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The coronavirus pandemic has put the brakes on many a business idea and pulled the plug on mom and pop stores all over the country.

But two business women used the downtime to innovate and build on their dreams in Waverly.

On Friday, Krista Dolash, owner of Root and Capsule, and now The Root Spa, and Jes Kettleson, owner of Katalyst Yoga, unveiled their long awaited collaborative creation — the Mantra House.

Located at 124 Second St. NE, in Waverly, the building once housed an eye clinic, and in October, because of the social distancing guidelines, it was rented by the elections office as the single site for early voting in Bremer County.

Those who have been inside the long-standing doctor’s office, or in the temporary place for voting, will be thrilled to see the transformation that has happened inside the permanent home of the Mantra House, now that the space is dedicated to a new mission.

A beautiful rug in front of the reception desk accentuates the new purpose.

Mantra, which means a “sacred utterance” in Sanskrit, is a fitting name for the space, reinforcing the message that it is a place where wellness, beauty, and stewardship of responsible use of nature’s resources are practiced.

On Monday morning, this writer took a tour of the space with Emily Bednarik, the receptionist.

The sense of calmness and warmth is tangible upon entry.

The left side of the building is occupied by The Root Spa, which offers services ranging from facials to massages and reiki healing treatments.

The Root Spa is a dream-come-true for Dolash, and a natural outgrowth of Root, her eco beauty company. It carries the non-toxic skincare and body products, which now can be found at the spa.

On the right side of the building, Katalyst Yoga, which was founded by Kettleson in 2018, offers hot and room-temperature classes in the Vinyasa and Yin styles. It also partners with Balance Yoga in Cedar Falls to offer teacher training sessions.

In an August 2018 story prior to the opening of the studio’s original location at 99 E. Bremer Ave., Kettleson told the paper she discovered the 5,000-plus-year-old Indian discipline while she was working in New York and brought it to Waverly when she taught it at The W.

Waverly Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Travis Toliver, who attended the ribbon cutting Friday, said the collaborative enterprise is a great addition to the town and the area.

“Mantra House is a wonderful example of two businesses working together to fill a need in our community,” Toliver said. “In the process, they also made great use of a building that has been vacant in our historic downtown for several years. In these challenging times, it is great to see our local businesses working together to create a unique experience for the community.”

Waverly Mayor Adam Hoffman agrees.

“I am always excited to see mutualistic relationships between businesses develop,” Hoffman said. “By bringing together two or more businesses that offer services that relate to one another into one space, it is a win-win for the entrepreneur and the customer.”

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