In Bed With.... Katie, Founder of Set Intentions

Moonlit's In Bed With... Series is a collection of intimate interviews with tastemakers, core-shakers, and the people we love. We explore what keeps them up at night, in addition to their sleep secrets.

Woman doing yoga in front of a pool

Today we're chatting with Katie Rotolo, founder and yoga teacher of Set Intentions - a sustainable, mobile yoga community focused on bringing mindfulness, movement and sustainable practices to businesses, homes & non-profits

She also has 10+ years in the entertainment industry managing productions for films, commercials, television, and new media content in addition to co-founding Paper Ball Pictures - the boutique production company, whose mission is to put the environment first while telling impactful stories🌎

Lady in bright blue yoga pants carrying purple yoga mat

Q: Hi Katie! We love seeing how you’re spreading mindfulness through your mobile yoga community. How did you come up with the idea for Set Intentions?

Katie: Thank you! My partner Alex and I come from a film and tv production background and we realized the need for people to make time for self care in that world and in their lives in general. As a producer, I also noticed the toll it was taking on me personally. I wanted to find peace and mobility, and share that with others. 😌

What started as a way to heal my body and achieve physical health, evolved into an amazing exploration of mind and soul to manage stress and improve mental health. Often times people think the showbiz is glamorous and a dream gig! As much as it is fun, it’s really hard work--12, 14, sometimes 18 hour days. There’s a lot of physical and emotional stress and not a lot of time to pause and go inward. It's often a high pressure environment with little sleep. The same also applies to entrepreneurs and the start-up culture.

Lots of times there are yummy food and coffee trucks on set, so we want to provide a space where people can take some time to come in, nap, get whatever they need, and enjoy some time where they find stillness and only focus on themselves. Lots of businesses and film sets are incredibly wasteful too, so our hope is to inspire people to be more environmentally conscious, by making them aware of mindful alternatives to plastic water bottles, trash bags, packaging, etc. and of course making them more mindful of their own needs and creating space for them to set their intentions and go inward. From all this, we decided to merge our worlds, initially bringing yoga to film sets and now to anywhere you want to flow! 💖

Group of people doing yoga on a farm in front of horses

Q: What have been some of your favorite events thus far?

Katie: Ahhh! Any event with animals! Last month we had an event on a farm with horses, chickens, roosters, goats, and a big ol puppy dog! 🐶 It was so much fun...until someone pees on your mat! I also taught at a Cats on Mats pop up benefiting Kitten Rescue LA recently. 18 little kitties were up for adoption running, flopping and sleeping around us while we moved. I made a pretty hilarious playlist to go with.

But every event is really special event though, because they’re all so different. The first time we popped up on a set was surreal. It was really cool to see how our morning practice positively affected people’s day! I cried just thinking about how far we’ve come in our mission to help people through yoga.

I also really love our donation-based community yoga in the park sessions. They are conducted outdoors twice a week, where we do some grounding and make friends with lots of dogs and squirrels! 🐿️ We always follow up with a sustainable picnic after our yoga practice to hang and make new friends. It’s just the best way to start any day in my opinion!

Q: How does your mission to spread environmentally-conscious and sustainable values play out in your business?

Katie: We use our business and our online platform to educate people in sustainable practices. We want to show people how fun it is to shop ethically and sustainably, and make it easy to digest. We encourage people to make small changes in their everyday lives that have huge impacts on our planet. And we bring that conversation to our events so all of the mats and props we provide to participants are eco-friendly and all items we carry (activewear, beverages, etc.) support fellow businesses with sustainable, vegan practices working towards a better future.

We also bring in 5-gallon water jugs, encourage people to bring reusable water bottles and supply reusable cups as a plan B because there is no Planet B. All of the furniture included in our pop-ups are also upcycled and our outdoor rugs are second hand. ♻️

For the carbon footprint that we do output, we donate a portion of our annual earnings to organizations who are working to save the planet. We feel that it’s important to be transparent and continue to educate ourselves in sustainable practices.

Couple standing in front of a van

Q: We know you’re passionate about fostering a community that values their mental as well as physical health. Any advice / practices for keeping our minds healthy?

Katie: Make time for self care! Do something for yourself EVERYDAY, whether it’s a 10 minute meditation, a walk in the park, doing your nails, etc. It’s so easy to answer to other people but so often we forget to check in with what we need. Doing an act of self care and grounding in the morning can really set the day up right. 💁‍♀️

Q: What’s been one of the challenges of choosing to take this entrepreneurial path?

Katie: To be honest, it’s more so the imposter syndrome, than financial issues. Although being a startup without capital is hard, getting out of your own way can sometimes seem even harder.

Group of people doing yoga amongst cats

Q: What’s been one of the best parts about being an entrepreneur?

Katie: Doing work that I fully believe in. For the past several years, I’ve been trying to do more and more work that aligns with my values. Although it led me to “lose out” on some opportunities, it paved the path that led me to our eco-friendly production company, Paper Ball Pictures and ultimately, Set Intentions.

Q: Best place you've woken up in?

Katie: A cabin in Lone Pine, CA amidst the birds and horses with no electric outlets, only lanterns. 🌲🌲🌲

Q: What keeps you up at night?

Katie: Our political climate, world hunger, deforestation, our oceans dying.

Q: What keeps you energized during the day?

Katie: Yoga! No, really. I bet you knew I’d say that. I practice breathing exercises to get out of my head and make me more productive, postures that get the heart rate up create heat in the body, and sometimes jumping jacks.

Q: Most important sleep advice you can give?

Katie: Don’t bring your phone in the bedroom. Get an old-school alarm clock so you have no excuse. 

Q: I get the best sleep when…

Katie: I read before bed instead of scrolling on my phone.

Q: Nighttime beauty greatest hits?

Katie: Why/Fall by my dear friend Vild

Q: Fun fact?

Katie: I have two rescued kitty cats named Taco 🌮 and Truck 🚚. They are my pride and joy! 💞

🔥 QUICKFIRE 🔥

My ideal # of hours of sleep is: 9
But in reality, I actually get: 7
Sleep season for me is: When it’s 114 in the valley in the summer time.
How many pillows: ALL OF THEM.
AM or PM?: PM
Nightcap?: Eating handfuls of granola out of a cloth bag and soda water
Bad sleep habit: Watching tv or on the phone before bed when I should be winding down reading 
Good sleep habit: a giant glass of water before and after bed
Can't sleep with: a bra 
Side/back/stomach sleeper: Side but I’ve been working on sleeping on my back more because it’s better for my aches

Mantra: “I can.” 💪 I started a practice where I light a candle that literally says “I can” on it. Every morning I set my intention with it and blow it out as if I’m making a wish on my birthday. Sometimes it’s a reminder that I can be and am worthy of success. Other times it’s a wish for others - so I can be a light for someone in my life who’s struggling. 

IG Beauty Community crushes: Does fashion count? I am always inspired by ethical fashion blogger @benita_robledo. And I recently started following @Le_CultureClub whose messaging is inclusive and honest, and @thegreenproductjunkie, who promotes a non-toxic and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Portait of a woman doing a yoga pose laughing into the camera

You can find Katie on Instagram at @katierotolo and @setintentions, Facebook at Katie Rotolo and Set Intentions, and Twitter at @katierotolo and @set_intentions. Last but not least, do swing by the Set Intentions website!