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Meet Shannon Buckley of Yoga Munkee Artistree in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Buckley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a face painter, seamstress, entrepreneur and I want to be a mural painter when I grow up! I am also an author, businesswoman, philanthropist and public speaker. I’ve felt a desire to become an artist from when I was young and my journey has taken me in many directions, since 2006 I’ve kept my passions for creativity and service at the heart and center of my journey while developing myself as a professional and a leader. Through my different experiences, I have come to better understand my motivations for creating and I’m very excited to be where I’m at now. My goal is to be engaged in society and making a difference in people’s everyday lives. This desire continues to motivate me towards finding a happy medium between my creative desires and my interpretations of the realities of the business world. My creative vision involves founding and operating a non-profit organization who serves 16-25 year olds who are experiencing emotional and mental health challenges. I will be helping pass on what I’ve learned by coordinating an industrial style workshop and retail space I refer to as a retail workshop. This organization will build leaders by delivering measurable craftsmanship, personal development and business management skills to help bridge the gap for young people to realize their earning potential through creativity.

Along my journey I have bounced around between art, business and social sciences. My retail workshop will combine all of these passions into one! One way my interest in business developed was through my participation in DECA during high school and I earned national rankings. Following high school I attended University of Oregon with the intention of earning a degree in International Business, instead I discovered a strong interest in sociology and I obtained a Bachelor of Arts at Metropolitan State College of Denver in behavioral science with a focus in sociology. Last year I completed a prerequisite program at Metropolitan State University of Denver in speech and hearing sciences which qualified me to enroll in a Master’s degree program for speech therapy or audiology or to become a speech therapy assistant. This program gave me a very dynamic understanding of working closely with people of all ages with different abilities. Upon completion of the speech and hearing sciences program, I chose to relocate to LA to further my entrepreneurial vision of a retail workshop for transitional age youth and to live in a place that really encourages creativity. At the moment, I am not certain if I will pursue the speech and hearing sciences field any further, but right now my focus is on getting settled in my new city, networking and sharing my vision! Also, I’m so happy to be out of the cold and snowy winters of Colorado!

After college graduation in 2005 I lived in the mountain resort town of Breckenridge for 2 years. The first season I worked at a restaurant and bar and snowboarded over 100 days. I began competing on my snowboard that spring and I was making plans to pursue professional snowboarding and things changed a much more than I could have predicted. A friend somehow convinced me to buy a sewing machine that July and that was the beginning of me reconnecting with my artistic desires and entrepreneurial roots. I had a clothing concept that was based on functional and flattering layers which became very popular as soon as I created the first sample. It has been an exceptional journey since the purchase of my sewing machine, which turned out to become one of the biggest life changing decisions I’ve made.

My sewing machine has helped keep my dream alive during some significant challenges and has kept me motivated towards personal growth. I discovered almost immediately after purchasing my first sewing machine that I could make money in addition to my job, doing something I really enjoyed, creating with my hands. This discovery has given me the courage to face my fears and has been a constant inspiration motivating me to grow as a person. Since I began sewing and creating again in 2006, I have felt a strong drive to keep crushing my own limits in an effort to share my art and help lift others by providing creative and personal development opportunities. For years, people around me began suggesting that I make a move to California and I am so grateful that it has come to fruition. I will be looking for a space and some sewing, printing, technology and retail equipment to use to begin offering classes and when the opportunity arises, move into a permanent location.

I feel balanced more balanced than ever and so grateful to be living in one of the most beautiful places I’ve found. I will continue to work hard and share my vision, collaborate with others and improve myself so I can be of increasing service to others. I am very active with my art on Instagram and would love to invite you to follow me @yogamunkee and my website is to book my face painting and glitter goddess services for your event or private session.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a bumpy ride and the further I get along it, the more free I feel and the greater impact I feel capable of creating. So, I have found that my struggles have helped me reach new levels of self-awareness, personal responsibility and service. For a while there were things happening to me that I felt like a victim towards and felt powerless to control and I found out the only way to really change this was to change the way I thought and begin living differently. Now I feel like I am living my purpose in the majority of my decisions each day and because I have identified my values and prayed and taken action for my life to reflect those deeply held driving forces.. I experience a consistent presence of peace deep inside. Even if I feel stressed about trivial things, my daily sense of wellbeing has become consistent and positive and I’m very grateful for that.

Some of the struggles along the way were finding myself in a situation of domestic abuse. The hardest part about that was realizing that he wasn’t the problem, but nonetheless, I never expected to end up in a situation like that. The most powerful lesson I believe that experience taught me was related to a quote by one of my favorite sages Eleanor Roosevelt- “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”. My problem was that I only knew what I didn’t want… I didn’t know what I did want. So that’s what I mean when I say I had to change my thinking. I had to start asking myself what would make me happy and having the faith and confidence that I could reach my desires.

I experienced some financial difficulties following my abusive relationship as well. I had taken on more than I could handle and was left with a big mess that I wanted to give up on many times. For a while I tried hiding from it because I was scared and then it kept getting worse so I chose to face it. It has been an emotional journey and has taken years to clear it all up. I’m glad I fought through it and it has made me a stronger person and now I tread more carefully in this area because financial institutions don’t mess around! Also, on a positive note, there are great opportunities available to motivated people who manage themselves and their finances as well. In my opinion, there’s really no reason that every person shouldn’t be striving for financial solvency and addressing the issues that hold them back from it. We would be living in a different society if we were all living within our means.

My dad passed away in 2010 from non-smokers lung cancer and that experience forever changed me as well as my family. I now have come to believe that death is partially about the person leaving this plane but then it’s the way things change after. You must keep living your life and moving forward. You really miss that person and since I’ve moved to California in July, I’ve really missed my dad. I think he would have been happy here and I wish I could share the joy I have now with him.

These are a few of my greatest difficulties, I published a book in 2012 called Forgiveness is Freedom: Live Out Loud which is available on There is more detail about my store in my book regarding how I turned my victim story into a personally responsible perspective and built a new life around personal responsibility, self-awareness and freedom.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yoga Munkee Artistree – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Face painting and glitter goddess makeup are my main service right now and I am building my sewing business here in Los Angeles. As I continue to develop as an artist, I plan to move into creating murals and large scale art installations.

I specialize in face painting, glitter goddess makeup and I have been sewing for over 10 years and enjoy making handmade items.

I am proud of my accomplishment of publishing a book in 2012 and creating a life of personal responsibility, self-awareness and service to others. This is the foundation I have built for myself and on which I am continually expanding my company. I am proud that I turned my victim story that I was using as an excuse to not go for my dreams of what I really wanted into a published book. I am proud to have a level of personal integrity that gives me the confidence to share my passions across a wide audience and create the space to have my desired impact and enroll others participation who connect with my dedication.

My patience and empathy with children sets me apart from others. I love to have FUN!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for the near future are to book more events for face painting and continue working at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Soon I will begin offering classes for transitional age youth where we are creating and growing together. I also have started writing again and will be developing my website and blog. I just plan to continue putting one foot in front of the other to bring the next stage of my vision into existence!


  • Facepainting $100/hr w/ 90 minute minimum
  • Glitter goddess/mermaid makeup $120/hr w/ 90 minute minimum

Contact Info:

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. Melissa

    May 24, 2017 at 07:05

    Wow, she is so inspiring and talented! Thank you for introducing her!

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