Who We Are

Gather Co-Founders

©2013AlesandriniStudios_ClickSessio ns_CherylSmithAlvarez_8501_72ppi

Cheryl Smith Alvarez

Cheryl is a mother, an artist, a nurturer, a creator and lover of life—but she also enjoys simply “being.” You will often find her drinking green juice or a delicious coffee and biking or walking the streets of SF. She is a lover of kale, chocolate, meditation & yoga, and journaling.

Since she was little, she has been making things with her own hands and bringing her visions to life. She loves blending creativity and mindfulness in an attempt to let her inner child explore life in full color. There was a period of time when she had a practical career (a real job in the field of nutrition and dietetics), but she is happy beyond belief to fulfill her lifelong desire to be an “artist.” And really, when you love what you do, it isn’t work at all.

Cheryl lives in SF with one lovely, creative, and expressive daughter; two cats; and one crazy, curly dog. Often, she escapes the urban setting to retreat to the countryside or the beach…breathing, thinking, and envisioning more dreams.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso


Janelle Kraynak

Janelle is an inspiring yogi, creative mom, and brave artist. She speaks French and has a degree in Finance. She creatively sews curtains, tablecloths, wedding gowns, and Halloween costumes for her children. Janelle grew up in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She started her career in investment marketing but gave it up after becoming a mom in 2000. She received a certificate to teach yoga to kids in September 2012. Her interest in yoga and meditation continues to grow as she helps make Gather happen.

Janelle lives near the Presidio, where she is often found walking with her dogs—one big yellow Lab and one small, coffee-brown mutt. She has two lovely, artistic daughters, ages twelve and nine. She loves inspiring young artists to become who they wish they could be. Janelle loves to travel with her family, especially to her house in the country, where she can simply “breathe”. She is an avid supporter of organizations that support the humane treatment of animals. She always finds delight in her life and is always prepared for adventure through thoughts, words, and actions.

“Creativity takes courage.” -Henri Matisse


Brett Lilienthal


Contact us for more information or to enroll in a workshop or retreat.

Cheryl’s photo courtesy of Alesandrini Studios

with gratitude to Hillary Sloss {eyechai photography} and Alfred Castino for their gracious photographs on our website

Cultivating a place where girls can Gather and explore life through art, and incorporate the social and emotional aspects of mindfulness

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