Rituals - Jimena Garcia


Celebrity Eyebrow Artist

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My favorite ritual alone is...

"to once a week, sit down and write my thoughts on whatever inspired ideas, learned, seen, or write a letter to someone dear to me. I get so much joy from drawing the shapes of letters. Since as long as I remember, I have loved calligraphy and my mother would always use beautiful pens and Irish green ink only. I believe it was her example that created this ritual."


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Jimena Brows


Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Rituals - Larissa Thomson


Founder of ONDA Beauty

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My first ritual of the morning is...

"Coffee. I know this is maybe not what you thought but I love my coffee and I am very specific about it :) Then I drink a tall glass of water with The Beauty Chef's Hydration, Glow and Collagen all together. It taste great and has all the pre and probiotics I need plus more. Then I try to meditate, though it doesn't always happen in the morning, so I then try to carve out another time of day even if it’s only 10 min.

Heading into the bathroom, I generally switch up my cleanser depending on what my skin needs and what mood I am in but right now I am loving Dr. Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser, Goop’s Luminous Melting Cleanser and May Lindstrom's Pendulum Potion. I first I splash my face with cold water to reduce any puffiness then I cleanse. I try to cleanse using circular motions with my hand for as close to a minute as possible. This will help increase circulation. I remove the cleanser with either a muslin cloth or a Halo cleansing pad. Next I use a mist either Marie Veronique's Pre and Probiotic Daily Mist or May Lindstrom's Jasmine Garden Mist to add hydration and open up pores to better receive the benefits of any serums that follow. After patting it a bit with my fingers I like to use a good serum. Theses days I am using Marie Veronique's C, E and Ferulic or Joanna Vargas Daily Serum. Both are like food for the skin increasing cell turnover, boosting collagen, keeping pores clear and brightening. I press gently into my skin with finger tips again trying not to rub.

Finally, I use a face oil for hydration and nourishment. Right now I am all about Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum which I use as my face oil. At this point my skin should be pretty dewy and glowing. I follow up with Marie Veroniques tinted sunscreen, Olio e Osso #5 lip balm on lips and cheeks and if I'm in the mood Kjaer Weis mascara which in my opinion is the best. Then I am ready for the day. The whole routine is under 5 min. Even though it doesn't sound like it."


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ONDA Beauty


Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Go Inside Our Love Filled Workshop with The Cristalline

Written & Photographed by A Wild Dove 

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Once the new year came and went, our thoughts naturally turned to that special, once-a-year day of love when we get to pamper our kids with a total heart-filled explosion. So when Valentine’s Day was on the horizon, we knew we had to do something super special with our number one loves that was geared towards mindfulness and inner discovery. Who better to show us how to connect with our hearts than Rashia Bell, crystal healer and co-founder of our favorite crystal interior design firm, The Cristalline? Together at the gorgeous new Hatch store, we hosted some of our favorite lil' doves and their mamas for a special Valentine’s Day crystal class full of heart chakra stones and a lot of crystal love. 

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As mamas sipped on our fave pink drinks by Dr. Smood featuring grapefruit, lemon and green coffee and we all munched on bite-sized heart cupcakes with pink and purple frosting by our go-to bakery, Erin McKenna (because it’s dairy, soy, egg and gluten free and tastes SO yum), Rashia gathered the kids to start working on her signature crystal healing game. “It teaches them how to connect stones to learning about the energetic properties that they resonate,” Rsahia says. “It’s always fun to see what stones each child is drawn to by color, shape, texture as they unrecognizably are creating an energetic alignment to the stones.”

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Next up was a mini meditation that was all about connecting to the heart space and the ability to both give and receive love. According to Rashia, if we teach children how to connect to their own energy at a young age, we are empowering them by fostering a connection that gives them the know-how to tap into their intuition. “This can create a drastic effect in how they use to express their emotions,” she says. “It is ultimately giving them the tools to strengthen and support that inner-muscle as they continue to grow.”

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We knew were in a sacred space, as the beauty of the shop was matched only by the little beautiful beaming faces smiling up at us in total peace. Like all of our workshops with The Cristalline, it was a special loved filled afternoon, perhaps only with a bit more pink. Be sure to RSVP for our next crystal children’s workshop on April 22nd, when we’re making crystal jewelry in honor of Mother’s Day!

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We are committed to bringing one of a kind experiences to mamas and children. Learn more about our unique upcoming events.


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Rituals - Kimberly Johnson


Founder of Magamama and author of The Fourth Trimester


My first ritual of the morning is...

"either putting on my workout clothes and tennis shoes to zip over to Fitwall (I wake up at 6:50 to get to a 7am class), or assessing what's in the refrigerator to make my daughter for lunch. As a single parent, sleep is my medicine. When I wake up, it's action time."


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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


We’re in the Mood for Smood

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

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Whether in the heart of midtown or down on the Lower East Side, you’re never far from Dr Smood. And we are so grateful that this chic Miami-based juice bar and wellness cafe has been popping up all over New York with a philosophy of wellness-based eating with products infused with super foods like maca, matcha, ashwaganda and turmeric. Everything is 100% USDA organic. Even the “power pastries” that are a favorite of ours (and perfect for the mini-set too) featuring cacao, dates, honey and coconut. Not to mention, the minimalist, glossy setting offers the wellness set a super stylish space to enjoy a vitaian booster. After just one visit we had to find out more, the who the what and where behind the incredible cafe. So we sat down with Dr. Etti, a holistc nutritional doctor in her own right who has been working with the Dr Smood founders on creating their tasty, healthy concoctions. Check out our interview below.

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Full disclosure. We are obsessed with Dr Smood. Can you tell us about your background and what led you there?

My background is in Holistic Nutrition and Family therapy. I created a seven-day juice cleanse program called Sexi Juicing have been guiding groups through detoxification for 17 years.  René and Patrizia Sindlev, our founders, and I connected four years ago. We joined together because we are very passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle; eating healthy food and shifting the way people in America perceive healthy food.  René, Patrizia and I recognized that there is a problem with the SAD (Standard American Diet)—which is the cause of most chronic diseases—and we wanted to be part of the solution.


So interesting...and was there a trigger moment in realizing you had to join this brand?

Yes!!  It happened over dinner with our VP (Francesco Perillo), when we were discussing the impact Dr Smood is going to have in America and the world.  He said something that touched me deeply—he said, “We get to leave a LEGACY.” I had an awakening when I was 40 years old and my life’s purpose from that point on was to GIVE—by sharing my knowledge, wisdom, and healing and inspiring people to do the same. 

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Amazing. So what is your role at Dr Smood specifically?

I am the Senior VP of Research and Product Development.  I create and oversee development of new products based on market research and our vision.  I also educate and help spread our vision through social media. We are constantly on the pulse finding innovative solutions to healthy lifestyle and bringing our customers “SMART FOOD FOR A GOOD MOOD.”

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How would you describe the vision of Dr Smood and how does it differ from other holistic meal/juice brands on the market?

We believe that Dr Smood is the solution for our health crisis and we are offering the food for a better future.  We need to help to create better health for Americans today. We make it easy for people to eat healthy—we have over 90 products for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We want every person that comes into our store to find something to eat, whether they are a meat and potato person or a vegan. To ensure this, we have a broad range of menu items, including turkey, smoked salmon and tuna sandwiches; vegan salads and sandwiches, a selection of healthy snack options and our popular breakfast items. Finally, our cafés have a very warm European ambiance, making for perfect combination of a pleasurable, healing experience.

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Yes, we totally agree ! We love hanging out at Dr Smood (Soho is our go-to). Can you speak to the science behind Dr Smood's programs?

Studies indicate that mostly plant-based foods that are alkaline and infused with super and medicinal foods are anti-inflammatory and help prevent diseases.  We are also aware that organic foods are much better for our health since conventional food is laden with chemicals that are then stored in our body, causing disease.  Most of our food is live: smoothies, juices, salads, pancakes, vegan milkshakes, desserts etc. Live food is tasty and filling because it is alive (it contains more enzymes, vitamins and minerals), and is full of fiber.

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You're a mama, can you tell us how do you try to stay balanced and sane while being a partner at a brand and raising children?

As a single mother of four, I have a very hectic work schedule—I strive for a balanced life. A full life that will include enjoying one-on-one quality moments with my kids and my boyfriend, connecting with my women tribe, staying in touch and in tune with the cutting edge of healthy nutritious products, doing my volunteer work and having quality time for myself.  I try to stay calm in the midst of the storm. Calmness is a state of mind that can be achieved if and when we nourish our bodies, mind and spirit, by eating healthy, exercising and meditating.  I also go on a juice cleanse four times a year. I usually don't have time to juice myself, and fortunately I created a user-friendly detox program that are easy to follow and really yummy. I usually choose Dr Smood’s program number 2 - which is the intermediate level juice cleanse.  I also developed a beginner and advanced detox program to benefits all levels of detoxers. 

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What is your therapy?

My therapy is dancing—it allows me to be in the moment. I breathe and let everything else go.  I also love hugs—the more the better.


TOTALLY.  How does your philosophy on wellness impact the choices you make for your kids?

My philosophy in regard to food and everything else in life is to be a purist.  Choose the best quality of whatever you put into your body or mind and let your spirit soar.  I let my kids choose what they want to eat as long as it’s the best quality.  Pizza can be great if it’s organic and gluten free. Each and every one of my kids are aware of the connection between the quality of food and the quality of their health and most of the time they choose very wisely.  I model by example and most time they like what I make. 


Lastly, what makes you fly?

Living a meaningful life.  Sharing my love and wisdom and making a difference.  Inspiring our customers to strive for the best health ever, so they can be fully available to explore life’s opportunities and the sky is NOT the limit.

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Dr  Smood

Rituals - Natalie Kuhn


Natalie Kuhn Senior Teacher and Executive Director at The Class By Taryn Toomey


My last ritual of the day is...

"fully preparing for bed just before taking the dog on a walk. I've got blemish prone skin so it's especially important that I do this ritual after teaching The Class by Taryn Toomey and at the end of the day. I use True Botanical's Hydrating Cleanser with my clarisonic and follow it with Pure Radiance Oil. Lastly I combine the Vitamin C booster with the Cellular Repair Serum and give myself a little face massage. It seems like a lot but all of that takes about 5 minutes. Then my husband and I take our dog, Coop, out for a night walk and it gives us a chance to catch up and wind down before hitting the pillow. Once around the block, and straight to bed!"



Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Romancing the Stone

Written & Photographed by A Wild Dove 

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Who knew stones could be so powerful? Savannah King did. “Stones ask us to slow down and remember that we are one with the earth,” she says. As founder of Third Eye, a collection of handcrafted jewelry made with love and intention, Savannah focuses on ancient and classical goldsmithing techniques that channel energy and symbolism through talismans and one-of-a-kind designs. She also works in Stone Medicine, the Daoist philosophy that everything from earth has a living vibration for wisdom and healing, and that minerals possess opportunity for great intuition. Not only are we huge fans of Savannah’s jewelry, but the meaning behind it makes it all the more beautiful. We had to know more, so we sat down with Savannah to chat stones, jewelry and how they can transform our busy lives.

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We are obsessed with your jewelry. Can you tell us, what was your path in discovering Stone Medicine and the "trigger moment" in realizing your calling?

I have always been drawn to stones but it was only a few years ago that I started "hearing" them. They communicate with us on the vibrational level, an exchange of consciousness through dreams, sensations in the body, and even words when we pause to sit with them. It took me a while to makes sense of it but when I truly opened myself to to this medicine my life changed. I felt a deeper connection to the earth, my body, and my ability to serve and heal.

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We love that. So how does your jewelry work and your Stone Medicine practice serve each other and overlap?

One of the best ways to be supported by stones is by wearing them. I make custom talismans and jewelry that honors the healing properties of the stones used. I work from scratch, employing ancient goldsmithing techniques to make every piece by hand from its raw material to completion. This allows my work to be filled with energy and intention at every step in the process. 

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Can you speak to the science behind Stone Medicine? How is it physical beneficial? Emotional?

On the quantum level we are all just particles and waves, a.k.a. vibrations. Stones direct energy in the body aiding both our physical and emotional health. Their finite crystal structures are highly organized and store a tremendous amount of information so they help us to sift through what might feel chaotic in our lives.

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Wow, ok, so how can we teach our kids about Stone Medicine and how do you think it can benefit them? 

Kids are natural healers because their intuition is so pure and strong. It's fun to go rock hunting with kids, If you have the opportunity to go out and collect stones, it's a fun way to connect with nature. Talking about how minerals form in the earth over millions of years, how they live in the soil and feed our plants which then in turn then feed us, is a great way to explore some geology and open them to the natural magic of the planet. My 5 year old god daughter loves to give treatments by having me lay down and she places stones on my body.


How can mamas benefit from Stone Medicine? Specifically those balancing demands of children, work and more?

We can all use a little help in balancing the demands of family, work, and the fast-paced lives we lead. For mamas I always recommend my Grounding Necklace. It's a black beach rock with an open back setting so the stone can rest against the skin providing a sense of calm and grounding. Stones are so supportive in your environment too and don't require much upkeep, which is great for busy mamas. I live on a bustling street in New York so I keep protective stones like Black Tourmaline or Obsidian in the window to help cleanse the energy coming in. I love Citrine in the work space to promote joy and success.

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Can you speak to your work with clients, is it a journey or do they come to you with something specific?

Some of my clients will come to me with a specific intention, from manifesting a partner to support in setting boundaries, or even just a feeling, a color that is joyful to them, a wish to wear something with meaning or gift a loved one with something personal. I'll ask a few questions and meditate on the piece, then select a stone and setting to best serve them. I also ask for any music or mantras they'd like the piece charged with as I find it helpful to listen to music that resonates with them when I'm setting the stone.

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Love that! So what is your "therapy?"

Sitting in circle with other women. Whether that is a tea ceremony, new moon circle, or my book club, it's what keeps me feeling supported and connected to myself and others.

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Lastly, what makes you fly?

Laughter, spending time with my nearest and dearest in nature and remembering to be light enough to fly.

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Third Eye

Rituals - Joanna Vargas


Founder of Joanna Vargas Salon & Skincare Collection

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My first ritual of the morning is...

"to wake up and spend a half hour reading through the beauty news of the day, articles I bookmarked, and emails I may have gotten in the middle of the night.  Beauty wise, I dry brushing my entire body before getting into the shower. It's invigorating and makes my skin so soft!"


My last ritual of the day is...

"doing a mask on my face right before bedtime. Some nights I even sleep in them. They make my skin look glowing the next morning and it's nice to treat myself.  I usually use my own collection, but I also like to use some of Peach and Lily's masks."


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Joanna Vargas


Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Our Latest Signature Workshop with Mama Medicine

Written & Photographed by A Wild Dove

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It might have been chilly outside, but our little ones warmed up the SoHo space of our latest signature workshop with Mama Medicine, founder Deborah Hanekamp’s wildly popular integration of ancient healing traditions, designed for modern times. With their wild imaginations, active bodies and excitement for more, more, more, the children opened up the space for the day and let it all go, which is exactly the point of Medicine Dance. Led by reiki master, Luciana Naclerio         brought our little doves through a practice of physical interpretation of a ceremonial Medicine Reading...which includes breath work from yoga and dance using your own rhythm.  

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While us mamas snacked on popcorn from Sakara and enjoyed their Beauty and Detox drops in our waters, the kids burned palo santo, watered the plants and set the altar for their circle. They then sat in the space they created and grounded, meaning they connected to their breathing by watching an amethyst crystal placed on their bellies rise and fall. They each shared the ways in which they release, and then all together, they activated the energy of the release with shaking! “We held space for each child and they came to the center of the circle to release a different part of his or her body,” says Luciana. 

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After even more shaking, the children then each took a piece of lavender from the altar they created and sat in meditation with its calming scent. They used crystal sound bowls to relax deeply into their little love-filled hearts, then lied down and completely released onto the floor and thought about what it was that made them happy. Through the sweet sound of chimes, they melted into their happy place before coming back into the circle and sharing their experience with their moms. Each child left Mama Medicine that day, happier, calmer and more centered.

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Want to join our next learning workshop? Check out our upcoming events here and sign up to receive the latest information regarding our signature A Wild Dove experiences.


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Rituals - Medea Juhasz


Founder of Catalyst Gold



My favorite ritual alone is...

"creating a gratitude list. I try to make sure I go over my gratitude list every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It is my favorite ritual that can be practiced waiting in line at the post office or riding the subway. Keeping my gratitude list in check transfers an activity of the mind to an actual act of the heart. It is a fantastic tool to have to lift my spirits or a great way to start my day off on the right foot."


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Catalyst Gold


Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Rituals - Jamie Graber


Founder of Organically Jamie


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My first Ritual of the morning is...

"I wake up and immediately go into to TM while doing self Reiki. As soon as I'm finished I head over to my altar, light palo santo, sit quietly and mediate more (Kundulini based). I then journal quickly on gratitude, acknowledgment of things I've accomplished and then things I looking forward to. "



Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Soft Serve It Up

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

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To go from fashion to soft serve is a career 180, to say the least, but that’s exactly what Carli Blum did. As a wardrobe stylist working with brands like Target and Bloomingdales, Carli describes herself as a visual person who loved engaging with different colors and textures. After moving to New York from Los Angeles in 2013, she met former Lucky editor Brandon Holley and together, they launched an app called Everywear with the goal of bringing editorial expertise into the closets of everyday women. But she discovered a desire to dig a little deeper into her career path. “I knew there was a problem when I wanted to talk more about diet than a blazer,” says Carli, who has serious food allergies to soy, dairy, nuts, bananas and gluten. She soon realized she wanted to somehow combine her love of fashion and color with healthy, delicious dessert. So she created Kokus, a soft serve frozen yogurt made from cultured coconut cream featuring add-ons like Spiced Turmeric Honey, Bee Pollen, Chocolate Chia Seeds and Coconut Chips - all designed to  support and detox the body, boost the immune system and restore balance. Kokus has been such a huge hit with the allergy and non-allergy community, so we had to sit down with Carli to chat coconuts, the magical gut and her goal of going global with this all natural, delicious dessert.

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Full disclosure. We are obsessed with Kokus. It is so ridiculously delicious. What is the philosophy or mission behind the brand?

Our product solves a big problem in the food industry today - the lack of allergen-friendly products that are truly comprised of healthful, high quality ingredients. The ingredients are: organic, clean, vibrant and functional. You should feel energized  and not lethargic after you eat. We truly believe that or product has healing magic and is better for you and better for our planet. 

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What was your trigger moment in launching Kokus?

I’m a believer that you need to pay close attention to what “lights you up inside” and that is aligned with your soul's purpose. I would get a little too enthusiastic over something I was able to eat. It was as simple as coconut milk on a menu, or a gluten free pancake! I knew it was time to leave fashion and start my own business in a “better for you” food space.  I’m obsessed with coconuts, they are so magical to me. Because I’m on a constant mission to heal my gut and allergies, I fell in love with the idea of cultured coconut cream. That lead to cultured coconut cream soft serve with vibrant, functional superfood toppings. I married my creative fashion background with my true love and passion for healing food and BAM. Kokus was born. 

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That really comes through. Can you speak to the ingredients and what was the process was in determining what should go in?

Kokus’s base has eight or less superfood ingredients, including 100 % organic cultured coconut cream, coconut oil, coconut water, organic guar gum and raw honey. Our cultured coconut cream is done through a cold fresh-pressed process. We use small batches of base cream that are immediately cultured to perfection with specific time and temperature parameters. Another unique element is the raw honey. Our raw honey is never processed, heated, pasteurized or processed. I truly believe the gut is the seat to all health and by culturing our coconut cream, we are playing a part to help everyone live their most optimal lives! 

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Totally! So what are the benefits to these ingredients?

Every ingredient is important and has a specific function. Due to its raw nature, it has many naturally occurring probiotics. This helps replenish bacteria in your digestion tract to regain and maintain positive probiotic balance of good bacteria over bad bacteria. The raw honey contains vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants. Our product is hydrating, energizing, nutritious and DELICIOUS!


What makes Kokus unique in the all natural dessert space, or unique as a brand?

We are the first 100% organic, cultured coconut cream soft serve. We are always organic, dairy , soy, nut, gluten and refined sugar free. We are working hard on our product to make sure it always has less than 12g of sugar per serving.  I put my heart and soul into this product and will always lead with a strong product that has innovative ingredients, branding and marketing.


Why do you think a brand like Kokus is so important right now?

Since launching in August, I have been truly blown away by the response. I get tons of messages from people who similar to me have autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, allergies, chromes, lymes etc. People struggle with finding products that are clean labeled, transparent and simply that they can enjoy without feeling sick. I believe we are moving into a ‘better for you’, plant based direction and Kokus is helping to solve these problems.


Love that. Where is the name from?

Kokus means coconut in Hebrew! My homeland :) 

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What's next for Kokus?

We had a very exciting summer. We really launched with a  “proof of concept” intention and now know without a doubt, people are looking for a product like these. We are now right back to work, and  aiming to launch our first experiential brick+mortar concept in spring 2018 in NYC. We are also working on a CPG product which is very exciting. The day I see Kokus on the shelves of Wholefoods I will probably be crying uncontrollably with gratitude.


We can’t wait for that moment. What is your therapy?

Watercolor painting while listening to Trevor Hall. I’m in my head a lot and watercolor painting helps me to completely escape.


Oooh. We must try that! Lastly, what makes you fly?

Besides tequila? Connecting with people to help them find their passion and purpose. And surrounding myself with people who make me laugh.

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Rituals - Erika Bloom


Founder of Erika Bloom Pilates and Holistic Wellness Expert


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My favorite ritual alone is...

"finding nature, no matter where I am, and sitting with it in silence. This practice provides deep healing, calm, and joy. I can do this ritual truly in nature when I am traveling or when in the Hamptons. When I’m in New York City I go to a park if I’m at work or simply sit in my window at home and connect to the water I see beyond the buildings. We can always find a patch of sky no matter where we live."



Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.


Malia Mills On Swimwear, Body-Love and Her Empowering Plans for the Future

Written by Lynn Levoy | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell


Rewind to the 1990’s, when a design assistant with a passion for swimwear took on a project that changed her life. Her name was Malia Mills and a good friend asked her to create some suits for the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue. As she ran around stores, checking out same-sized tops and bottoms clipped on one hanger, she realized something. “The tops were too big,” Malia said. “Or I would like the style of the top but not the bottom. I thought this all just seemed insane. I couldn't imagine having to buy lingerie like that. Plus, I couldn’t find fabrics or colors, prints or simple silhouettes with subtle details that looked like my clothes.” 

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Et voila - the aha moment that snuck up on her. The idea - to create bra-sized swimwear separates engineered to fit like lingerie, cut from fabrics with textures, colors and prints like clothing in a woman’s closet. Fast forward a few years and Malia made her dream a reality. She established herself as a leading swimwear designer providing comfortable, flattering pieces forest women of all sizes. What began with a simple shop on Mulberry Street has become one of the most desirable names in the swim world. But Malia hasn’t stopped there. In a fashion category build around self-doubt and body-shaming, she has become a beacon of strength and truth. Whether through her campaign imagery featuring women all shapes and colors, or her “love thyself” rallying cry, or her programs for mentorship and workplace opportunity, Malia is the definition of someone who is living her truth and providing all women with the tools for social enhancement and positive body imagery. We are so floored by her vision and her work (so much so, we wanted more than anything to be a part of her badass wold, so look out for a A Wild Dove x Malia Mills collab coming soon). I the meantime, read on as she shares her story, her path and her vision for a better tomorrow.


I have personally been wearing your suits since your Mulberry Street location opened. It was the only line then that you could buy a different sized top and bottom, which I have always been. Major Gamechanger. What was the trigger moment for that?

So many dots to connect in the journey to the trigger moment! I grew up in Honolulu where swimwear was our daily uniform, each new swimsuit like a rite of passage. My mom forbade my older sisters from wearing bikinis, so they would cover up with baby doll apron tops with bikini bottoms. When our neighbor gave me a yellow bikini for my 10th birthday, my sisters howled in protest. At 11 my tween dreams came true when I bought a bikini from the trendy swim store called Splash in Waikiki. At this point my sisters had graduated to striped knit bikinis from a store called Surfline. My mom took me to pick out my very own when I turned 12. The tops were all too full for my flat chest. But I was on a mission to make one mine so I picked out a baby blue and pink striped set, took it home and sewed a seam through the top to remove the shape.

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When I moved to New Hampshire at 13, I arrived at the town pool wearing a racy, high-cut leg, hot pink one-piece and found all the other gals wearing high-neck, low-leg speedos. My first taste of how a suit can feel so right in one place and so very wrong in another. In college I went on spring break with my parents and while they were off playing bridge, I grabbed the yellow pages and found a gal who made custom bikinis out of her garage. My mom drove me over and I picked out shiny white fabric for a twist-front bandeau top and sporty blue and white striped fabric for a bikini bottom. The swimwear journey continued in Paris where I read about Maryvonne Herzog, another gal making custom swimwear out of her apartment. I went over and met her and we bonded over my passion for swimwear and my very shitty French! Fast forward to 1990, I was working as a design assistant at Jessica McClintock in San Francisco when Julie Stern, my college roommate called me up. She was working on the swimsuit issue at “Sports Illustrated.” She said, “I know you’ve always been mad about swimwear - this sounds crazy but you should make us some suits for our shoot.” I left work that day and visited every store in SFO that sold swimwear and that’s when the light bulb went off.

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The fabrics are amazing, they wear super well and hug exactly you where you need to be hugged. What is the sourcing process like in your fabrics?

Fabric is a key component, but the magic really happens during our fittings. We have a family of fit models - all ages, sizes, shapes and their feedback is priceless. We always challenge ourselves to use all kinds of fabrics - two way stretch, one way stretch, sometimes no stretch at all -- in unexpected ways. From knitted solids to velvets to jacquards, to men's shirting. The way we engineer beautiful fit is with multiple fittings and numerous wear tests. Each fabric has a different hand and reacts differently on the body, especially in a swimsuit where a 1/16th of an inch makes a big difference.

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Wow. So technical! Switching gears. Can you tell us about your badass  campaigns? How they feature women of all different shapes and sizes? Can you talk through that evolution and brand message?

I was passionate about improving the entire swimwear experience - from how a swimsuit fits to how it makes you feel. It seemed nuts that anytime I mentioned swimwear, most gals would say ugh, gotta lose weight, gotta get tan, haven't worn a suit in years... blah blah blah. So much shit talk! Mostly self-derision with the overall message of not feeling worthy. It just felt totally wrong. So we made it our mission to say, Fuck that. Let's inspire women to love thy differences. Let's free up all that brain power wasted on trying to change the way we look and let's seize the power that comes from saying hell yes to our diverse beauty. Let's inspire gals to channel that energy towards living a kickass life and setting an inspiring example.

So we set out to create swimwear with fit and style to celebrate the rockstar you are. With inclusive imagery, celebratory language and a “no bullshit, we're in this together, the sun is setting let's get to the beach and crack open a cold beer spirit” we strive to share a compelling message with all women and girls. Love thy differences - it's our mission, our mantra, our driving force. It’s our rally cry, our soapbox, our signature anti-venom to shit talk about body shape and self-esteem and swimwear. 18 years ago we photographed 28 women for our first catalog. All ages, ethnicities, sizes, shapes… the response was incredible, both from our mavens as well as from the media.  

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Love Love Love that. And, in addition to changing the way we see ourselves, you're doing a ton of work in teaching and helping young girls mobilize to be our next leaders. Can you speak to that initiative and the inspiration behind it? 

When I started the business I was young and inexperienced and naive but I had a TON of support and constructive criticism and encouragement. So many people sharing their knowledge and experience and hustle. So we strive to give back all of this good chi and to create a company that provides opportunities to learn and sharpen skills, that challenges our team to reach their greatest potential that encourages personal growth and self-reliance. We take pride in hiring for guts and glory and teaching skills - from using a drill to creating an excel spreadsheet. And we are passionate about bringing education out of the classroom and into the real world, to foster easily accessible opportunities to learn and to share the incredible knowledge of our team and our mavens.  We strive to operate as a learning center and we host our carpe revolution events for our team to share their knowledge with young girls in our communities.

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What do you love most about empowering girls? Do you have one memory or instance when you realized you were making a difference? Why do you think that's so important now?

Empowering is a two way street that's all about teamwork. We are so lucky to have the opportunities to meet so many fierce gals in our stores and in our studio and we are so lucky to do what we do. We've seen an extraordinary show of awesome from women worldwide, in the past year in particular. I read a while back an interview on Lenny Letter with Ellen Malcolm from EMILY’s List, the gal who’s been working so long and hard to get more women into politics. And she had such a great way of describing making change as “sometimes a leap, and lots of times a creep.” In that you always have to keep up the creep or else you fall behind, even after you’ve made a major leap. We must remind ourselves that the trajectory of awesome isn't a straight line and, despite challenges and setbacks, to focus on making positive change, one gal at a time.

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Love that. What are you hoping your brand contributes to the swimwear industry? To our culture?

We hope our brand sends an inclusive, inspiring and bold message not only about women and beauty but also about guts and glory, hustle and heart, sisterhood and small business as the engine of communities, cities, states, countries, the world. Shoulder to shoulder, with a sense of purpose, pride and humor, women everywhere are an extraordinary force for positive change.


YES. What are some future plans for the brand?

Our big crazy dream is to create a community-based philanthropic educational retreat compound as a platform for our team and our mavens to use real world experiences to share knowledge and educate women and girls and to foster forward momentum for all. We're also launching our lingerie line soon that we super excited about.  It came about because we often heard from our mavens about how they wear our tops as bras and our bottoms under sheer dresses so we took a few of our fave swimwear styles and engineered them as hell yes let’s get this day started lingerie. Soft tulle with a touch of lace, signature seaming for attitude and oomph, retro modern silhouettes to celebrate the feminine fierce! That, and the development of hangover-free wine to assist with efforts towards equality for women worldwide. Investors welcome!

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I’m in for all of it. OK so when you’re not designing kickass swimwear and mentoring young women and encouraging all of us to love ourselves and our bodies, what is your therapy?

Sometimes it's wine and a bitch session about the state of the world with girlfriends. Other times it's an unscheduled walk. There are always a ton of reminders of all the good shit and inspiration out there.


What makes you fly?

Cranking tunes -- and dancing our asses off like a bag of rattlesnakes as my Dad used to say.

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Rituals - Jimena Garcia


Celebrity Eyebrow Artist


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My last ritual of the day is...

"when I end my work day, I burn some sage. I then put on a house dress and prepare a cup of tea. This is a good way for me to let everything from my day go. For about a half an hour, I sip my tea with something to read. I love to read essays written by artists or a good interview in the evening."


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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.