I first met the awesome ladies behind Ōna Organics at last December's Echo Park Craft fair and we all got along right away, but it wasn't until becoming completely obsessed with their products that I really started to do the deep dive.
Founded by friends Amanda Arapoglou and Elizabeth Dorow - Ōna was founded out of a mutual appreciation for plant medicine and self healing. With backgrounds in herbalism, Moringa farming, Ayurvedic medicine, and Vedic meditation - the recipe of their friendship was truly one to create something special. I traded with them at the end of our fair weekend, and have since traded multiple times - I find the combination of their products with my own truly magical! I can absolutely feel the quality and thoughtfulness behind every product they create.
I am super excited to watch them grow their business, and if you haven't tried it yet - you must! I'm obsessed with their body oil. Thank you ladies for all that you do, and for your thoughtful and inspiring answers.
3 word bio:
Elizabeth: Moringa, Yoga, Cats
Amanda: Mama, Aesthetics, Travel
What is your one physical characteristic that you’ve had to grow to love, but at times would have changed?
Elizabeth: My wavy and sometimes a little frizzy hair for sure. I used to think wavy and messy were the same thing and straightened it everyday. Now I love my hair and 5 minutes with a blowdryer is pushing it for me.
Amanda: Definitely my boobs. When I was younger I dreamt of being a waif with tiny boobs who never needed to wear a bra. I’ve since grown to appreciate my very feminine body but it was most certainly a process.
Breastfeeding my daughter has given me a whole new list of things to accept about my boobs, but also given me a deeper appreciation of my body in general and the gift of sustaining life.
What would your husband, spouse, kids, or any roommates you’ve ever had say is your most annoying quality? (Even if you live alone you probably know the answer)
Elizabeth: I live in an apartment with limited kitchen storage and a ton of my cabinet space is packed to the brim with adaptogens and Ayurvedic herbs or, as my boyfriend calls them, “not food”. He can’t really complain though because since we’ve been together he hasn’t been sick once :)
Amanda: I lose my phone constantly and am terrible at responding to texts. Especially to my husband - lol
Working as an entrepreneur is hard, and what is the hardest part about working together as a team?
Elizabeth: I am so grateful to be able to work with my best friend. Starting a business is a wild ride and I can’t imagine being on this journey with anyone but Amanda. For me, because we are best friends, the hardest thing is not talking about work every single time we’re together.
Amanda: I would agree with Elizabeth 100%. It has definitely required a lot of mindfulness to maintain a healthy balance between our friendship and business partner relationship.
Strengths, and weaknesses you both bring to the table?
Elizabeth: My strength is my knowledge of plant medicine and product formulation. I have a background in herbalism and I want to always be in a state of learning and growth. As far as weaknesses, I tend to get caught up in the small details and go down a research rabbit hole which affects my time management. I can lose hours without realizing it looking at 500 different types of something silly like shipping box dividers.
Amanda: I take the lead on branding and bringing the importance of ritual to Ona. I generally try to remember and do way too many things at once so I can get kind of scattered. I have to remember to pause and refocus with intention to work efficiently.
A few unread emails, or 1000s?
Elizabeth: I actually have an email specifically for junk and online shopping promotions etc so right now, as I’m writing this, there are a few thousand but my actual email account just has a few.
Amanda: I check my email way more often than I should, so there are always only a few unread. Having a lot of unread emails is stressful to me so I do my best to avoid it.
What keeps you up at night?
Elizabeth: I think about the future, my hopes, my questions, and my worries. I think what that breaks down to it not staying in the present moment is what keeps me up at night.
Amanda: The future. The unknown. The weight of being a mother and always wanting to do better for my daughter.
How do you find balance ?
Elizabeth: I’m constantly seeking balance. Yoga and meditation help to keep me centered.
Amanda: Meditation has been the foundation of my well being for many years. That along with my yoga practice is really what keeps me sane.
With 30 minutes of free time, what would you do?
Elizabeth: I really love the show Veep on HBO. It makes me laugh and totally elevates my mood haha.
Amanda: I love a good walk.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Elizabeth: I would guarantee a woman’s right to choose.
Amanda: Common sense gun laws. The fact that children don’t feel safe going to school is sickening and needs to be changed.