Cyndi Weis is a classic multi-hyphenate with one driving characteristic at her core: vision.
The founder of Breathe Yoga and Juice Bar, she never started with a business mindset.
In fact, she laughs, “I have no business being in business.”
17 successful years after launching Breathe, the Downtown Annex (another Rochester location that offers yoga classes only), five spinoff franchise locations, being the winner of Rochester, NY’s 2016 Business Person of the Year, and the more recent launch of Breathe at Home (a curated collection of home goods evoking vibrancy, joy, peacefulness, and comfort) might suggest otherwise.
Business-minded or not, Cyndi was always prescient, especially when it came to wellness. She was a personal trainer in the late 80’s and early 90’s before that profession became popular, and started a corporate wellness program long before those were de rigueur in corporations. In 1990, she graduated with a nutrition degree.
Counseling, though, was her first professional impetus, and where her Breathe vision originates: most important to her is forging an authentic connection with her clients and community, with whom she relates on a deep level.
Cyndi grew up as an obese child, finding her own healthy balance through yoga at 12 years old.
“I’m a good listener, and very empathetic around wellness,” she explains.
Fast forward to the year 2000 when Cyndi attended a Baptiste yoga boot camp in Mexico and found her metaphysical happy place: for her, the retreat was spiritual psychology meets physicality meets meditation meets yoga.
From there, the doors literally kept opening.
In 2001, she went back to Mexico for Baptiste teacher training and upon her return home, happened upon a “for rent” sign on a building in Rochester.
Today, she owns the building, and the one next door to it.
The Breathe brand houses its original concept (yoga and a healthy juice bar) plus a commissary kitchen (where five chefs create local, organic meals, composed of whole real food), a cold press juice facility, a spa (offering massage and facials), and a bakery.
These added elements add even more value, as they service the five Breathe franchises (all located in Western New York State), which started opening in 2011, the owners of which Cyndi considers an extension of her family.
All of her business activity might overwhelm–or even exhaust–the average person. But Cyndi Weis is not the average person.
“I put all of the things I love under one roof,” she says, declaring, “It makes me feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life.”
And that’s all the more impressive considering she has no formal training in business to speak of, her vision fueled almost exclusively by passion and a series of small steps, one after the next.