Today we’d like to introduce you to Katherine Cynewski.
Katherine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Arriving at where I am today has been a very winding road and I sometimes need to pinch myself to remember I’m not dreaming. As a child, I especially loved creative movement and would choreograph dances to put on a whole production for anyone I could rope into watching. I have always had a deep desire to help and understand people which led me to studying Psychology in college. This being said, if you had have asked me 10 years ago where I would be today, I would have laughed if you told me a Yogipreneur!
I went through some really dark times in my early adult years and at 22, my world collapsed when I lost my best friend and brother in a car accident. This led me to the darkest point in my life, I was utterly devastated and defeated. I hit a low and decided I needed to make major changes to get out of the environment I was in because the path I was on could have ended very badly.
Through extensive traveling and happening upon my first hot yoga class in 2012, it didn’t take long for me to discover the transformational effects that were occurring. I immediately dove in head first and wanted to learn everything I could. I signed up for a 200-hour teacher training within months of my first yoga class and the self-discovery, community, growth, and happiness that followed became everything to me. This practice took me and broke me open completely when my past reactions to pain were to recoil and appear strong.
Over the next several years, I practiced as much as I could outside of my full-time sales job, I started reading transformational self-help books from authors like Gabrielle Bernstein and Elizabeth Gilbert. After a move to Boston and a couple of promotions later, I realized that the 70 hour work weeks and high-stress lifestyle weren’t for me. I started teaching more and dove into more training. I took a power vinyasa training with CorePower, my desire to understand people and encourage healing led me to take a 100-hour certification in Yoga Therapy through Yoga Works Back Bay. At this time, I was beginning to teach pop up events around Boston which I LOVED but I kept thinking of all the ways I would do the events differently and it sparked the initial idea to organize my own events back home in Maine.
I started Be Well Events on a whim and wasn’t sure that anyone else would be as excited about it as I was. I was driving back and forth from Boston for events and meetings, so I kept it to 1 event every couple of months at first. People started getting really excited about the events and more and more people began reaching out to me about what I was doing. Seeing this excitement really made me see that it wasn’t only me who loved doing this but my community as well! In November of 2017, I moved back to Portland after spending a month furthering my yoga training in India and in June I resigned from my full-time sales job to focus 100% on teaching and building my company. Since then, things have moved quickly! From the original local pop up events to retreats, bachelorette parties, and an amazing wellness festival coming January 2019, I could not have dreamed that it could turn into this and be so successful.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What’s your definition of a smooth road? haha! It definitely has not been all smooth sailing and there have been many conversations about whether I should continue at all or chalk it up as a just for fun side project.
There have been events with only a handful of attendees at times, people have questioned if Maine would be sustainable, and I’ve dealt with judgments on joining yoga and alcohol among others BUT I love what I’m doing, I try to always keep an open mind and just. keep. going. The joy and excitement that I see on attendees faces at events and all of the amazing connections I see happening are what keeps me dedicated to my mission. Attendees have met business partners, wedding caterers, photographers, and discovered their new favorite brewery or restaurant at a Be Well event. I have met some of my best friends and business partners through these events. All of the good will forever outweigh the bad and the doubts no matter where this road leads. So, my advice is don’t give up. If you love what you’re doing its worth a fair shot!
Please tell us about Be Well Events.
From local events, retreats, and our premier Be Well Fest to customized bachelorette and private parties we are The Way Wellness Should Be! At Be Well Events we are curators of premier social fitness and wellness experiences. Whether you are a fitness addict or a total newbie, we want to connect you with local like-minded people and businesses who will lift your spirits and inspire you to live a healthier, happier, more balanced life! Our events are carefully planned to deliver an amazing experience and will always include a wellness aspect and some sort of post “party” with food or drink to encourage you to CONNECT! From amazing breweries and restaurants to scenic attractions and local businesses we give you the very best of Maine wellness!
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
My biggest piece of advice is don’t give up and use your resources. You will have days where you feel like you have no direction or support and days when you feel like your in over your head. Know that these times are temporary and will always pass. Don’t let bad days define your business and learn from your mistakes to keep working.
There are so many resources for small businesses, I use a local free mentorship called SCORE which has been pivotal in helping me learn all aspects of running a business. I have also learned an insane amount by collaborating. Reach out to people in your community who are doing similar things or running their own business. Pick people’s brains, share personal highs and lows and learn and grow together. Don’t view everyone as competition but as a tool to help grow. This is essential, in my opinion.
- Regular event $25-$45
- Be Well Fest $75 – $125
- Bachelorette Parties starting at $200 (for up to 6 people)
- Private Yoga $105 (for up to 4 people)
- Website: bewellevents.com
- Phone: 207-322-4221
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @thenortheastyogi , @bewellevents
- Facebook: facebook.com/bewellevents
Meredith Brockington, Courtney Elizabeth Media, Katelyn Mallett