Steph and Jen met in the Spring of 2017 at their home studio The Nest Yoga & Fitness in Harrisonburg Virginia, where they were attending one of their first Yoga Teacher Training classes. Classically too friendly and funny for everyone else, they bonded through their inability to resist giggling in class, which likely explains their mediocre teaching styles and weak Sanskrit cueing. While definitely not the best Yoga teachers in town, they were masters of uninformed enabling, boisterously supporting each other's every idea and dream, until ultimately their shared addiction for creativity collapsed under the weight of an equally insufficient drive to follow through, and the best of their early visions for a healing center fizzled-out, along with their youth.
Lucky for them, a terrible Pandemic swept the world - and them - right back into each other's arms, and pants. In 2022 they joined forces for reals this time, and brought CYANWOOD to life with a lot of luck, and just enough love to make it weird. They're best known now for incorrectly finishing each other's sentences, wearing the same cargo capris and sling-purses, and for going everywhere together, mostly because Jen has no sense of direction and Steph says "yes" when she really means "but why?"
Their one piece of advice for entrepreneurs is "don't give up... it gets worse, but it's not worth it... seriously, financially and emotionally it's a waste of time, and your husbands will be disappointed and ashamed...but if you give up you'll miss out on what could be the funniest disaster you've ever had a hand in creating."
FRIENDS AND FOUNDERS
HOW WE HOLD SPACE AT CYANWOOD
With open hearts and a lot of laughter, we bring it all to our work at CYANWOOD. From a calling to create a space for natural living, we strive each day to hold the line we've carved out in the sand and uphold our most cherished ideals. We're not perfect, but we've already sunk everything into this so there's really no way to get out of it now. Here's what we promise we're committed to, even if it doesn't always match our actions, thoughts, words or pants.
Personal-Energetic & Environmental Sustainability
Personal-Energetic Sustainability is what we call our commitment to work-life balance, and is reflected in our bi-annual sabbaticals in deep winter, when we need restoration, and in high summer, when our gardens need us the most. Our commitment to Environmental Sustainability is reflected most notably in our elevation of bioregional, no-spray and organic foods and herbs; our minimalist and “green” design sensibilities; and our Natural Lifestyle Design services.
We approach business as a secondary function of our desire to pioneer a truly nourishing space for the betterment of our community. We depart from traditional business practices in our transparent financial discussions and our steadfast upholding of our founding goals to prove there’s a better way to do business. Our clients and colleagues can rely on us to hold the lines we’ve drawn, setting higher standards for healing and holistic wellness.
We believe this world belongs to everyone, and we refuse to operate in a spirit of competition; without regard to social inequities; as spiritual authorities; with a blind eye to cultural appropriation; or as participating members of cancel culture. We commit to listening to others, supporting and uplifting our colleagues, creating access to our services, promoting self-empowerment, not selling what isn’t ours; and actively using inclusive language, while avoiding “othering”
ARE YOU GOING TO SCARBOROUGH FAIR?
We for sure will not be there.
Nothing against Scarborough.
We just hate fairs.
AND OTHER FUN FACTS ABOUT JEN & STEPH
What superpower would you give to everyone in the world if you could?
Steph: Teleportation. So we could be close to the ones we love in the blink of an eye.
Jen: I'd give people the power to live free from judgment - both judgment from others, and the judgment they inflict.
What is your secret talent?
Jen: I interpret dreams for fun.
Steph: My secret is that I'm an open book. Also I played division III basketball and softball.
What is one thing you've learned on your journey to greener living that is fairly simple to incorporate into modern lifestyles?
Steph: Giving up paper towels. Having washable hand towels was a lot easier transition than I expected.
Jen: Using US grown Organic, cold-pressed Sunflower Oil instead of Olive Oil.
What advice do you give to clients on a regular basis?
Steph: Every time you step on your mat, listen to your body, check in, and take care of yourself. Everyday is different.
Jen: If you're over 40 then you're on the back nine. No one is watching. Go ahead, pick up your ball, get in your cart and drive to the green. Then keep going right off the course and start competitive kickboxing, because nothing is worse than playing golf.