Shoji Arts celebrates 1 Year Anniversary
To paint the broadest of strokes, a lot has happened in this past year, and I’ve learned a lot…
Mostly what I’ve learned is that you just never quite know what to expect. Ever.
Reflecting back to the beginning of the founding of Shoji Arts, I must reflect back to the true beginning, which was the day on July 27, 2018 that I walked downtown to get my DBA certificate from the county. I operated as Shoji Arts then as a massage . dance . yoga practitioner. Even so, this was years past other years sitting in the shoji seat at the Ithaca Zen Center, where I first crossed paths with the word “shoji.” I fondly recall telling the “abbot” of the Zen Center about the proposed business name for my studio. “The Immortal Shoji,” the monk smiled and laughed in response.
So the practice has been around for some time. But relaunching during the pandemic with the ribbon cutting was quite salient.
I recall a year ago, being newly vaccinated, after a new president took office (despite that being contested). In the ribbon cutting speech, I mentioned the vision for wanting to empower women and women of color in particular. I stated that I wanted to support small and local business. And I spoke out against anti-Asian hate. It wasn’t until months later that it really sunk in that wanting to drive the business from a platform of equity—from the perspective that “the personal is political”—and wanting to emphasize women and women of color in my network, was really a necessary form of self-love to accept and embrace for myself and see reflected in those I work with. I’ll never forget that many of the initial clients who booked with me for massage were Asian women of varied professions. That was something I could never have expected. Yet after reading about Shoji Arts in the Ithaca Voice, they were “inspired” by me. That was an honor.
In many ways that I could not have expected, that has only continued.
Even in a pandemic, my network has expanded. Through Instagram alone, I have made totally unguessable connections and even true friendships with great people, including great women, artists, small business owners, and women of color. I can only imagine these friendships and connections will continue to be nurtured.
You, my clients and community, are some of the most intriguing people, coming from so many walks of life and perspectives. I love meeting and working with you, and it’s a pleasure to be on this path with you.
And now… there is a new practitioner! Something else that I could not have expected as the Year of the Ox has passed, and we bring in the Year of the Tiger.
You will love working with Charlene and getting to know her.
It is with great fanfare that Shoji Arts announces that Charlene Konkankit is joining the practice for her expertise as a Thai healing arts practitioner, cultural consultant, ceremonialist, and so many words to suggest a Thai goddess! Visit our website to find out more and to read Charlene’s bio.
Without further ado… Let’s talk celebration!
Meet Charlene and stop by to celebrate at the Shoji Arts studio!
See our event on Facebook.
An RSVP is appreciated, though not required.
The one-year anniversary event is Friday, March 4, from 5pm to 8pm as part of Gallery Night Ithaca. Stop by to say hi at any point, and stay as long as you’d like. See the Shoji Arts contact page for location + directions: 120 N. Aurora St. #7B.
Here is the full schedule:
- 6:00PM Announcements and Greetings
- 6:15PM First Dance Performance, featuring dancers Shayna Grajo, Liz Herman, and Geena Massaro
- 7:00PM Second Dance Performance, featuring dancers Shayna Grajo, Liz Herman, and Geena Massaro
- 7:45PM Raffle Drawing!
Shoji Arts thanks the following businesses and artists for the amazing raffle prizes—
Mango House Productions
Meraki Skin Co.
Kait Hoyt Photography
Deeply Devoted Massage
K.M. Lyon Events
Just Chill Custom Gifting By Carol, LLC
While I won’t reveal all the prizes, all I can say is that walking away with a one-hour massage with Liz of Deeply Devoted Massage and a free six-week dance series with Salsa Ithaca would be sweeeeeet.
The event will also have to-go vegan cake (two-layered raspberry mocha cake in eco-friendly carry-out!) by Suga Mama Hana and flowers by Sisters Silos Farm. Finally, the event is co-hosted by the co-hostess with the co-mostest, Kayla of K.M. Lyon Events. Thank you Kayla for your event planning help with this event, and for your donation of a small events package to the raffle prizes!
Half of all proceeds of the event + fundraiser will benefit the Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service of Tompkins County.
Can’t attend? Please consider a donation.
Please consider a contribution to benefit both Shoji Arts in Year 2 of the business as well as SPCS. Make a donation via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a notation as such, and we will provide you with a receipt.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all, for your continued support of Shoji Arts.
To a beautiful and unexpected year 1 of business. Here’s to year 2!
Shayna Rose Grajo, LMT | Founder, Shoji Arts