My City Series | Amanda Arapoglou
No one knows a city better than its people. Consciously Connected Travel shares with you our global fam and friends through our My City Series. Unmasking some of the coolest places and it’s people and giving you a deeper more connected insight.
Amanda and Elizabeth have been friends for over ten years and connected on a path of mindfulness and holistic self-healing. They both share a love of Ayurvedic philosophy and a passion for herbal healing.Amanda started her path with a background in the arts. Her travels have deepened her love for beauty and her appreciation for the importance of ritual. Her practice of vedic meditation has led to the study of Ayurveda where the seed of Ona was planted. Becoming a mother ignited her desire to create a product that is not only pure and nourishing but one that celebrates the spirit and beauty of our day to day rituals. During this time Elizabeth was farming moringa and studying its significant healing powers. She became passionate about harnessing and sharing the plant’s many gifts. From working with moringa, an ancient and adaptogenic tree native to India, and an appreciation and desire for beauty and ritual, Ona was born.
1. Born and Raised or Expat?
I was born and raised in the United States and grew up in Michigan.
2. How did the idea of Ona Organics come about?
My partner Elizabeth and I have been friends for over ten years and connected on a path of mindfulness and holistic self healing. We both share a love of Ayurvedic philosophy and a passion for herbal healing. I started my path with a background in the arts. My travels have deepened my love for beauty and appreciation of the importance of ritual. My practice of vedic meditation has led to the study of Ayurveda where the seed of Ona was planted. Becoming a mother ignited my desire to create a product that is not only pure and nourishing but one that celebrates the spirit and beauty and our day to day rituals. During this time Elizabeth was farming moringa and studying its significant healing powers. She became passionate about harnessing and sharing the plant’s many gifts. From working with moringa, an ancient and adaptogenic tree native to India, and an appreciation and desire for beauty and ritual, Ona was born.
3. What are your fondest memories of Ona Organics when you started your business?
Definitely the Echo Park Craft Fair. This was the first time we were able to connect in person with our customers. The sense of community was so profound. EPCF is such a vibrant gathering place for artists to gather, share, and inspire. It was an amazing experience to be part of and to be able to showcase our work, to motivate and be motivated.
4. On your Day-to-Day routine?
As a mother, I cherish the peace and solitude of my morning routine. For me, these quiet moments are truly sacred. I wake up early each morning, before sunrise. Upon rising I splash my face with rose water and practice abhyanga, or self-massage on my face, ears, and neck using our Radiance Oil. I settle into my meditation space and practice alternate nostril breathing before I move into 20 minutes of Vedic meditation. I like to drink a glass of warm lemon water as I prepare for the day ahead. After I take my daughter to school I go to yoga, or on days that I feel my body needs rest, the infrared sauna. This is when the work flow begins. I am incredibly blessed to have the convenience of working from home. We have a lovely guest house which has been converted into Ona headquarters. The morning is my most creative time, so I get right to work as soon as I’m home. Being intentional with the way I use my time and energy helps keep me in a productive flow. Being a very vata working mother, I have to be mindful of maximizing the hours that I have available. This means maintaining focus and setting aside 20 minutes for my second meditation to reground. In the evening I like to take a bath and practice Abhyanga self massage with nourishing oils before bed. My daily rituals have become necessities in staying grounded and connected to my work, my family, and myself.
5. Tell us some of your favourite spots in South Florida?
For incredible Japanese cuisine I love Imoto on Palm Beach. My diet leans toward plant based but I do occasionally indulge in their nigiri. It’s just that good. Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami has the most delicious handcrafted cocktails and elixirs. They have a beautiful garden where most of their herbs are grown. A more casual favourite is Cholo Soy. They make a different veggie taco every day and I have yet to try one I haven’t loved. They use fresh local produce and make their own tortillas with locally grown, non-gmo, organic corn.
6. Where do you go to escape?
7. You can’t take a vacation, so you decide to have a staycation, what do you do, where do you eat, where do you stay and why?
I love driving North in Florida in my VW bus, experiencing wild beaches, starry nights, and full moon meditations at a closeby ashram. It’s a great way to unplug and connect with my daughter and husband. My husband is a surfer and the waves are great in the north. We like to stock up on food before we go and cook over an open fire.
8. What local brands do we have to know about?
Dani Kenney makes amazing natural and multipurpose soaps of saponified oils. The wilderness washes are safe enough to use on your body, on your dishes, and out in nature. They have become an essential for trips on the bus.
9. Where’s your next adventure?
My husband and I are planning a trip to Kenya and Zanzibar. I can’t wait to experience a walking safari.
10. Does Travel breed creativity?
Absolutely. Seeing the way other cultures embrace beauty and ritual in their daily practices has been an enormous inspiration to me.
11. The ultimate dancing feet reliefs post liquid courage?
I have an amazing acupuncturist who also specializes in cranial sacral therapy amongst other magical healing practices.
12. Where to shed those kilos, detox the body or protect the temple?
Yoga and the infrared sauna are essential for both my physical and emotional wellbeing.
13. Are there any philanthropic programmes or projects that you’re passionate about or would like to shed some light on?
Planned Parenthood. I want to highlight the amazing work and essential services Planned Parenthood provides for women as often as I can.
14. Entrepreneurs, Tastemakers and Trailblazers, Where do people like you hangout in your city?
Celis, my favourite local juice bar - you can’t walk into the place without running into someone you know.
15. Give a shout-out to someone in your city that is doing groundbreaking things, and what is it that makes them a trailblazer?
My friend, Alexandra, has the most amazing tea house and restaurant called Yaxche Tearoom + Emporium with a curated market of artisan wares. The food is delicious and organic, you won’t be able to stop thinking about their desserts. The mission behind the tea room is to help people live the lives they imagine and create the realities they desire. They have over 120 tea blends and all of their drinks are made with GOODWATER®️ which is their patented water purification system. They contribute a portion of all of their sales in a pursuit of pure water for the planet.
16. A locals-only, off-the-radar, black book spot?
Yaxche Tearoom + Emporium. It’s the most high vibe place around.
17. Currently working on?
We’re always exploring different plant medicine for our next products.
18. Advice for budding entrepreneurs?
The best advice is to be persistent. Have a good partner who you trust completely, and don't be afraid to admit when you don't know something or to seek out someone who does.
20. We’re living in a world where our attention to new innovation doesn’t seem to have longevity, how do you find your inspiration to make new waves with long-term prosperity?
Natural beauty has become a big trend. We try not to get distracted by the latest trends but to create from a place of authenticity and passion. Our work is grounded in the ancient art of herbalism and inspired by Ayurvedic practices. These principles have existed for thousands of years and there is always more to learn and embrace.
21. Your ultimate playlist?
Hit the link!