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Meet Robert Berryman of Zyanya Aromatherapy in Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Berryman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Robert. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was already using essential oils when I received my massage therapy certification in 1994 from the Massage School of Santa Monica.

Soon afterwards, I was hired as a massage therapist for Burke Williams Spa, and within a year’s time, the spa manager asked if I would create essential oil blends for their spa menu. Not long after that, I began supplying essential oils to Burke Williams for various spa treatments and for retail, as well as teaching the staff about aromatherapy. As the treatments became quite popular with the spa’s clientele and staff, I began to attract interest from others businesses, like Murad Spa, Pritikin Spa, and the Loews Hotel. In 1999, Zyanya Aromatherapy was founded in Echo Park. In 2003 I received my international certification from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy.

The quest for more knowledge led me to befriend two influential people in the world of aromatics, Kurt Schnaubel and John Steele. Kurt taught me about the scientific aspect of essential oils and John imparted his great knowledge of the traditional, spiritual and mystical uses.

This gave me a wonderful foundation for how my business was to evolve. So, looking back I would say that my start was a marvelous coincidence of being in the right place and the right time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My business had been growing, but when the financial crisis of 2008 hit, everything changed. The spa business was having a meltdown, I lost some big accounts and the challenge to stay afloat became tough. Management turnover in the spa and retail business also made it difficult if not impossible to maintain contacts. This led me to re-focus my attention and energy to practitioners in the business of wellness and natural healing. With the growing number yoga instructors, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, acupuncturists, etc., these small businesses actually were better fit for what I wanted to do, and they also had a great interest in integrating aromatherapy into their practices. In a way, it was like starting over. So, I had my first website built and focused on my ability to create custom blends. The potential for new clients grew as my reputation expanded.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Zyanya Aromatherapy – what should we know?
Zyanya is a small business that has no desire to become a mega-corporation or multi-level marketing company. In many ways, we are a service company helping people to find simple solutions to modern problems. Sustaining the quality of a handcrafted or artisan product. I am the one who sources and buys the oils, create formulations and do the blending and bottling. Being an aromatherapist requires not only knowledge, experience, and skills but also integrity. The customer trusts me to deliver. It’s also important to help others learn how to use essential oils safely and wisely, hoping they become more self-reliant in a matter of their own health. I have a keen interest in guiding my business, though occasionally, I hire people to help create inventory of body care product, most of it is made and bottled by me. I am doing what makes me happy.

What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
From my earliest years, whether it was my mother’s piano playing, the sounds from LPs and 45s on the phonograph, or the radio, I loved listening to music. Music so inspired me, I yearned to play the guitar. On Christmas day in 1964, I was surprised and thrilled to find a Silvertone guitar from Sears under the tree. The feeling was so exhilarating that I remember it to this day. This guitar gave me the keys to the highway, so to speak. I can still recall sitting at the kitchen table teaching myself to play guitar and write songs. I was transitioning from the age of innocence to puberty and this was a way of exploring and expressing my feelings, trying to make sense of them. It has become a lifelong endeavor.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Deborah Simons
Jane Drew

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Conny Huthsteiner

    December 2, 2017 at 16:12

    I can attest, Zyanya essential oils are the best!

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