Shaina Lynden is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation and has served for 16 years as a constable with the Saskatoon Police Service. Previous to that, she obtained a BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005 and competed with the Huskie Women’s Basketball team. Shaina’s passion for people and community involvement led her to co-founding Ryde YXE Cycle Studio in 2016, which quickly established itself as a community hub and led to a second Saskatoon location in 2018. As a public speaker, police officer, entrepreneur, Lululemon ambassador, Ryde instructor and mom, Shaina takes every opportunity to speak her truth as she continues to challenge herself and others to never stop asking what you want to be when you grow up and to never be afraid to create what you want to be a part of.
Q + A with beauty editor Holly Decker
Q. Shaina, first off – I feel so lucky to know you and have loved watching all of the amazing things you have done over the years. From being a mom, police officer, entrepreneur, lululemon ambassador, public speaker.. you are amazing! In all the hats you wear, how do you take the time for balance and for your own personal health + wellness?
Awh thank you Holly! I honestly think that the first step in finding “balance” is recognizing that balance, meaning equal, will never truly exist when it comes to juggling everything. I personally tend to navigate things with an approach of “where am I needed now?”, knowing full well that it will never be equal and that I just need to own my choices and not feel guilty for making them. If that means I have to say no to things, miss events, step back or lean into things that scare me, it’s all about being all in with my decisions. When it comes to my own health and wellness, like many moms, I haven’t always made myself a priority and full disclosure this is one of my top goals in 2022. We can’t pour from an empty cup!
Q. What has been the biggest lesson and takeaway from your entrepreneurial career and what would be your advice to other entrepreneurs?
Two things, First, Innovation is always going to make you more successful than imitation. Stay true to what is natural to you. Second, every single person is not going to love your business. Shocking I know 😉 I used to have a really difficult time hearing negative feedback, such as prices are too high or space could be bigger or even some really out there personal attacks which sadly comes with being someone in the public eye and they used to bother me tremendously. At the end of the day you know your worth and you know what is in your control and what isn’t. Let that stuff go.
Q. I love that you are a Lululemon ambassador! Congratulations. Can you tell us more about this journey and how this came to be?
Being asked to be a Lululemon Ambassador has truly been one of the greatest honours of my life. After collaborating with our local store on different events and fundraisers for a few years, they approached me and asked me to be a store Ambassador and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since. Lululemon has challenged me in so many ways and yet also makes me feel so comfortable and supported. They truly invest in our communities and I will be a fan of them for life.
Q. Fitness and athletics has always been a big part of your life. You have created an amazing business and community with RYDE YXE. I would love to hear more about this journey and what led you to open this business?
As a full time Police Officer I was finding that that I felt called to do more in our community than my uniform would allow. I always wanted to help people but after a decade or so of policing and feeling caught in a reactive position the majority of the time, I felt like I needed to do more, to be more. I would dream about somehow being able to unite like minded people with a passion for personal growth and how together we could all inspire each other to rise and elevate those around us in the process. I wanted to create meaningful and lasting change in a new way and after some light bulb moments I took the leap along with my amazing business partner and Ryde YXE was born!
Q. I know that Community and being involved in the community and supporting each other is a passion of yours. Can you tell us a little about what led you in this direction and your hopes for community growth in the upcoming years.
Belonging is a core human function and is often something that young adults and older adults are missing once their youth sports teams or school clubs come to an end. The older generation will relate to this but there is something about a place like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. I wanted to create a new kind of community where everyone was welcome, where diversity was celebrated and where each person felt seen and valued. All while at the same time supporting those who couldn’t walk through our doors by way of fundraisers and initiatives to build a stronger community from the the inside out. I often describe Ryde as having a ripple effect in the community and I am so proud of what we have been able to create and the programs that we have been able to invest in.
Q. You are so inspiring to so many. Who inspires you?
I have been impacted the most by both of my incredible parents. My mom grew up during the 60’s scoop and was placed in foster care and then was on her own at an early age, putting herself through high school and then later on through post secondary. She received her masters while raising myself and my brother and sister and she even used to own a small business in the city that she and a friend created. She is the most driven, resilient and loving person you will ever meet. In addition, I grew up watching my dad serve this community in so many ways, always creating community initiatives, fundraisers and large scale events such as the Canada Remembers our Heroes Air Shows that took place in Saskatoon for many years. They inspired me to wear a uniform, to stand up for others and to create what I wanted to be apart of.
Q. With the last few years of the world dealing with Covid, how have you navigated through this and what do you see for the changes when it comes to health and wellness + mental health ?
The past two years have challenged me in ways that I never thought possible but there have also been some incredible blessings along the way. It has made the small moments in my life the big ones, it has made my circle so much tighter and therefore my relationships stronger and it has made me step back and honour what I need. I think while we have made such an incredible effort to protect our physical health this past two years, we have fallen short on the impact that Covid has had on our mental wellness. Removing community + connection and time with family + friends has challenged all of us and now we need to navigate the ways of the future where people are less afraid to speak up about mental health, where seeing a therapist is talked about like getting your hair done and wellness is inclusive of mind, body and spirit.
Q. Now for some fun questions! I have loved doing your makeup over the years. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 beauty products with you. What would they be?
A good face scrub I personally love stone crop oxygenating fizzofoliant from eminence, a good moisturizer with an SPF, and chap stick! I’m all about simplicity.
Q. I know you love reading, what are your favourite books that you think everyone should read?
Brene Brown is my queen. I absolutely adore her books and could re read them over and over. I also love her on audible because she does all of narration herself and her passion shines through.
Q. What’s your favourite quote?
This happens to be something that I continue to say whenever I am speaking publicly to people of all ages. “Never stop asking yourself what you want to be when you grow up!”. Over time we change and grow as people and therefore our dreams and goals evolve as well. Don’t be afraid to honour those changes and continue to reinvent yourself along the way.
I absolutely loved my interview with Shaina, my heart is full!
Follow Shaina on Instagram: @shaina_yxe