Ladies of the Canyon, Poppy & Someday and La Tierra Sagrada
Driving up Laurel Canyon, I realize that the street that I'm looking for is around the corner from a fantasy home that friends of mine live in, which apparently used to be Jim Morrison's house. I am going to meet Kari and Stefani at their studio where they make their individual lines of handcrafted beauty, skin and hair products. Laurel Canyon is special to me. It's the place where I loose cell service and being to relax in the place that was once home to music idols like Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills & Nash. I park far down the road and venture up to the studio to take in the scenery. I hear the birds singing and any sort of faint sound of construction or lawn-mowing is now inaudible. I come to a long gravel entrance at the end of the road and think to myself this must be the place. I soon find myself at an open garage studio full of herbs, bottles, plant medicine books, crystals, palo santo sticks and the ladies. There is an adjacent outdoor garden, but both Kari and Stefani lament that they would like to grow more but it's been difficult with the drought. The ladies set out a plate of seasonal persimmons and healthy snacks for all of us to enjoy. I am at home. They offer me water with freshly picked leaves of lemon verbena, a plant that grows wild in LA and adds a wonderful taste to my drink. I sense a wave of serenity in the studio, even though they both tell me that life is crazy right now. Stefani's products were just featured in Elle Magazine and both of the women have just finished up Mercado Sagrado.
Kari, who is an Ayurvedic practitioner, body worker, herbalist, product maker, mother, ceramicist and plant whisperer is the woman behind Poppy and Someday. It's all natural product line that ranges from Ayurvedic body mists to naturally tinted lip balms, colored from alkanet and beet root. The body is our largest organ and my rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it, then don't put it on your skin. Stefani's products, La Tierra Sagrada, also abide by that rule and feel really soothing on the skin and scalp. Stefani, who migrated here from New York, is a hair dresser who got into Ayahuasca plant medicine and was directly "told" from the plant to make a line of healing products to share with the world. At first glance, many people think that that they might trip out if they use her products. I learned that the traditional Ayahuasca drink is made from two different plants. The one that she uses is from the vine (also known as Banisteriopsis caapi) and does not contain any DMT. The product I tried is called "Treatment" and contains Ayahuasca scared plant essence, palo santo, coconut oil, babassu oil, meadow foam seed oil and vitamin E. What I love about this product is that you can also use it on your skin. I've been using the product for about a week now and my hair and body is noticeably less dry, which is something many Angelenos battle with. I am pretty energetically sensitive so when I applied the product to my head, I felt as if that part of my head was "lighter" feeling that the rest of my skull. Lighter not in a spaced out way, but lighter in an emotional way. I love to think about things (sometimes too much) and this can give me a heavy feeling in my head. The products help me to feel lighter. I also felt energetically protected.
Kari and Stefani's products are hand-crafted, unique, plant based, they make you smell like a garden. Plus they work very well for me. The peppermint lip balm and Kapha mist are my two favorites (right now) from Poppy+Someday. They balm leaves my lips looking beautiful with it's red tint, while the kapha mist calms me down and ground me. I have been loving all three La Tierra Sagrada products, I probably use the Jojoba and the Sea Salt spray the most. My hair is less frizzy, I smell amazing and again, I feel "protected".
I am so grateful I came into contact with Kari + Stefani because I don't see that many beauty, skin and hair care products today that aren't full of chemicals. Not only that, but these ladies are wonderful individuals who are so educated and passionate about what they do. I would recommend these products to anyone who is interested in natural beauty. You will also inadvertently experience the natural healing effects and magical properties from the plants that are used. In many ways it is a return to home and a return to what we used in ancient times for beauty and healing. It feels good to be home.
Below you will find a question and answer between Stefani and I that happened before the studio visit. Enjoy!
AG: Tell us what inspired you to create La Tierra Sagrada?
SP: working in the plant and hair world for many years and bringing the 2 worlds together in order to heal and transform hair with plant medicine.
AG: What does La Tierra Sagrada mean?
SP: The Sacred Earth
AG: I noticed the Zohar quote on your website. The quote reads “When we love our neighbor as ourselves, and we show respect & awe for the trees, flowers, and herbs that populate our planet, we unite as one divine Light, to heal and bless all the world. This spectacular unification & arousal of blessings occurs now”- Zohar. It's very moving. What does this mean to you?
SP: It represents a part of me that sees all living things, including the trees, flowers, and herbs that populate our planet being equal and uniting as one divine light to heal and bless the whole world...together as 1.
AG: Could you tell us about trees water people and how you aligned yourself with them?
SP: My products are all plant based. I take from the plants to create them, so I feel it is important to give back. Trees Water People came into my life the moment I was looking for a non profit. Their approach to reforestation involves more than just protecting and planting trees. They educate communities about the positive environmental impacts of reforestation, and provide guidance on how to plant, and maintain the trees.
AG: On your site it also says that you were battling some serious health issues. Could you tell us about that?
SP: I had battled with a chronic flare up of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I had to get on steroids for to control. Once I stopped taking the medication, a side effect I experienced was hair loss. This is where the beginning of creating La Tierra Sagrada came from.
AG: Tell us about your line of products (why use ayahuasca as an ingredient?)
SP: LTS is an all natural, plant based hair Medicine Line. Ayahuasca, one of the main ingredients is a protector/healer.
AG: Tell us about your relationship to plant medicine.
SP: I have been working with plant medicine for 10 years now. I work with many different idea/traditions/ceremonial practices.
AG: What is your advice to someone who wants to open that relationship with the plant world but who maybe doesn't know where to start
SP: Sit with a plant and try to connect. Just being open and aware is a huge step.
AG: What practice/ daily ritual tunes you to the same vibration at the universe?
AG: What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
SP: I try to be as fearless as possible. Most things I have done might be scary to others, but I cannot think of something I have done that was scary...Certain experiences I have had, though scary while in the moment, were merely lessons to help me to grow and become stronger...and even more fearless!
AG: Where is your next dream trip?
SP: Im ready to go off the grid a bit. Someplace in the middle of the woods, surrounded by nothing but trees.
AG: Best piece of advice you've ever received?
SP: LET GO.
AG: What foods do you eat to keep your body in balance?
SP: I try to eat as clean/fresh/organic as possible. Before this crazy drought I was growing a lot of food. One day I will get back to that. I try to listen to what my body says and that's how I keep balance in my body
AG: What's your personal hair ritual?
SP: I do my treatment once a week.
AG:: Who designed your packaging? (because it's beautufil!)
SP: It was a collab with my friend Alexandra Stapleton and myself.
AG: What is your daily mantra?
SP: My mantras change weekly, with Kaypacha's pele report ;)
AG: What books are you reading right now?
SP: Living in the Heart- Drunvalo
AG: 5 things that are in your medicine cabinet?
SP: Oregano Oil. Fish oils. Probiotics.
AG: What other products/ people do you respect in the wellness/beauty community?
SP: Kari Jansen of Poppy and Someday and Nikki Padilla of Flora Apothecary.