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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Spirituality opens doors at Everyday Zen


Everyday Zen located at 165 South Guadalupe St. Suite 112 in San Marcos, Texas.

Walking into Everyday Zen in downtown San Marcos, customers are greeted by a peaceful aura of candles, colorful crystals, books on spirituality and an aroma of essential oils. Finding products for peace and meditation has become easier for San Marcos with the opening of Everyday Zen.
The items in the shop are handpicked by the shop’s owner, Wen Carey, and sourced from places like Germany, Great Britain and Wimberly, Texas. Together with her husband, Bryan Carey, they are committed to guiding others through their spiritual journeys and helping improve the community’s well-being.
“I get up every morning at 7 a.m. and I work until 1 a.m. looking for products and making sure everything is right for the shop,” Wen said. “I’m looking for really clean things and things that are quality and unique.”
At three years old, Wen arrived in the United States with her family to escape the Vietnam War. After putting herself through college in her hometown at the University of Texas at Austin with work-study jobs and scholarships, Wen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in textiles and apparel. It was during college that Wen felt the need to begin a spiritual journey and began practicing yoga.
“I’ve always been a curious person,” Wen said. “If I found out that there was a free yoga thing at UT I would go to that, or if there was a free meditation session, I would go to that. I had a friend in college who gave me this book called ‘Where Two Worlds Touch’ by Gloria Karpinski and that kind of started my evolution to think of things in a different way.”
Shortly after college, Wen moved to Durham, North Carolina, with the urge to get out of her comfort zone and area. There, she met Bryan who was the director of Patanjali’s Place Yoga and Meditation Center, a studio that held yoga and meditation classes for all ages and experience levels.
Bryan’s studio inspired Wen to create her first giftshop, the Lotus Leaf, in 2014 to help others find a better spiritual connection with similar products that she now sells at Everyday Zen. She wanted to open a shop in a college town to help students feel comfortable in a new place. The Lotus Leaf in Durham served students at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We want to be a refuge for others, especially when you’re in college and the world seems too big,” Wen said. “You’re not at home and you’re on your own so we want to say ‘hey, we’re here for you.’ We can introduce you to a new book or some warm tea and much more to help you feel comfortable in your place when you’re away from home.”
Eager to dive deeper into inner peace and meditation, Wen and Bryan permanently closed the Lotus Leaf in 2016 and journeyed to Nepal and Japan to study and meditate in the Tibetan monasteries and historical Zen temples.
After traveling, Wen was inspired by the beauty of the places she visited and her newfound knowledge of meditation. She decided to move her establishment with the hopes of bringing her experiences from Nepal and Japan to Everyday Zen in New Braunfels in 2018.
The shop sold an assortment of products ranging from meditation supplies, crystals and wind chimes to a large variety of books about astrology, Buddhism and spirituality. Two years into the business, the rise of COVID-19 caused Wen and Bryan to begin selling products online.
Over time, the online shop has proven to be ideal as Wen and Bryan have received orders from places across the globe. It has also helped customers like Trina Iblings, who purchased smudge in hopes of cleansing her space. Although Iblings was unaware of how to use the smudge that she purchased, Wen assisted her through a phone call and guided her through the process.
“I shopped at Everyday Zen when the shop was between locations,” Iblings said. “The owner is very helpful as I had no idea how to properly use the items I purchased. I purchased them because I woke up from a nightmare that said I needed them.”
Throughout the pandemic, Wen and Bryan took advantage of the online shop and traveled to find a new location for Everyday Zen. After traveling to 26 cities, Wen and Bryan found that San Marcos was the right fit for them. The downtown shop opened in June.
“From the moment that we got here, we started talking to city people on the street and the postman and every single person we encountered was so kind,” Wen said. “That’s how we knew we were in the right place.”
Léah Garcia, a local music artist in San Marcos, appreciates the Careys’ welcoming presence at Everyday Zen and thinks it’s a great place to go when beginning a spiritual journey.
“The knowledge the owners carried for everything in their shop really stood out to me and my girlfriend,” Garcia said. “Anything we were looking at they had extensive knowledge of and even a few stories about. You could tell spirituality was a huge part of their life and it sparked a conversation between us.”
Wen and Bryan strive to build a peaceful area for those interested in embarking on their own spiritual journey. Some of the events the shop hosts include Sunday meditation sessions and occasional Mandala coloring sessions.
Both Wen and Bryan credit one another for the shop’s success. Wen admires her husband’s determination to serve his community, which he did in his Durham yoga studio, as well as his mentoring experience in teaching yoga to children in public schools surrounding Durham.
Bryan also admires his wife’s commitment to helping others start or stay on track with their spiritual journey or well-being.
“Wen has just devoted her life to the service,” Bryan said. “Her intelligence and this woman’s work ethos are boundless. She has standards that are just unparalleled.”
As Wen has become an inspiration to those starting their spiritual journey or those that want to start a shop similar to Everyday Zen, she advises them to listen to and trust themselves.
“There’s so many different things out there so you have to use your intuition and do research,” Wen said. “Someone who comes across and tells you something, don’t always just take their word for it. Learn for yourself, do some investigation and do what feels right to you.”
Wen and Bryan encourage San Marcos to visit Everyday Zen to discover its products and bring inner peace to one’s life. Their ultimate goal is to offer their guidance to people and serve their communities in any way they can.
“Our question is always ‘how can we help and how can we be of service?'” Bryan said. “They can take a little bit of Everyday Zen home with them or to their dorm room, their apartment, car or to a close one. That is truly the foundation of what we do.”
Everyday Zen is located at 165 South Guadalupe St. Suite 112 in San Marcos. To shop for products online, visit https://shopeverydayzen.com/.

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  • Inside of Everyday Zen in San Marcos, Texas.

  • Wen (left) and Bryan (right) Carey at the front of their shop Everyday Zen in San Marcos, Texas.

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