The King County Executive’s Small Business awards began in 2011 and were designed to celebrate the importance and achievements of our local small businesses. This year marks the fourth-annual event with the ceremony held on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the Meydenbauer Center (11100 NE 6th Street) in Bellevue.

The event recognizes businesses in different categories, like: Green/Sustainable Small Business of the Year, Minority Small Business of the Year and Woman Small Business of the Year.

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners showed that women-owned businesses accounted for 28.7 [percent] of all non-farm US businesses,” the King County website said. “King County had the 14th highest percentage among all U.S. counties for women-owned businesses at 29 percent. Given this significant ownership percentage, this award recognizes the woman-owned business that has attained outstanding business achievement and exemplifies the significant contributions made by women-owned businesses in King County.”

Among the three top finalists this year is 8 Limbs Yoga, owned by Anne Phyfe Palmer. 8 Limbs Yoga provides yoga classes, workshops and teacher trainings. Palmer opened her first 8 Limbs Yoga Center in Capitol Hill in 1996, with the mission to provide a “supportive, inclusive, and non-competitive atmosphere in which yoga practitioners can learn and grow,” according to the center’s website. To date, Palmer has opened four 8 Limbs Yoga Centers throughout the King County.

Seattle Yoga News asked Palmer a few questions about the nomination.

Seattle Yoga News: How do you feel about this award?

Anne Phyfe Palmer: It validates the work we have done in the last eight years to be an exemplary business in addition to offering comprehensive and experienced yoga instruction. Our business has always offered our students the experience of community, nourishing yoga practice and the opportunity to go beyond asana to the other limbs of yoga, but now we also nourish our teachers and staff and give them that same opportunity to learn and thrive.

SYN: What advice do you have for other small businesses owners? What would you say is the magical ingredient to build a successful small business?

AP: Intention and sustainability are the two main factors that make 8 Limbs both successful and rewarding. We make sure our mission touches all of our decisions and offerings including saying no when our staff and resources are all in use. Sustainability means we don’t overextend ourselves so that we can do a great job, and continue!

SYN: Where do you see 8 Limbs Yoga in the years to come?

AP: I would like 8 Limbs to continue to be a great place to work and practice yoga. I want to meet the needs of our students while staying true to our mission to create a supportive, inclusive and non-competitive atmosphere in which yoga practitioners can learn and grow. I want to allow our teachers and students to keep plunging into the depths of yoga’s wisdom and practicality. And I want 8 Limbs to continue growing its ability to meet the needs of a broader range of practitioners and teachers interested in furthering their training.

SYN: Anything else you would like to add?

AP: We were honored in 2008 with the mayor’s Small Business Award along with 10 other Seattle businesses. That application process itself helped us to see and clearly state what we’d accomplished and what our values were going forward. This nomination feels like a return to that curiosity – what makes us successful? How can we continue to thrive? How can we help others to thrive?

“This also feels like even more of a group nomination,” Palmer said. “This is a team of people who bring their hearts to the office/studio with them every day. That is a ‘win’ no matter who walks away with the award.”

[sc name=”Standard”]