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Meet Marian Shively

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marian Shively.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Marian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
San Francisco is where I was born and raised. My always foggy yet beautiful hometown was what inspired my company’s name, grey sky yoga. My mom is from the Philippines and my dad was born in Indiana, but they both moved to San Francisco over 30 years ago. My mother is the sweetest human and supportive of everything I do. My father is a huge math nerd and has been practicing Tai Chi for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents inspire me to push harder and work toward my dreams.

I went to Saint Mary’s College of CA (go Gaels!) and received my bachelor’s in accounting. I then graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a master’s in accounting. You’re probably wondering, “Accounting?!”. Yes, accounting! I’ve always loved math (thanks dad) so I enjoyed it. I also knew I wanted to have my own company one day, so why not study what’s arguably the most important part of a business?

I worked at different companies during and after school: a large public accounting firm, a small private firm, and a few start ups. One of these start ups I am still happily employed at; I crunch numbers, teach yoga, work by the beach, and collaborate with awesome people daily. Being able to pursue my passion while having a stable and flexible career makes me feel fulfilled.

Aside from my business background, I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training (YTT) at the Tamal Yoga School in Culver City. Yoga teacher training was life changing to say the least. I not only learned how to teach yoga but YTT solidified my love for it. My ideas for grey sky yoga formed right after the teacher training. I wanted to create a life around yoga and be able to give back, so since then, all of my free time has been spent on growing grey sky yoga.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Publishing grey sky yoga’s website and sharing what I’d created was a huge challenge. I was feeling serious self-doubt a couple of months before the store opened due to imposter syndrome. I was telling myself “No one will like your products” or “You’re not a real yogi so you can’t have a yoga business” or “You’re nobody so it won’t be successful”. Now, saying these things out loud makes me laugh because it sounds so crazy. I had completed products, a finished but unpublished website, big dreams about my future business, and yet I was so close to stopping myself.

I am lucky to have such an amazing support system because they got me out of that weird funk and toxic mindset. My fiancé (an actual angel) is always encouraging me to go for what I want in life. My friends were also pushing me to open the store because they were genuinely excited to try my products. Seeing them believe in me reminded me to believe in myself. The people you keep around really do make up who you are. This company would not exist without them and I feel #blessed they are in my life.

Please tell us about Grey Sky Yoga.
My company, grey sky yoga, sells handmade products that are for yoga and for life. I initially made the products for my personal yoga and meditation practice, but I realized other people can benefit from them. One of the company’s mottos “find your balance”. All of the products are completely organic, eco-friendly, and exist to help you be present, calm, and balanced.

The other company motto is “be the change”. What I’m most proud about the company is 15% of the net proceeds are always donated to charitable organizations. This way, we are able to make a positive change in the world with every purchase. The organizations we donate to are Planned Parenthood, Lunch On Me, Rainforest Alliance, and Charity: Water. All of these organizations constantly support us and doing what I can to support them is a privilege.

When creating the products, I wanted to make sure they were not only functional and healing but also beautiful and well made. Luckily, my very talented fiancé is an art director so he was able to design the products based off of my ideas. With this said, I believe the packaging is what really makes us stand out from the crowd. “Less is more” is something I truly believe, and you can see that throughout the brand. The packaging is simple as I wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the gemstones and put the focus on the essential oils.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nick Mar (@itsnickmar) and Nick Terry (@_nktv_)

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