THE SPA IN ME
Interview with Steve and Jennifer Frezon, Willow Sky Ranch, Owners
We both grew up in upstate New York and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a small engineering school, where we first met and earned engineering degrees. In 1994, we moved to Austin, Texas, to begin our careers in the semiconductor industry. Our jobs took us to different parts of the country with stops in Austin, Virginia, Austin, Arizona, Austin. As you can see there was a common thread to our stops – Austin! Even though we left, we always knew we’d return to central Texas as we absolutely love the Hill Country and the people. We’ve been back in the Austin area for over 7 years and have no plans to leave. We are the proud parents of 3 boys, 20, 17, and 14, and two wonderful dogs. Jennifer is the fulltime CEO of Willow Sky Ranch and Steve is an executive in the semiconductor industry.
Thank you so much for joining us in this conversation. We would love to know your back story. When you were a teenager, what career did you imagine for yourself?
Jennifer: I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. I loved math and science and had a dear family friend who was a civil engineer. He always encouraged me to pursue an engineering career and that’s what I did.
Steve: Like many boys, I always dreamed of being a professional baseball player, but as I got further in high school, I realized this was not in the cards. I enjoyed math and science and chose engineering, following a path that my uncle had taken.
How did you find your way to Willow Sky Ranch? What inspired you to help people create beautiful experiences?
We were looking for some land in the hill country that we would eventually build on when we stumbled across Old Willow Ranch. It had been on the market before we were actively looking and went under contract. At the time, the beautiful hall that resembles a Texas Dance Hall was the thing that really attracted my husband and son as they are guitar players. As we began our search, the original contract fell through and it became available, so we took a tour. Immediately, we fell in love with the beauty, peacefulness, and unique attributes the property had to offer. As we wandered the property, we knew it could be something special to share with others and the idea of an event center was born. We felt that the grounds, lodging, and hall were a perfect place to hold a wedding or large party, and also a great family retreat for ourselves. The darkest night sky and brightest stars we have ever seen led us to rename the property Willow Sky Ranch.
What do you most enjoy about your current work?
As the CEO of Willow Sky Ranch, I love to hear the joy that the property brings to our guests. Whether it’s celebrating a 90th birthday party with family and friends, a special family reunion weekend, or an elaborate wedding…the smiles, laughter, and amazing memories that are created at Willow Sky Ranch are what makes my heart happy. While I enjoyed the challenges that my engineering career provided, I’ve always felt the pull of the nurturing side of me to help others. Being able to help others create special moments that will last a lifetime is such a wonderful feeling. I feel like I’m living my best life.
What events are held at Willow Sky Ranch?
Willow Sky Ranch hosts small and large events from intimate wine and food pairings, yoga retreats, and small family reunions, to large corporate meetings, parties, music performances, and weddings hosting up to 150 people. In addition, our property is available on Airbnb and VRBO for rentals when other events are not booked. We have three separate buildings that sleep 4-11 people and in total can sleep 20 across the property.
Are there any special stories that you can share about a person that was impacted by a stay at Willow Sky Ranch?
It’s hard to pick just one even though we are just getting started as a small family-owned business. We recently hosted a 90th birthday celebration for a family whose matriarch had grown up on the loop which was an inspiring family event. We also had a wonderful family stay at the ranch to commemorate the passing of their mom, sharing wonderful memories around the campfire. We also recently hosted the 1st Annual Corks & Forks event, featuring outstanding gourmet food from Mike’s on the Loop, local musician Cade Mower, and multiple local wineries. We are humbled by our guests’ kind words about their stay and the memories that their special event has created. These inspire us to keep looking for unique ways to utilize the ranch and looking to continue to improve and expand our venue.
How do you want people to remember their stay at Willow Sky Ranch?
We wish for our guests to create unforgettable memories while experiencing the beauty, peace, and tranquility of nature in a warm and welcoming environment. We want them to leave filled with happiness and wanting to share their experience with others.
What is your favorite quote and how do you apply it to your life?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I look to God for guidance in all I do and feel he gives us the strength to handle all situations if we are able to trust in him. This quote helps me to handle the challenges of life and motherhood.
Thank you for this meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success.
You can learn more about Willow Sky Ranch by going to the website and social media at:
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