Meet McKenna and Nikki: Two twenty somethings passionate about bringing the world’s vibration to a higher level!

McKenna and Nikki Standing

How we got here

Nikki and my friendship blossomed from the first day we met after being placed together as roommates in our college dorm. We both loved Bob Marley, small businesses, were vegetarians and of course avid yogis. Nikki went for Bikram then, and I was all about power Vinyasa at Yoga Pearl in Portland.

Random roommates? I don’t think so: the universe definitely had a plan when we moved in together.

In college, Nikki and I would brainstorm together about different ways we could change the world for the better. Nikki’s business-meets holistic style and my creative, community-loving mind were the perfect balance for conjuring up some good ideas (a vegan bakery cart) and some not-so good ideas (late night Taco Bell delivery service, anyone?) during our late night talks over almond butter and tea.

When it came time to graduate, Nikki followed her love to Bend, Oregon, teaching yoga on the way. After researching dozens of companies, Nikki suggested I apply to one that was in line with our lifestyle: lululemon.  Cut to a week after graduation, I packed up my car and drove from Portland to L.A. with hopes of landing a job (don’t worry – I got it).

In the last two years we’ve both followed our passions.

Nikki has studied raw and vegan culinary under Matthew Kenney, traveled to Peru with David Wolfe, and (finally!) joined me down in Santa Monica as co-founder of PoppyandSeed.com, a digital media and e-commerce site dedicated to building community, supporting local small businesses and educating on health and wellness.

I now work as a Community Leader for the lululemon Brentwood store in addition to working as a freelance community connector in West L.A., building relationships between local small business owners.

When I got involved with imagine1day, Nikki took the leap with me as we decided to commit to raising $14,000 to build a school in Ethiopia, and visit the country in October.

Getting involved with imagine1day was a no-brainer for me. As a student of political science and journalism, I learned how vital a sustainable education system is in developing countries, as opposed to simply dropping off supplies and leaving. As a manager, I learned that it’s through leadership training that sustainability in an organization can happen — whether it be a country, a company or a school.

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What is imagine1day?

Founded by Chip and Shannon Wilson, imagine1day began their work in 2007 in Vancouver, B.C. and is launching in the U.S. this summer from their offices in Santa Monica.

Since 2007, they have funded 123 primary schools, trained 1,700 teachers and built 126 schools from the ground up.  Even better is that all of the proceeds raised go directly to the Ethiopian communities – there are no administrative costs.

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How you can help

We have a shared fundraising goal of $14,000 to build a school for children grades 5-8 in the Southeastern Meda Welbu community in Ethiopia, which currently has only one school for grades 1-4.

Tiny Devotions has offered 10% of every African Jade Mala sold to our fundraising, so sporting one of the necklaces is a huge help and keeps you looking like the boho goddess that you are at the same time.

What’s better than supporting a crazy good cause and doing it in style?

Why we love the African Jade Mala

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Nikki and I know that friendship is one of the most amazing tools in loving your life. This mala’s intention is to bring you good friendships, which can be hard to come by. We also dig how it brings you peace and serenity as you take control over your life – because we both know that our lives are what we make them.

Our quote to live by right now:

 “Alone you can go fast, but together you can go farther” – African Proverb

 Check out imagine1day at www.imagine1day.org

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Check out PoppyandSeed.com at www.poppyandseed.com

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mckenna-koonYou can also donate directly to our fund-raising on Paypal, using our contact: McKennaKoon@gmail.com

By: McKenna Koon

 

 

 

Confessions from a Boho Fashionista: Mala Break-Throughs

TDbohodailyEvery gypsy goddess, yoga fashionista and boho gal who wears a gemstone Mala knows how magical they are. Maybe you didn’t fall in love with them the first time someone told you about the 108 stoned treasures, but when you finally laid eyes on the unique beaded jewels, you knew you had to have one. They weren’t just a beautiful statement piece that enhanced your oh-so-natural stunning appearance; they helped bring out your inner beauty by pulling you back to all of the important intentions you set everyday.

I fell in love with the first Mala I adorned myself with. The African Jade Mala. It was gifted to me by a yoga teacher of mine right before I set out on journey west that would lead me to a series of big, boho girl life lessons. The Mala had a beautiful jade guru stone and dark cacao rudruksha seeds. Right before I left the studio to go West, my teacher told me that this Mala would give me strength in challenging times and the courage to follow my dreams.  I wandered west, as gypsies do, and kept The African Jade Mala close to me.

There were moments when all that I had planned for on my journey had fallen into little tiny pieces, and I wondered how I would ever pick them up again. I’d cross my fingers over the seeds of my Mala and remember my teacher when I looked at the precious jade guru stone. The Mala she’d given me was a reminder that I was always safe, even when it didn’t appear that way.

When my trip in the mountains finally came to a close, and I made it back to the summer humidity of the lake house that I call home, something remarkable happened.  July’s air was thick, and I moved heavy as I straddled bags, yoga gear and gifts to the front door. When I reached the front porch, I heard a gentle snap: 108 small beads and one beautiful jade stone danced in front of me, off of my neck and onto the sand.

“You’ve had a Mala Break Through” My instructor said, as I listened in tears.  “This is fabulous. You know what this means, darling? It means you’ve come to a new chapter! You’ve learned your lessons and you’re ready for what’s coming. Fantastic!”

whitejadeSince my first “Mala Break Through” I’ve had plenty more, and several exciting chapters in my life, each with unique intentions. Today I’m wearing a Jade Mala, but this time the White Jade Highest Potential Mala, because through all of these karmic break throughs and sweet little lessons, I’ve realized that I have bravery of a goddess to reach my highest potential (and you do, too!)

Peace, Love and Magic from Bohemia xx