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Meet Shaelle Etienne of Shaelle | People of Culture Retreats | ourSPACE

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shaelle Etienne.

Shaelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
MUSIC: I was born in Haiti and immigrated to Connecticut with my mom, a political refugee, at two years old. Singing has always been my passion and looking back, is my first introduction to wellness. It’s my therapy in a lot of ways. I sing soul music 🙂 honest music. This June I will be releasing work that I not only have written but produced as well. Shoutout to my collective THEIR Poets.

ourSPACE Co-owner: I think being an immigrant has forced me to have an entrepreneurial mindset- creating something from nothing. I’ve always rented out spaces for shows and open conversations so figured it’d be dope to have a place of my own where I can do it all. I co-own ourSPACE with two other females who are passionate and gifted in many things as well. We pride ourselves in creating a safe space for our community of creatives.

People of Culture Retreats: I believe that people can heal themselves. I started my mindfulness journey two years ago at a Lululemon event when I had an emotional response to a nutritionist explaining how powerful food is. Around the same time, I dove into my yoga practice. I had just been released from a corporate job due to budget cuts so I was kinda desperate to throw myself into something new. Immediately, I realized my habits in moments of discomfort and whats-more, the power I have to sit in that discomfort and find beauty in it. I find that traveling helps me come to the same aha moments as practicing yoga so I married the two and started People of Culture Retreats. A wholesome opportunity for people of color (+culture) to travel the world affordably while living like royalty and stripping through their layered trauma.

Has it been a smooth road?
HA! I guess it’s been a smooth up and down road. Once I started accepting that the lows undoubtedly come with the highs, things started feeling less bumpy.

Music Struggles: I’ve been producing my next project and the biggest challenge is knowing when to be satisfied with a song so that I can send it to get mixed and mastered. Obviously, money and views and plays are all struggles every musician is familiar with but the most stifling struggle is that “fear of not being good enough” thought that usually shows up during critical times.

ourSPACE: “Work for yourself,” they say, “it’ll be fun!” they say. Haha, I think the struggles with ourspace are just new business problems. How do we articulate what kind of space this is, how do we determine our rates, how do revise and re-strategize while also taking care ourselves?!

People of Culture: Challenges for this are similar to ourSPACE- Pricing, logistics, patience. Although I get a little worried about who will attend my retreats, I’ve found that the universe always brings me the EXACT people I want.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
MUSIC: I have my own show every few months and guests who come know to expect a full production. I want to take you there because my songs are so honest and as versatile as my passions are. Band, visuals, yummy vegan food all included.

ourSPACE: People who reach out to me about collaborating or hosting something at ourSPACE can expect to get encouraged to think big. I believe that we can all live out dreams NOW so I love encouraging people to be creative…sell your old clothes, teach a class, sip some wine and paint whatever!

People of Culture Retreats: It’s my job to offer support and hold space for retreat goers. I want to help with the process, what are your talents, fears? I never want money to be the reason someone doesn’t attend my retreat so I love chatting with perspective goers to break down the total cost. After a brainstorming session, we always realize how much easier it is to make the goal happen!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Best: I’m surrounded by people who want to live out their dreams!… At least more so than in Connecticut where I grew up. I love that I can pursue all of my passions and not feel like an outlier in my community.

Worst: I know I’ve had it all my life but LA really made me realize how often I feel anxiety ….often caused by feeling like I’m not doing enough, or progressing quickly enough, or am good enough, etc.


  • People of Culture Haiti Retreat (round trip, room, breakfast & dinner, excursions)| $1850
  • Private Yoga with Shaelle | $100/hour *discounted weekly and monthly packages available

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Main photo cred: Allie Costello @costellocaptures, BW photos from Shaelle’s event “Thinking Out Loud” – an blunt conversation about artists and their responsibilities. Photo Cred: Darrel Dunn @friidomseyes, Photo fo three girls, girl on stool and girl and guy pointing from Shaelle’s music show “Rocking Off The Flow.” Phot cred: Taylor Brielle @taylorbriellephoto, Photo of ourSPACE cred: Jordan Sotero @soterojordan, Photo of Haitian boy at the beach cred: @shaelleetienne

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.

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