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Check Out Janna Slye’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janna Slye.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My name is Janna Slye, and I am a wife, mother, special education director, assistant principal, school counseling intern, and most recently a small business owner. I am also fun-loving, goofy, and a little awkward, with plenty of stories I willingly share about my awkward self! I grew up in a large family, my twin sister and I were the youngest of seven. We were both involved in sports growing up and excelled in track and soccer. I remained active in intramural sports after high school, and in college met my husband Jeff, who played collegiate baseball and other sports. We share a love of sports and regularly hike, bike, and enjoy the outdoors in southern Utah.

Jeff and I looked forward to having a family which didn’t happen as soon as we had hoped due to infertility struggles. Thankfully, we were finally pregnant with triplets! Our beautiful babies Dylan, Sam, and Savannah arrived generally healthy but premature and required care in the newborn ICU before coming home. We were elated and overwhelmed with gratitude to have our family at last.

Caring for one newborn is a challenge; raising three all at once is tricky, to say the least. Luckily we had two sets of grandparents close by to help. Even with the extra support, it was nearly five years before either Jeff or I could claim a good night’s sleep–I’m not kidding! Fevers, colic, teething, colds, and every other ailment would flow in waves through the kids. Rarely would everyone be healthy at the same time. Those first five years were the hardest but also the most fun, as they did not have academic responsibilities yet.

It was a pure delight to watch our children engage and grow, their unique personalities emerging. The school activities, plays, sports, and everything was now fun x 3. The learning process, however, was a little rocky. Premature children often have some degree of learning disability, and my kids were no exception. As Jeff and I helped them with everyday problems at school, we witnessed disappointing gaps in the education system. When I later went to work as a special education teacher at a nearby elementary school, I never forgot my kids’ experiences and became passionate about every child getting the support and attention they needed.

Supporting students goes beyond academics and includes the promise of a nurturing and safe environment. Unfortunately, I experienced a situation where the system failed on that promise to some students in my school, and because I was a persistent and vocal advocate for these students, the system painfully failed me as well. Stress from the situation caused me unwanted weight gain and eroded my physical and mental health. I was blessed to meet a friend through this shared experience, and she mentored me through some rough patches by teaching me a healthier lifestyle.

Turning to wellness activities and healthy eating, my physical and mental health were restored; it was and is my therapy. My teenage kids were also exploring and embracing new activities including CrossFit and weight training. They were gaining strength and confidence from their workouts. They were finding their place in the world, and really finding their “tribe.” We were on this rewarding journey as a family, and with the kids out of high school, we moved to southern Utah for a new chapter.

Shortly after our move, I created a vision board to refocus. I had always wanted to be a school counselor but had become a special education teacher instead. The school counseling goal was back in play on my vision board. Another goal I had was owning a fitness-related business. After completing a master’s degree, I am now a school counselor, and I have recently become the owner of Modern Athletica, an online affordable athletic wear company. The company is a side hustle for now, but we are learning about the business and it’s a great way for my kids to get their feet wet.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
In addition to managing the business day-to-day, I am looking for ways to collaborate with others on our supply chain. We would like to work with local suppliers and other family-owned businesses to produce our merchandise–really focus on locally-made items and mom-and-pop shops. I would love to work with local fitness influencers as well as find mentors to help me navigate this new path. I love learning from others and collaborating, and I believe that through this business, we can help inspire wellness in others.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Becky Rockwood (Family Photo)
Marie Hansen Photography (Close up photo)

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