturity in this when she requested last minute time off and we were able to cover all but 1 of her locations for her. She had a complete tantrum (like a toddler) and proceeded to not speak to me for a week.

I communicated to her that I needed to know certain things that happened that week at certain locations whether she wanted to speak to me or not.

She also at times shares with my son who is 12 that she does not get paid enough. I shrug this off to lack of maturity.

What are some of the challenges you have faced working together?

We try not to share that we are mother/daughter with locations and customers, as they feel funny about it. For ie: if a location or customer has a problem or concern or comment with their class, if they want to complain, who are they going to complain to? Her mother? So….whenever possible, we keep this to ourselves…However many people have quessed it because we look soo similar.

My daughter also has a hard time with the recognition that I receive, ie: newspaper interviews, recently when I was contacted for  a story I set it up for her to be the one they took pix of.

That being said, she does not have any idea the amount of time and energy I put into this business, or the sacrifices I make, or the stress I feel at times.


The biggest triumph is the fact that we are able to work together. As she was growing up, I never guessed we would be working together when she was an adult. It is “freaking amazing” that we can work together. However we do have 2 totally different personalities, which helps..

What do you like best about working together? Least?

Like best: I like watching her growth and potential to being a leader in my company in the future.

Least: Her entitlement attitude.

What, if any big challenges or little annoyances have occurred as a result of working together and how have you managed to overcome them?

I can’t say we have yet overcome them, it is a constant balance/struggle. We do however give each other space, which is well needed.
What tips would you share with our readers for working with a member of the family?

Set clear limits and expectations.

9. What’s been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of working together?

Emotionally: My daughter seems to be doing something she loves, and we all want a job that we love. I also love what I do and am happy she does too..

It’s exciting for me to know that my daughter can continue in this field and hopefully run my company in the future.

What’s next for this mother daughter team?

Continuing to build and grow the business model to expand nationally

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

The dynamics of working together as a mother/daughter team are very blurred. I have learned a lot from my daughter being an employee, more than she probably realizes. It has made me a softer, more aware boss..

For more information visit

This article can be read in aSpring/Summer 2009 Issue of WE Magazine for Women