After a November soft opening, the Shiney Studios held their grand opening Wednesday evening at their location in the historic, downtown building that formerly housed St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
More than two years ago, Fort Scott resident and commercial quarter horse breeder Dandelyon Vredenburg had a massive stroke that resulted in her right side being paralyzed. But through a recovery process that included yoga and meditation, Vredenburg recovered completely and is now a co-owner and instructor at the new yoga studio.
“Not only did it help me recover, but it gives me a different quality of life,” Vredenburg said of how yoga impacted her. “What I found is that this community didn’t really have a place to offer that.”
That period of her life marked a change that led Vredenburg to begin writing in an online journal and through a Facebook page that eventually reached more than 600,000 followers. With that newfound passion, Vredenburg began to turn her attention away from horses and to her writing and the idea of a yoga studio.
Inspired by the name of a horse, Twice as Shiney, which she had recently sold to a new owner in Brazil, Vredenburg and co-owner Carl Repp opened the Shiney Studio in the old Episcopal Church, using the location for yoga classes as well as for retail, selling items such as lotions, jewelry, candles and clothing.
The studio offers a variety of yoga levels, from beginning to more advanced. The students can also request private or group sessions. Future renovations of the building include turning rooms into a wellness center and even living suites.
“It’s a healing art,” Vredenburg said, adding yoga is not just for young people, but students of all ages. “I encourage everyone to try yoga…There’s a grace and an elegance and a strength that comes with yoga.”
Vredenburg and Repp said they look forward to preserving the historic building, even providing printed information about the structure and the artifacts that remain inside it. Repp said they hope the building will become a destination for others interested in participating in classes held in the previous church.
“We’re just excited about all your plans,” said chamber of commerce executive director Lindsay Madison, while City Manager Dave Martin said he is glad the downtown building is again in use and being used to further the arts in Fort Scott.