Our new Supercharged: Female Founder Series spotlights extraordinary women who are both experts in their field and are at the helm of successful businesses. With each spotlight, we dig deeper on a topic our founder + community is curious about while also gathering tips from travel and books to recipes and mindfulness.
Following Your Bliss with Brittany Bamrick of Bliss Camp Retreats
We've all been told to “follow your bliss” but many of us aren’t quite sure what it really means. When we look at the word bliss, it usually refers to great joy, happiness and contentment. To us, following your bliss means discovering the little things that light you up, fill you with inspiration and make life meaningful, whether it's spending a little extra time on your morning rituals, chatting with friends who boost your mood or finding moments of zen in your yoga practice.
For me personally, creating Solara wasn't just to solve a need for my children's ultra-sensitive skin and allergies to chemical sunscreens. It was also my own personal journey with Lyme Disease and my passion for integrative wellness philosophy that played a role in making our formulas so different from the other options you see in the market. Following my bliss led me to people, places, and tons of opportunities that taught me everything I know about skin defense + healing, especially that our skin can benefit from a similar integrative wellness approach as our body: adaptogens, plants + science used efficaciously and sourced consciously.
I've always been drawn to people who follow their bliss, and Brittany Bamrick has certainly mastered the art! She's on a mission to elevate your mindful travel experience with Bliss Camp Retreats, the premier host of luxury yoga, meditation and wellness getaways from Mexico to Bali and more. Bliss Camp Retreats promises to shake you out of your comfort zone, empower you to elevate to your best self, invite you inward, and enrich your life through the lens of asana, meditation, pranayama, heart-centered workshops + immersive cultural experiences.
Stephanie: In the past few years, spiritual and physical healing has been so important. Have you seen a shift in the reason people are seeking a retreat?
Brittany: Absolutely! Post-pandemic travel isn’t just about seeing beautiful places and practicing yoga. Instead, individuals are seeking connection, ways to amplify their health and wellness rituals, and guidance on how to discover (or re-discover) their dharma, or life’s purpose.
This is the key reason as to why our retreats are so in-demand. 2020 was such a pivotal year for those who felt stagnant or stuck in their careers, relationships, overall health and fitness – you name it! If someone desires to make radical shifts to elevate their life, a yoga retreat is the perfect way to immerse yourself in practices that do just that.
We’ve seen relationships manifested, new careers emerge, passions for yoga and meditation ignited, and many more positive, life-altering circumstances take place within weeks or months after students have attended our retreats!
Why do such substantial shifts happen so quickly? It’s because our retreats are a deep dive inward. They’re a gateway to a clearer mind, healthier body, and deeper connections, because we create space for your personal truth to reveal itself, remind you of your core values, and cultivate intimate and supportive connections between groups of individuals who are vibrating at a high frequency.
Stephanie: How do you determine the best places to host these life-changing experiences? Your itineraries and locations are exquisite!
Brittany: Thank you so much! It’s a very organic process, as I have allowed the destinations to find me over the years. Bliss Camp Retreats is such an intuitive-led business, and most of our previous locations you see on our Instagram and website have found me through social media. The first retreat we ever booked, in Sayulita, Mexico, came to me through my Pinterest feed. I had never heard of Sayulita, but reading it described as a “sleepy, surfer town” on Mexico’s west coast pulled me in, and I briefly researched the few yoga retreat centers there. We (my business partner and best friend, Ashley, and myself) reserved a week at the most gorgeous, eco-friendly retreat center, and it sold out within days, a full year before the retreat! We knew we were onto something magical.
Since then, we’ve focused on hosting retreats at sun-soaked, life-changing destinations: from the shores of Uluwatu, Bali, and Baja, Mexico, to the palpable vortices of Ojai and Joshua Tree, California. These destinations have always felt so rich with possibility and have been the most fertile ground for our guests to break through old habits, patterns and ways of living. This year, we’re hosting our first hiking and yoga retreat, in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. We’re balancing all that yang effort and energetic output by steeping in ritual and community each night: cacao ceremony, sound healing journey, fire ritual under the full moon beside the majestic Lake Atitlan, and so much more.
On our vision board for the near future? Portugal, Croatia, Greece, and domestic retreats like Montana, Utah, and Arizona! We announce future retreats on our Instagram @blisscampretreats, so stay tuned!
Stephanie: Your retreats are iconic. You keep them personal, meaningful and they always immediately sell out with clients from around the globe! Can you share the anatomy of a successful Bliss Camp retreat?
Brittany: Our client feedback is top priority! We always take feedback from previous experiences into consideration when planning each consecutive retreat, and it lights us up to revise our retreats according to what our students want more or less of. It hasn’t failed us yet! Most of our retreats are approximately half returning clientele, half new students.
We also curate our itinerary to match the energetic blueprint of each destination. Our signature retreat offers a perfect balance of fun, adventurous and dynamic opportunities (which include our morning Ashtanga or Vinyasa practices), as well as intentional space for rest and nourishment, down to the cellular level. We also leave plenty of whitespace every day so participants can honor themselves and do what feels best for them, and fulfill their intention for joining us in the first place, whether that’s an off-site excursion, nap, spa treatment, or deep conversation. A day on retreat might look like sunrise meditation, a heart-pumping vinyasa practice in the morning, hike or SUP yoga after breakfast, free time between lunch and dinner, and yin yoga or yoga nidra, also known as “yogic sleep meditation” in the evening. Of course, we also curate entire retreats that cater to relaxation and slowing down, which is what I’m co-creating with my soul sister, and fellow Bliss Camp Retreats leader, Kierstie Porr this coming February. Think lots of slow flows, grounding meditation and an abundance of yin and restorative yoga overlooking the crystal-blue waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Stephanie: I’ve never been on a retreat. For others like me, can you share what to look for in a retreat for a first-timer? How do you know which retreat is right for you?
Brittany: Location, location, location! If you have a dream to check off a bucket-list destination, a yoga retreat is the absolute best way to do that. Once you’ve decided on your dream destination, having a connection to the teacher (or a desire to learn from them), and resonating with the itinerary and vibe of the retreat are other great indicators that this is the perfect retreat for you to invest in. Above all, have an open mind. You’ll always leave having expanded and grown in some capacity, if that’s your intention.
Stephanie: You built your brand and business with your best friend, Ashley Griffin. Can you share more about that and any tips for keeping the relationship healthy?
Brittany: One of the best parts of creating this company alongside Ashley was the ability to see her so often! I relocated cross-country very shortly after we established Bliss Camp Retreats, so our retreats were the most epic way to consistently spend time together, travel, do what we love, and share it with as many people as possible! We’re both natural leaders, devoted to our craft, empathic, and supportive of each other and every aspect of our retreats, which has maintained such a healthy and productive environment to thrive over the last few years. The biggest key to keeping our relationship healthy? Feedback. We’re never afraid to discuss what’s working and where we need to pivot, and we schedule calls to chat business, and other calls just to catch up. Those boundaries are important to keep our friendship strong so we don’t end up talking all business!
Stephanie: Our audience is interested in the science behind wellness ingredients and practices. Can you share any scientific based information on how attending a retreat (or any specific modal in a retreat) is healing and energizing?
Brittany: Nearly every aspect of a retreat is healing down to the cellular level, but the most game-changing benefit is the recalibration of your nervous system. Too often we operate from our sympathetic state, better known as “fight or flight” mode, with stress hormones in abundance. On retreat, everything is taken care of for you. All you have to do is show up, and let our team do the rest. You allow yourself to be held, seen, provided for, and nurtured in a way that is rare AF! It’s like one giant exhale. This switches your nervous system into operating in parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) mode.
Our on-the-mat offerings support this deep internal healing, as well. You’ll always find a combination of yin and restorative yoga, yoga nidra, meditation, and sound healing throughout our weeklong retreats. These practices are done in stillness, quiet, and with slow, meditative breathing which tones your vagus nerve to boost gut health and reduce your body’s inflammation.
Finally, watching the sun rise and set is amazing for regulating your circadian rhythm and improving your sleep, and all the time we spend barefoot in nature gives an enormous boost to your energy levels, detoxification, and cell restoration.
Stephanie: For anyone who can’t attend one of your retreats in 2023, are there other ways to join the Bliss Camp community?
Brittany: Definitely! In the New Year, we’re going to be hosting virtual educational workshops (think chakras, pre-natal, and more) and opportunities to unroll your mat within the comfort of your own home.
I’m especially excited for a four-part series on joint mobility, flexibility, meditation and cellular rest that I’m leading every Sunday evening in January. This virtual series is designed to recharge you after the holiday and bring your mind and body back to homeostasis. If you’ve heard of the benefits of regular meditation and yoga, but aren’t sure where to start, this program is perfect for you. We’ll meet January 8-29 for 75 minutes in the evening, so you can roll right into bed afterwards. It’s going to be pure bliss. You can find more information on blisscampretreats.com under “Studio Without Walls”.
Stephanie: What is one retreat practice that you think has been the most life-changing for you (or any of your guests)?
Brittany: Personally, journaling is a source of mega-manifestation for me and I always reignite my journaling practice while on retreat. Our students have said that being in nature, eating healthier, learning new styles of yoga, and surrounding yourself with a loving community all have incredible healing properties. Their greatest takeaways include how taking time for oneself is not only necessary, but worth every penny, and how inspired, calm, happy, grateful, and renewed they feel long after their return home.
Our testimonials are awe-inspiring and you can read them here.
ASK THE EXPERT: FAST FACTS
BRITTANY BAMRICK, FOUNDER OF BLISS CAMP RETREATS
Favorite Wellness Practice or Beauty Ritual: Currently obsessed with my local infrared sauna studio!
One Thing You Can't Live Without: I truly can’t answer that! My husband! My baby! My sister and family.. The list goes on...
What You're Reading / Watching Right Now: I can’t lie.. I’m re-watching The Hills and Laguna Beach and it’s bringing me back!
Favorite Place You've Been: Tulum was exceptional. The staff at @alayatulum made our experience feel so intimate. Their location is second to none.
Favorite Restaurant/Cafe/Coffee Shop: @pumpcoffeepb, in Pacific Beach, San Diego. Their lattes fueled me in the months after I gave birth to my daughter!
Favorite Solara Product: Fortune Teller Brightening Sunscreen Serum and the Pout Protector Lip Serum!
Note: Brittany Bamrick is devoted to serving students on and off the mat. In addition to leading retreats and 200-hour yoga teacher trainings both in New Jersey and California, Brittany recently graduated her 300 hour teacher training with HeartYoga in March 2021. Her specialty trainings include a deep dive into yin yoga, Reiki level 1 and 2 attunements, Stand Up Paddleboard yoga, and Ayurveda. Brittany is a former lululemon ambassador, and has presented at Wanderlust festivals in Aspen, CO and Brooklyn, NY. Ask the Expert tips are for informational purposes only and any product, supplement, medical or dietary recommendations are personal to those featured in this blog post only. Always consult your trusted medical, herbal or integrative practitioner to determine the best routine and supplements for you.
- Author: Stephanie DiPisa, Founder + CEO, Solara Suncare