Certified Yoga Teacher, Cookie Brittle queen & most importantly, momma of two

*Name: Debbie Muraff

*Kid(s): Daughter, Bryn and Son, Drew

*Official work title and company: Owner and Founder of Sideways Cookie Brittle 

*Location: Northbrook, IL

*Tell us more about your company/the company you work for? (How you got started, where did the idea come from, how it has grown to the success it is today, etc.)

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I would say the simplest answer is that I work for myself.  I have two sources of income; one is as a CYT (200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher) for the past almost 15 years, and the second more recent addition is my Sideways Cookies Brittle that I began almost 6 years ago after a very different type of personal journey.  I discovered yoga in 2000 and immediately found myself drawn to the practice, and my exploration has evolved from there. My teaching is how I share my love of yoga with my students, friends, and humanity, and I feel beyond blessed to be able to do what I do. My cookie journey began after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer; part of my treatment involved exploring different foods because of my restricted diet. I came up with an all-natural recipe that has 8 ingredients, is gluten and dairy free, and vegan. I used to experiment with recipes in my kitchen before I would teach in my home studio.  My students would smell some of my first batches of cookies and my samples would disappear. Then I started to get requests to make them for students, friends, and family and some small retail opportunities. It’s just grown from there. The logo of my cookie is a sideways “8,” which is also the sign for infinity. Oddly enough it is also my kids’ initials in script, and it’s tattooed on the back of my right shoulder.

What has been your biggest challenge as a working mom? Your biggest reward?

My biggest challenge is juggling cookies, classes, kids, and life, and somehow I make it all work. I’m not saying it’s easy, but that’s where my yoga comes in.  My biggest reward is that I absolutely love what I do.

Who or what gives you your daily dose of inspiration?

My daily dose of inspiration is that I wake up every morning and practice yoga--every day--so that I can fill my cup up first.  From my full cup I am able to pour out my time and energy to my students, because I truly believe that you cannot pour from an empty cup.