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WE ARE BECOMING — CÉLINE SEMAAN

You may have noticed the word "REGEN" popping up in the names of some of your OZMA favorites lately. Alongside trusted partners, we have been working to integrate regeneratively produced silk into our OZMA collections. Currently, our Classic Silk Noil & Silk Bandanas are sourced from farms following these practices and in the fall we'll be transitioning our beloved Raw Silk Tees Collection to Regen Silk as well (never fear: fit and feel will still be exactly the same).


In theory, this shift towards prioritizing regenerative agriculture practices is in keeping with our OZMA code of conduct: We work mindfully to bring beauty into the world with the most net-positive impact possible, continually integrating new ways to repurpose recycled materials and to create from a place of respect for nature’s finite resources.


In practice, Regen Silk production means starting at the fiber level, choosing textile partners that focus on creating circular, self-replenishing systems within the whole farm ecosystem, cultivating conditions where long-term, self-sustaining soil health is prioritized into the future. This can (and does) mean anything from 90% wastewater recirculation and reuse to introducing hungry birds onto planted terraces for simultaneous pest control and fertilization...and beyond. The result is: the same gorgeous silk we all love, but better for everyone/thing/where.


You may have also noticed the word "regenerative" popping up...literally everywhere else. For us, in the context of our production choices, it's pretty clear what it means, but it can mean many different things to many different people, each relevant to its own context. To demystify and expand on the power and possibility of regenerative tools for building better paths forward, we thought we'd ask one of our favorite thinkers, makers, and doers, Céline Semaan. 


Founder of The Slow Factory (and its sister learning-space, the newly launched Slow Factory Institute), Céline is a designer, writer, parent, advocate, and general white-hot-burning-light of knowledge and power. Their work brings them to a fulcrum point of intersecting crises and opportunities: climate justice + social inequity, decolonization + rewriting of tradition, sustainable growth + self realization. And the medicine Céline gives us is this: a communal portal with access to the tools for learning and unlearning how to work towards addressing them, one choice at a time, for all.

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WE ARE BECOMING— JULES BAKSHI

One of our OZMA defining principles is this: we make clothes expressly designed to allow (and encourage) our precious bodies to move, breathe, and simply be our most naturally expressive and freely authentic selves. Unsurprising then, that when we encountered the generous and electric teachings of dancer, educator, and powerful-mover Jules Bakshi we felt a sort of a-ha connection. Founder of NYC's beloved GOOD MOVE dance and mindful fitness studio—a rare nourishing dance-space for movers of all levels, genders, races, shapes and sizes—Jules has a similar defining principle: she wants everyone to access moving and being in their bodies with looseness, ease, freedom, and joy, and is actively working to build a world that makes that possible. We are aligned!


In advance of a (very) loose, easy, free, and joyful upcoming event with Jules + Heidi, OZMA founder, we sat down to get some insight into how Jules creates space for freedom and ease and also to gather inspiration on helping release our own bodies (and minds) further into unself-conscious self-expression. Hint: wear comfortable clothes.

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WE ARE BECOMING— CAROLYN BARRON

When dreaming of colors we often turn our eyes to the coast. Sand as it runs wet to dry, fog as it floats in from the north, golden hour on the cliffs at dusk. Inspiration for our newest color struck, as usual, when returning from the sea: a ruffle of dusty green caught our eye against the rocks. Delicate, yet holding fast in a salt-kissed crevice where nothing else dared to put its roots. Perfect for a bouquet, but don't pick her without asking. Meet Nettle.


Like its namesake, this subtle, fresh, almost-sage green looks delicate and sweet, yet has a serious backbone, a little bite, and is—like the women who wear it—capable of offering great gifts when given proper respect. 


Diving deep into the world of nettle and all of its potent nourishing-flourishing-and-delivering-a-sting-on-her-own-terms possibility we thought, of course, to ask OZMA friend, plant and energy healer, poet, and chief "Botanarchist" Carolyn Barron for a little meditation and guidance on the often misunderstood plant.

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We Are Becoming — Katie Gong

Sometimes finding beauty seems to be about allowing space for awareness of little moments—how the sea shapes the sand, the way grass moves like waves, how the bright dome of sky holds the exquisite curves of naked trees. But—like the sea, the sky, and the wilderness—finding beauty is also about making it, leaning in to the long arc of creation itself.


For California-based artist, designer, business owner, mother, and luminous-mama-to-be Katie Gong—known for her wildly gorgeous bentwood sculptures—it's a combination of the two, the tempering of the raw and untamed with time, desire, intention, and love into something sublime that finds and captures an exact moment of grace. We sat down with Katie—37 weeks pregnant with her second babe at the time of writing (!)—to talk about process, practice, and the transformative power of strength and stillness.

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WE ARE BECOMING — Helen Nishi

Roland Barthes wrote that “in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes.” Photographer Helen Nishi understands this inherently—photography records a moment more fully than our eyes alone can interpret. Some people are attuned to the physical world in such a heightened way that colors, landscapes, music, and the other sensorial details of life guide their impulses and experiences. Helen brings this intuition into her work, and the rich colors, emotions, and textures she captures animate each image.

 

Helen extends this curious gaze toward each of her subjects, and the result is a portfolio of images steeped in culture and community. Even her more austere portraits of landscapes or individual women continually portray their essential strength. It is no surprise, then, that Helen tells us she navigates life and motherhood vivaciously and by instinct, or that seeing new places always leaves her perspective profoundly altered and hungry for a change.

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WE ARE BECOMING — RACHELLE ROBINETT

Rachelle Robinett is recalibrating what “balance” looks like. Growing up on a farm in the Pacific Northwest, she came to understand the symbiotic relationship between people and the natural world and has spent her career sharpening her understanding of “wellness,” helping people address their health in realistic ways through her multi-purpose company Supernatural, which gives people the tools to live out their wellness ideals through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and a product line of herbal gummies.

 

We love Rachelle’s approach to cutting out the noise through a no-nonsense ethos: we spoke with her to learn more about what it means to find genuine nourishment, how she is prioritizing immunity right now...plus get a recipe for her refreshing late summer mocktail.

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WE ARE BECOMING — KATIE DALEBOUT
Katie Dalebout’s medium is authenticity. Since 2013, she’s been hosting the podcast Let It Out, a platform for self-described “soft stories” that unite us universally. Katie’s honesty is infectious, and her self-reflection thoughtfully sincere — her groundedness rings most true to us, something that’s come from years of examining her deeply held beliefs through writing. For Katie, journaling became a lifeline during her most difficult seasons; a way to shed masks she’d grown accustomed to wearing. Now, her podcast has a devoted following, growing to also include Spiraling, a co-hosted show about living with anxiety. She currently runs creative clinics and workshops about journaling, and she published a bestselling book about her writing practice. Today, we talk to her about her winding career path as a podcaster and how that medium has made her feel less alone during this isolating year. . . . Read More
WE ARE BECOMING — AMBER LEE

To have a conversation with Amber Lee is to instantly understand what connection looks like — to oneself, to the natural world, to a broader picture. As founder of holistic healing practice Plant As Compass, Amber’s work is rooted in compassionately offering wisdom on how we as individuals can evolve through seeing ourselves as part of a broader narrative. Based in Ojai after splitting her time between New York and LA, Amber was raised in a multicultural household in Hawai’i, Latin America, and North America — a cultural cross-section that’s allowed her to view herself as a citizen of the natural world, rather than limiting herself to a singular community. 


In her work, Amber walks individuals from different paths, beliefs, and backgrounds through nuanced, hands-on healing and group facilitation work. Her ethos acknowledges life’s complete interconnectedness — beginning at birth and extending through all the complicated relationships and seasons we enter and depart. We spoke with her about the large role nature plays in her practice, the value of slowing down, and how healing ourselves allows us to hold space for others.



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WE ARE BECOMING — Ariane Aumont
Ariane Aumont’s professional cooking experience spans twenty years, inspired by extensive world travel, enriched with Cordon Bleu culinary education, and nurtured by a rich family cooking history. In 2014 Ariane moved to Ojai to collaborate in the opening of Chief’s Peak Bar at the Ojai Rancho Inn. Enraptured by the incredible local, organic produce of the Ojai Valley and surrounding counties, she then created Le Picnic, a boutique catering company specializing in custom menu creation dictated by the seasons and the food nostalgia of her clients. . . . Read More
WE ARE BECOMING — Jaime Hepburn
Jaime Hepburn is a Los Angeles based yoga instructor, setting her classes to her consciously-curated playlists and combining fluid movement with static core-driven holds and playful inversions. She runs yearly retreats around the world, and is currently leading classes on Instagram Live to give people a way to move their bodies while staying safe at home. On the OZMA Journal, Jaime tells us what this shift has been like for her, and gives us tips for seeing through the darkness to the light. . . . Read More
WE ARE BECOMING — Lauri Kranz

Lauri Kranz is the owner and founder of Edible Gardens LA where she creates lush, edible landscapes and vegetable gardens for chefs, restaurants, museums, schools and anyone interested in growing their own food (ediblegardensla.com). Her book, A Garden Can Be Anywhere, was published by Abrams Books in 2019. In 2020 she established the Edible Gardens LA FARM where she grows organic food and flowers in a beautiful canyon in Los Angeles.  These days you can find Lauri and her husband, Dean Kuipers, delivering organic vegetables and flowers, fresh from the farm, to homes all over Los Angeles.

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WE ARE BECOMING — Lauren Spencer King

Lauren Spencer King is an artist and meditation teacher in Los Angeles — in her artwork, Lauren’s pieces allow the pigment, materials, and textures of the natural world to often inspire palette and medium. In her meditation offerings, a physical connection to the earth is a fundamental aspect of what it means to connect to ourselves, others, and the world. 



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