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Shine - A Passion Celebration (September Edition)


Shine - A Passion Celebration (September Edition)

What is your legacy? Mozart's was his music, Picasso’s was his art and for our Shine event this September we encouraged our Passion Co. community to shape it and begin living it fully.

Inspired by Burning Man and officiated by Anisha Desai), who launched her ceremony business, the event was truly a huge success and challenged everyone present to identify one thing holding them back from their legacy, what they need to do to move one step closer to it and finally to take a marigold blossom – a symbol of passion, creativity and possibility – and make a commitment to their legacy.


The main focus, of course, was our latest group of 15 inspiring individuals, who took to the stage at non-profit community-based arts organization Galería de La Raza to showcase their Passion Projects after completing our 5 week program.

Divya Silbermann launched ‘Brave Stories,’ a website to share personal stories of overcoming loss.

Devastated by the sudden death of her fiancé from meningitis in 2002 after moving to the US from India, she believes that despite the huge number of social networking sites, it's still very difficult to find genuine stories of hardship and grief.

She said: 

My goal is to inspire someone who might be going through something similar. No one is going to give you magical advice that will make you feel better instantly, but you’re not alone.

Sierra Campbell debuted her non-toxic collection of beautifully designed yoga mats, Ventana Yoga.

After working on the line for 10 months, she decided to sign up for the program as she “needed an extra push.”

She said: 

Launching my own company, I felt really isolated and I needed a community. Most of my friends after month 5 or 6, when I would say I’m launching this and I would want support from them, their response would be, you haven’t launched it yet or they would focus on problems. The Passion Co. focused on excitement, solutions and solving things together.

Asked about the most difficult challenge she faced, she said: 

Keeping enthusiasm and finding a responsible manufacturer.


Attendees tucked into the delicious Hummus bar provided by Yamba Hummus and sipped on honey wine by Bee D'Vine.

Amanda Shareghi read a hilarious excerpt from a feature about her love life that she plans to submit to the New York Times’ Modern Love column, while DJ and yoga enthusiast Elliott Adams unveiled, where he shares unique electronic beats designed to blend tempo with movement.


Noelia Ruiz-Angel grew up playing the violin, but life got in the way until recently.

At the beginning of the program she made a commitment to start practicing again every day and wowed guests with her incredible performance at the event.

Sanjana Reddy and Vaishnavi Bodanapu created illustrations for a family cookbook and Aline Rudenisch showed off her unique hand-made fashion items.

If you want to discover or reconnect with your passion, join our next Find Your Passion Program.

Check out our Facebook page to see more pictures from our most recent event!

Written By: Aoife Anderson

Photo Credit: Nina Menconi




Burning Man CEO, A Book Launch, baked goods and more: Announcing Shine July Edition Line-up


Burning Man CEO, A Book Launch, baked goods and more: Announcing Shine July Edition Line-up

What would YOU do if you had 4 weeks to pursue one of your passions?

Join us at Shine on July 23rd, experience what 15 people just like you accomplished in 4 weeks, and get inspired to pursue your dreams, no matter how big they are. We have an amazing line-up, so get your tickets before they sell out. Our theme for the evening will be freedom - #youarealreadyfree - so dress in white and leave the rest to us. As usual, there will be local everything, from food to music.


Keynote Speaker - Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man

Inspired by the world renowned annual arts event in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, Burning Man has become a global cultural movement with more than 200 representatives on six continents. As the organization's recently named first CEO, Marian oversees Burning Man's year-round staff of 65 employees and its annual operating budget of roughly $25 million. Marian first attended the event in 1995 and has been a leader in its production since 1997. She developed the Burning Man Regional Network and is a founding board member of Black Rock Arts Foundation and Black Rock Solar. Marian is currently leading her organization's efforts to facilitate and extend the Burning Man ethos around the globe.

Passion Projects Highlights

Our 15 program participants projects are diverse, passionate and most importantly authentic, a quality we emphasize in our program.

Some participants chose to focus on personal growth: 30 days of meditation. Others focused on taking their passion to the next level: Launching a new website for a bridal brand, launching a website and brand identity for an artist's business, debuting a new personal fashion brand, launching a philanthropic outreach program for the homeless in San Francisco. One of the highlights of our evening will be the launch of our program participant Megan Gebhart's book: 52 Cups of Coffee, a compilation of stories from her meetings with 52 strangers over coffee.

The speakers will be styled by the local start-up Rocksbox a jewelry delivery service.

Credit: Megan Gebhart

Credit: Megan Gebhart

Art, Food & Music

The great artist Emily Beeson is putting together a participatory art installation around our theme freedom. Heather Normandale will open the evening with healing water inspired live music. Elliott Adams, who is known on the New Orleans DJ scene, will be spinning some great soulful tunes. The ladies from Slow Baked, Becca Jones & Sara Low, will be baking us yummy organic cookies. And as always, summer themed open champagne bar is in order. 



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