We had the good fortune of connecting with Tonya Whitehouse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tonya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process around starting my own business was to begin the journey of personal healing and to reflect wellness into the community, through creative expression. Through many years of sickness, the loss of my mother and other traumas, I had a vision. The vision of bringing joy, healing elements, color, eco friendly practices and connection into an artistic business model. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a love for art and nature, but I really didn’t acknowledge my gifts until much later in life. I created many beautiful pieces, such as paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography and many other creative endeavors along the way. These creations took place along side of full time jobs. I fell very ill with a relentless auto immune disorder that left me in bed and incapacitated. Years later, I realized that I had two choices, to stay sick or to heal. I decided to begin the self healing journey and my art visions started take place. In 2017, I decided to commit to birthing my creations into the world, full time. This was the true beginning of my healing work and connecting art with nature. In addition, I wanted to share my story of healing and to empower others to live their best life. Dreams are possible if you believe in yourself!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I draw inspiration from nature and the vast universe. Nature provides me stillness and inner peace. I feel that nature is constantly communicating with every one of us. The universe is talking and sending us messages that we need to pay attention to. Some of my designs come to me vividly, in the form of dreams. I keep a dream book by my bedside. As the visions come in, my ideas and thoughts are written in my special book. My true voice is spoken throughout my creations. Universal messages come intuitively to me, allowing my creative side to evolve. I also find inspiration in my daily meditation and outdoor adventures. One of my favorite quotes that inspires me is: Those little things that you alone see aren’t by chance. The sign, the squirrel, the dragonfly, the whisper, the song, the lily. It’s me. I’m always with you. I’ll do anything to reach you — to give you hope, keep you on track, answer your questions. Look even closer. -The Universe Each of my Resin Art Paintings, Woodworks, Crystal Angel Wings and Organic Candles contain earth elements, such as semi-precious gemstones, wood and other multimedia supply. I meet with clients and discover the healing elements they would like to bring into their pieces. We incorporate the colors, stones and elements that will provide peace and healing to their lives and space. Together we marry each of our visions into a creative collaboration for them to enjoy for years to come. I strive to reduce my carbon footprint throughout all of my creations. Eco-friendly entrepreneurism is extremely important to me. I believe that we need to protect our planet and all its inhabitants. Throughout all of my creations, I use materials that are non-toxic and leave little to no waste and are reusable. All of my tags and business cards are plantable. They grow beautiful plants in your garden, without filling the landfill. My wood stains and paint are plant based. Even the resin I use is sustainable. In addition to all of my fine art creations, I have an Organic line of wooden wick candles. Each candle is hand poured and created with eco-friendly, non-toxic, organic, vegan and sustainable ingredients. The candle wax is a beautiful blend of Apricot and coconut wax blend. Crystals are imbedded into each candle. Each candle vessel is dressed with handmade specialty paper from Nepal, Thailand and other countries. Amethyst and other semi-precious stones are also a decorative part of each piece. Once the candles have burned, the vessel becomes a keepsake to place your special items. This journey hasn’t always been easy for me. A lot of pain and sickness has brought me to this incredible place of healing and abundance. I would not take any of it back. Each piece, each problem and every person that has walked into my life has been a teacher to me. I am so grateful for it all. Even the toughest times have brought me a lesson and guidance for living my best life. I overcame my toughest times by remembering to be present and be grateful. Gratitude keeps me humble and joyful. I create to share the light.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is such an incredible place to live. We would definitely grab a coffee at Crowfoot Valley Coffee and drive up to hike Pikes Peak. Spend the day hiking and follow it up with some dinner from Crush Wine bar. Their flat breads and Brussel Sprouts are a favorite! Day two, we would absolutely have some spa time at Copper Falls Aveda and get a massage. Our muscles will be sore from hiking. A little yoga in the afternoon at Buka yoga or Inner Connections yoga to relax, a lovely sorbet at Glacier homemade Ice Cream and a walk around town. Day three, a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre would be a must! Hang out in Morrison and walk around the Red Rocks. We would have to paddle board on day four followed by a walk with the dogs around Evergreen lake and a little lunch at Willow Creek. A day at the Botanical Gardens is a must for day five.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow! Where do I start? There are so many people to give recognition, that have been an incredible support system, love, and encouragement to me. I am beyond lucky to walk this earth with my love and husband, Jeremy. He has supported me all the way through. Through sickness and through the art supplies that have taken over our home, he’s been a continuous light in my life. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. My Two dogs, Two cats & 29 year old turtle bring me so much laughter and joy. They keep things light, fun and a little chaotic! The Castle Rock community has been absolutely incredible. There are so many amazing humans in this community who have helped me heal, have breathed life into my work and have been my teacher. Our local Castle Rock businesses who have supported me in the past and currently carry my candles & artwork, such as Amazing Lemons Boutique, Buka Yoga, Castle Rocks & Jewelry, Crush Wine Bar, Copper Falls (Aveda), Ecclesia, Orenda Med Spa, and Trulie Artisans Boutique. I am so grateful for each of you! You have believed in me from the very beginning. Also, a big shout out to the Evergreen Gallery! Thank you for your support and representation! To every single amazing human who has purchased my work and continues to spread the light through my creations, I can’t thank you enough! I couldn’t do this without you! My mentors, dear friends and teachers, I absolutely love you all so much. Thank you for lifting me up, guiding me and sharing your heart. You guys make my heart sing! An enormous amount of love to my beautiful mother, who now flies with the angels, I love you and miss you so much. You are my beacon of guiding light. A Shout out to Shoutout Colorado! Thank you so much for this opportunity! You Rock! Last but not least, to my family, thank you for all of your continuous support and love. Each of you have given me the strength to heal and create. You all mean the world to me. Thank you for being my tribe!