BEING is the passion project of Cynthia Cortina, a former marketing manager who was inspired to deliver wellness and indulgent experiences to others after facing her own bout of exhaustion in a demanding advertising career.
She would oftentimes work feverishly through the night and into the morning in her Madison Avenue office, while daydreaming about disappearing off the grid and escaping to a sleepy provincial village in France. She didn’t speak French, so to combat the ill-effects of stress, she took to the spa and found that the occasional massage was a great antidote, but a temporary patch. The best medicine was a daily dose of self care that didn’t involve chemical-infused treatments.
While France didn’t happen, a serendipitous opportunity to move to London forced her to trade her bangs for fringe and her dresses for frocks. She immersed herself in the community of high-end niche perfumers and skincare makers, where she properly learned the craft. Gathering from her marketing experience, she applied her research skills to investigating aromatherapy and herbal studies, learning about natural ingredients and their properties, and doing lots of fieldwork in her bathtub. No complaints there.
Another small hop across the pond landed her in Portland, Oregon, where this city girl once again traded in her business suits for fleece jackets and her high heels for hiking boots. A love affair with nature soon developed and she found herself telling her husband to “get the gear!” more times than she’d care to share.
Earlier in life, she was born in Havana, Cuba to parents of Spanish, West African and native indigenous ancestry, to which she attributes her appreciation for ritual and the healing arts. Later on, she spent most of her years growing up in Miami, Florida, where she developed an aesthetic eye for beautiful things. Cynthia now works out of her home studio in Bellingham, Washington, where she lives with her husband and their short-haired cat.