It was a warm summer night in June 2016 when we took possession of our property on a small island outside of Vancouver. We sat on the porch overlooking the ocean and celebrated our new home. It was on that first night that the notion of hosting psychedelic journeys first came up in conversation. We both had a long personal history with psychedelics, but it was never part of the plan when we chose this property or location. Somehow the land spoke through us and it immediately resonated.
From that day on, the work began to reconfigure the buildings and landscape on our property to prepare. Over a couple of years, we completed all the design work, sourcing of materials, and construction with our own hands. After running a number of trial retreats with friends, we hosted our first official ceremony in 2019. Our early experiences showed us how important this work is. Within months, Steve sold his other business and we doubled down on Enfold.
Since then, we’ve been practicing an emergent strategy*, staying close to our intention and serving our highest purpose, while allowing the experience we gained along the way to shape our next steps. And it’s worked. Instead of spending the past two years building pitch decks and raising money based on future concepts, we’ve hosted dozens of group retreats and ceremonies. We’ve built a world-class retreat protocol focused around 5-MeO-DMT, breathwork, mindfulness meditation, and somatic therapy. We continue to learn from each experience and refine our processes, content, and approach.
* Emergent strategy implies that an organization is learning what works in practice. An emergent strategy develops when an organization takes a series of actions that with time turn into a consistent pattern of behaviour.
At the heart of the Enfold experience is the presence, integrity, and depth of its facilitators. Steve and Austin’s shared passion is helping people realize the richness of life through deepened awareness, presence, and gratitude.
Their chemistry and working dynamic offer a shining example of an undefended, loving relationship. The pair provide healthy paternal and maternal archetypal energy that makes people feel loved and comforted in their presence. Steve is the communicator, shepherd, and coach. Austin is the energy healer, mother, and doula.
Steve is a successful social impact entrepreneur, investor, philosopher, coach, and musician. He has a background in technology, brand and marketing, strategic consulting, mindfulness, and personal development.
Austin has spent two decades creating moments of love and connection through beautifully designed products and experiences. She is a designer, chef, death doula, and tea master. She is a former functional health coach supporting people navigating cancer and spent a decade as a dominatrix and sex therapist. With a love for minimalism, ceremony and nurturing others, Austin brings a sense of grace and deep presence to everything she does.
Steve and Austin have been life partners since 2011. They have a daughter and two big dogs.
Along the path, the question of growth has come up a number of times. The conversation consistently comes back to how growth can be in service to our mission. We’ve seen firsthand that psychedelics have the greatest potential for healing when they are combined with deep personal connection and trust. So the most important consideration for us is how we maintain the level of care that we bring to every person we serve.
We’ve meditated on whether growth is necessary and asked the medicine for guidance, and the message has been clear:
“There is more to do.”
To us this message means four things:
What needs to be done:
We have three primary objectives with our work.
The first is to offer top-tier psychedelic experiences that offer the best service, safety, and quality of care available anywhere in the world. Ultimately, our aim is to create an environment for a safe container that helps people feel welcome and safe enough to truly surrender into this process and heal deeply. We want to create beautiful experiences that inspire awe and create lasting transformation. We hope that the level of intentionality and mindfulness we bring to these experiences can be an example to our guests for how they approach their own lives after they leave.
The second objective is to contribute to the thinking, approach, and ethics of psychedelic medicines as they become mainstream. We hope to help uplevel the industry as it evolves and chart the course for the most effective and transformative treatments. For instance, we believe that psychedelics are best accessed in combination with natural surroundings, community, and supportive programming that help people achieve lasting change in their life. We want to become a shining example of excellence for practitioners, participants, and regulators worldwide.
Part of how we will achieve this is by providing services to the culture-movers in our society. The influencers in various areas of society that move the needle of public perception. An example is Mike Tyson, who has made such a huge impact in very a short time by sharing his experiences.
Our third objective is to make these experiences widely accessible. This may sound contradictory to the first objective. However, we have seen that when people with financial means have these experiences, they want to share them and pay it forward. We’ve started a scholarship program that offers our services at a tiny fraction of the regular cost. We hope this will extend to entire groups of people having access to this work. We also aim to create training as well as open-source aspects of our protocols in order to ensure that more people can access safe and effective experiences.
We offer our retreats on a sliding scale to offer some flexibility and access while keeping our average price point fairly high. This allows us to offer the level of quality and experience we envision. We’re currently averaging ~ $1250-$1500 per-night / per-person for group retreats. Once we increase our room count from two to four, we can offer single-occupancy for our 4-person group retreats, or four couples, or 8-person private groups. This will allow us to increase prices and profitability and offer a higher level of comfort and service.
To increase demand we will be targeting specific high-net-worth networks and activating a PR strategy to build brand equity and awareness. The scholarship program will help create access for those that can’t afford our services.
Our primary retreat offerings will be:
The primary purpose of this platform will be to support people through the various phases of their psychedelic experiences. We’ll provide guided pathways for psychedelic education, preparation, after-care, and integration. We’ll also be focused on creating virtual and real-world spaces for people to connect through chatrooms, integration circles, and other experiences. Our community platform will be offered on a monthly and annual basis, and will range in price from free to $100/month. The platform will host a wide range of content, courses, meditations, breathwork sessions, workouts, yoga classes, workshops, and community circles. We have already developed much of the mindfulness content through our program Nature of Work, launched in 2019, and have over 100 movement classes, breathwork sessions, and meditations ready to go.
This platform will be open to anyone seeking out support and community for their psychedelic journeys. Beyond our retreat community, we see two key audiences that will be looking for support and community around their psychedelic journeys:
We imagine this to be a high-margin area of our business that will also build brand equity and serve as a pipeline into other offerings.
We have done most of the legwork for our first observational research study, in partnership with Quantified Citizen. We will launch this in Q1 of 2022. We will also increase the quality and quantity of data we collect around dosing, session process and outcomes, and other aspects with regards to our service offerings.
We believe there will be value in this data and our expertise as the clinical research around 5-MeO-DMT reaches human-level trials and as companies begin considering how to bring this molecule to market.
To support both the retreats and the Research aspects of our work, we are developing a strategy to provide wearables to our guests in the weeks before and after their retreat. We are mapping out the development of a custom app built on the Apple CareKit framework that will allow us to interact with our clients, collect data, provide a results dashboard, and deliver wellness prompts and content directly to their wrist.
The unique backgrounds, experience, and approach we bring to this work are what differentiates us.
Drawing from a diverse set of well-established scientific, therapeutic, philosophical, and spiritual disciplines to deliver measurable and results-focused offerings.
Ultimately we see our work as helping people reach spiritual attunement. We focused on universal wisdom, avoiding rigid dogma and polarizing ideologies.
Technology and platform expertise give us an edge in every aspect of our operation. From client communications, community engagement, data collection and research, to process automation.
We seek to create offerings that are consistent and scalable. This is possible through an ongoing commitment to documentation, process, and optimization.
Ceremony is an important part of connecting with the divine healer inside us and experiencing transformation. We create modern, elegant experiences that don’t unnecessarily appropriate cultural references and symbolism. Think high-end spa meets spiritual ceremony.
We seek to free people from suffering and to create a more harmonious world. We draw from a wide variety of history’s greatest teachers such as Buddha, Seneca, Martin Luther King, Ken Wilber and many others to build frameworks for deepening one’s understanding of self and the world.
Mindfulness helps us stay grounded in the present moment, so we can activate our full capacity and ability to make lasting change in our lives. We help our community build resilience through daily habits focused on sleep, meditation, technology hygiene, work habits, and more.
Working to solve the “Meaning Crisis” and help people connect with themselves, their purpose, and foster community.