Meet Jennymelva & Maci of The Sun & her Moon Collective
Jennymelva and Maci, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
(Jennymelva) If someone had told me five years ago that I’d one day open a collective space for self-healing, I would just have laughed and brushed it aside. As a child, I grew up in a broken home. And at some points, I didn’t have one. I had to move from relative to relative, place to place. My childhood exposed me to trauma and this only carried on through my teen and my adult years. But five years ago, something shifted. I woke up one morning, looked at the mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself. I couldn’t understand how I had gotten to the dark place I was in. I knew that if I continued to let the trauma cycle through my life, I knew nothing would change. I didn’t know what would come, but I knew I had to change.
I finally found that I had the courage to build the life I’ve always imagined. I made the biggest decision of my life and jumped into the uncertainty. Leaving Murrieta, I took my kids with me and moved to San Diego. That is when self-discovery and deep healing work began. By releasing limiting beliefs, understanding shadow work and learning to reprogram my subconscious mind, I knew I always had a purpose in life to help others by sharing my truth and providing space for other human beings to self-heal. That journey led me to various mentors who remain important to my life today. Magic Is Real, by Lizzie Rose, guided me through energy healing. Yoga with Shawna inspired me to be the teacher that I am today.
That is when I found Maci Ousset, the co-founder of The Sun and her Moon Collective, who was also passionate about self-healing. I had randomly met Maci through a friend of a friend at an Oktoberfest celebration. We shared a wonderful conversation regarding our big dreams to help others. In the months following, and as I was starting to put my business plan into action, I regretted not getting her contact information because I felt we shared the same purpose—to help others heal themselves. Then we ended up walking into the same studio for our Yin Yoga Teacher Training. That is when The Sun and her Moon Collective really started to form.
(Maci) My journey has been marked by adversity, and each obstacle has made me who I am today. Being born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, my first adversity was losing my home and community to Hurricane Katrina. So, at nine years old, I learned the temporality of possessions. A few years later, when I was 12, my mom passed away from cancer; that’s when I learned the temporality of life. Fortunately, through these times of grief and confusion, I had karate to lean on. I studied under a sensei who taught me to be the best, and under his guidance, I got to do karate around the world. I wouldn’t change a thing about what the years of training did for me; although, my karate career did leave me with constant ailments and injuries.
Pain was my normal. The physical pain kept me distracted from my emotional discomfort, so I just kept it around. It wasn’t until I took my first yoga class in April of 2015 that I felt relief, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I began supplementing my karate practice with yoga and was kicking higher than ever, and I was moving through grief and anxiety gracefully. I went off to Argentina in 2017 to study abroad and was truly living life, feeling the best I ever had, and not worrying about a thing. Then, one early Tuesday morning my sister called to tell me that our dad passed away. I left Argentina a month early and there I was; 21 years old, with both of my parents passed, completely independent, and I had to decide.
Do I keep going? Really embracing this theme of temporality, I decided it was my time to make my dreams come true while I still could. With no ties to Louisiana, I headed out after I graduated from LSU with a degree in Spanish. I packed up my Toyota Corolla and moved to San Diego to be close to my sister. This is where my healing journey really kicked off because shortly after the move, I began suffering from anxiety that was manifesting in physical form. My chest was burning, I was experiencing intrusive thoughts, and my body ached in a new place every day.
In November 2018, I finally reached out for help and found a life coach. From there, everything began falling right into place. I started going to Yoga on Mission Beach, then found Yoga with Shawna and became certified in Yin Yoga, Breathwork, and Reiki; and started teaching yoga in April 2019. In the Yin yoga teaching training, I ran into Jennymelva again, and it was then that we knew we were meant to know each other. Little did I know, she had big plans brewing and wanted me to be a part of them. So, we got started! With no clients, no workshops, no equipment, we had nothing but a space and the two of us, ready to heal ourselves and to inspire others to unlock their own healing powers. So here we are, world, and we’re so excited to share our story!
(Maci) Life is meant to be easy. We see this in nature. The trees don’t try to grow; they simply grow. Birds don’t try to fly, they just fly. I feel like this whole project has come about in the same way, organically, because it’s exactly what we’re meant to be doing. So in a way, it’s fallen smoothly into place, but that’s not to say that struggles don’t come up for me; they absolutely do. Not having the income of a full-time job is one of them. Making ends meet is just another dance I do in my life.
Also, there’s constant pressure to fit into a societal box, one that says that I should be working a good-paying job for 40 hours a week. For me, that’s never felt right. I much rather, and actually choose, to make less money to do what I love and what helps the community. Other people don’t really get what I do, and they even make fun of the laid back schedule I have as a yoga teacher; just another thing I don’t let get to me. When the bumps in the road appear, I ask, what are they trying to teach me? And I keep hope and faith, knowing that what is supposed to happen for me will.
(Jennymelva) There were definitely a lot of bumps & setbacks on the road for me. There were some self-doubts about resigning from my full-time job at the University of San Diego. It was learning to trust the outcome of this business. Some of the struggles were learning to set boundaries with others. Finding what direction to take for our business. That is when Maci and I decided to take on our sisters and really strengthen this business. We have such a strong bond and we share the same passions. Despite the bumps in the road, we are very grateful for the struggles as they’re our best lessons in life. We will continue to learn and grow through the process.
The Sun & her Moon Treehouse is a safe space for those who are seeking ways to heal alternatively. As a collective we encourage authenticity, self-empowerment, self-awareness and encouragement to anyone who ever steps foot at our door. We offer tools, support, resources and hold space for those who are on a transformational healing journey and self mastery. We work with other beings with an open heart and open mind and understand that everyone has a unique journey. We offer so many different alternative modalities to heal from self-defense to workshops, from yoga to subconscious work. Plant medicine to nutrition. We allow ourselves to be our best teachers and understand that there is no right or wrong way of how healing works. It is important that no one else can heal you. Our Mission is to provide holistic healing to our community and provide space for you to bring out your inner healer.
We are so proud that we have partnered with the Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation and we’ve formed a monthly retreat called F L O W with N A T U R E. We are also very proud of our partnership with the One Love Foundation who has provided us with the knowledge to teach our community about healthy relationships.
What sets us apart is that we offer so many different modalities to heal from self-defense to self-love workshops, from yoga to shadow work. All four of us have our own specialties, so each of us gets to offer something distinct. Another thing that sets us apart is that we’re a group of sisters. We have such a strong bond amongst ourselves that our community can feel the love we have for one another. We have all come together in perfect timing and have helped each other throughout this journey. Also, we aren’t any different than the community we serve. We truly are in it together because we are all healing too. Seeing all of us invest in ourselves has been amazing as well; we all are frequently taking training and classes to broaden our knowledge in order to serve our community the best we can.
We as a collective define success when you are able to look out yourself as a whole. The light and the dark. We believe that everyone has a different perspective on what success is. It is important to understand ourselves so that we are able to give and to receive. Success can look like living an authentic life.