ARTIST INTERVIEW: Amanda and Elizabeth of Ōna Organics
Company: Ona Organics
Artists: Amanda Arapoglou and Elizabeth Dorow
Women-owned Ōna Organics is a line of self care rituals influenced by the wisdom and healing of ancient Ayurvedic and Eastern medicine. Each product both nurtures the physical body and uplifts the spirit and mind. Ōna is owned and operated by Amanda Arapoglou and Elizabeth Dorow, friends for over ten years who became bonded on a path of mindfulness and self healing. Out of a union of meditation and plant medicine, Ōna was born. Ōna can be found in the Beauty & Wellness Lounge at the Holiday Fair on December 8 and 9.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now:
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 Ōna 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.
After years of farming moringa and studying its significant healing powers I became passionate about harnessing and sharing the plant’s many gifts. From working with moringa, an ancient tree native to India, I was called to study Ayurveda and herbalism.
Do you have a daily working routine? Can you describe it?:
As a mother, I cherish the peace and solitude of my morning routine. For me, these quiet moments are truly sacred. I wake 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. My husband often joins me for meditation which is a beautiful way for us to connect. I usually follow this with a few minutes of cat cow to get the energy flowing and awaken my chakras. I drink a glass of warm lemon water as I prepare for the day ahead. Following school drop off, 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 Ōna 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 to work. This means maintaining focus and setting aside 20 minutes for my second meditation to reground. My daily rituals have become necessities in staying grounded and connected to my work, my family, and myself.
My daily working routine begins by preparing myself to receive the day’s message. To wipe the slate clean and prepare for the day’s tasks I meditate each morning and let my intuition guide me to what I need to receive that day. I’m constantly diffusing essential oils that resonate most with me in the moment. Being very pitta dominant I tend to go go go with my most productive hours being in the first half of the day. When it comes to the afternoon I don’t work through lunch. I’ve found moving into kapha, into rest and reevaluation, to be an essential element of my daily routine. Taking the sacred pause is so important to my working routine to sustain my productivity through the second half of my day. It’s important for me to allow space for Kapha energy to nourish and restore myself so the pitta fire doesn’t burn me out.
What do you do, or where do you go to seek fresh ideas or renewed creative energy?:
The beach. It is an immediate reset. The feminine energy of the ocean is so inspiring to me. It’s a place where I gather with my loved ones or go to be by myself. When I need to recenter, to feed my soul, I always go to the water.
I go to my moringa trees to receive their creative energy. All inspiration comes from moringa. I’m really just a channel for the plant’s gifts. I feel most connected and most able to receive by grounding through my feet in the soil and simply allowing nature’s energy to flow through me.
What is a new idea you have been working with recently?:
We’re both really into adaptogens and want to bring that into Ōna. For us at least, our emotional state really shows through our skin. The ritual we’re working on now is adaptogenic selfcare with a strong focus on bringing radiance through nourishing the spirit and mind as well as the skin. Our philosophy is when physical, emotional, and spiritual are all elevated and nourished we are our most beautiful selves. Stress response in the body is so disruptive to the flow of energy and vitality. When you feel depleted and blocked you can read it on your face through your skin. We are really excited to bring a two fold ritual to Ōna that will be both topical skincare and corresponding adaptogenic herbs to be taken internally.
Photos by Damian Fitzsimmons