Solving problems by creating balance
Alumna’s second career positions her for success
Robyn Bentley (B.S.’85/MC) found her first career as a radio broadcaster at an early age. Her father owned a radio station where she worked as one of the first females on the radio in Virginia (and then followed in his path). While earning a mass communications degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, she landed a position at WRVQ-FM in Richmond, Virginia, where she says she was the first and only female DJ at the time.
Oddly enough, one career led to another. She was working at a station out of Philadelphia where she interviewed a guest who had written a book about creating sacred spaces. “There was a chapter in that book about feng shui,” she says. “After that, I bought a few books and started trying things with myself, my family and friends.” When her station was bought out by a media giant, her position was eliminated, so she got certified in feng shui in 1999 and set off on her second career.
What are a few words you would use to describe feng shui?
Balanced. Calm. Flow. Peace of mind. It’s different from interior design. Interior design is a beautification practice; feng shui is more of a problem-solving practice. Most people who contact me are having problems, and they don’t know where they’re coming from. It usually starts when they’ve moved into a new home, and things are not going the way they have in the past; things are rearranged and something is out of the ordinary. One client started a new job and moved from a different state and was not doing well in his new role. We adjusted his environment and he found success again. Everything just clicked.
How did you get the name Feng Shui Diva?
I wanted to pick a name that would be easy to remember and allow people to find my website easily. So I picked Feng Shui Diva and trademarked it. I’m very down to earth and basic and simple. I love to teach things that are helpful to others.
What prompted you to write “Creating a Haven”?
I read a lot of feng shui books and a lot were focused on placing lucky trinkets around the house, but that’s really not what causes or eliminates problems. The feng shui I do is more serious energy work; in a nutshell, every building has positive and negative energy patterns in it from the year it was built. I wanted to write a book that can tell you all the negative things that could be happening in your home.
What is your favorite part about helping people?
Giving them the release and solving a problem. I love solving problems with people. One client I worked with had not had a good night’s sleep in nine years. Her bed was in the wrong direction. So I asked her to sleep in her guest bedroom, and she said she went to bed at night and woke up in the morning. To her, it was a weird feeling because she never slept through the night. It made me feel really good that I was able to help her. It’s rewarding for me to help people solve their problems and not have to go through something that they don’t really need to be going through.
How did VCU prepare you for this journey to entrepreneurship?
I didn’t ever think I would have my own business. I chose the advertising sequence [at VCU] because my dad owned his own radio station, and I was already working in radio. The advertising classes helped me learn how to promote my business. The times have definitely changed since I was in school, but I continued to learn about social media and all the different ways you can actually market your business.