Not long ago we decided to start wearing our hair in it’s natural kinky state and stop the endless cycle of coaxing our hair straight. This seemingly simple change launched us into a community of women who had made the same decision. Change begets more change and the journey became less about the hair and more about being our authentic selves and living an inspired life. This is how a&o was born.
What you’ll find at a&o are topics that inspire us and, we think, many other women. You’ll find thoughtful conversation and creative inspiration for the yogi/interior designer/chef/traveler/athlete/ fill-in-the-blank that lies inside all of us. We are passionate about what inspires us and want to share those discoveries with you. You can find ideas bout eating healthier or eco-friendly ways to decorate your home. Or you might find an inspirational story about how a woman changed her life.
I have a passion for spaces – the built environment where people live, work and play. I love everything about buildings (architecture and how they are built, as investments and how they are bought, sold and rented). However, structures don’t exist in a void. They reside within a larger community and so I also think it’s critical to contemplate how we can address problems in communities to improve the quality of life for it’s residents. Working in the residential and commercial real estate space for 10 years has definitely fed my passion. During the day I deal with the business side of real estate, but through a&o I focus on the creative and personal side of making our living spaces beautiful, functional and healthy.
I am inspired by how people live across the globe. I love to understand how people of all walks of life live whether it be in a small village or a large city and find inspiration from things like café culture in Paris to creative use of space in small New York City apartment.
If I need some quick inspiration, all I need to do is put my walking shoes on and stroll around my neighborhood in Harlem. I stroll around quiet blocks and admire beautiful brownstones (and also try to catch a glimpse inside If I have some more time and money on my hands, a trip will always inspire me (whether it’s at home or abroad).
What I love most about a&o is that the website is not just a reflection of our passions but also the inspiration from our readers and contributors.
Sharing is a big part of my personality. In the 20 years I spent in retail leadership. I shared experiences, successes and failures with my teams. My philosophy was that teams can achieve anything when there’s a common vision or purpose. This was especially important when turning around a business that was broken or in need of substantial change. I think that the tougher the situation the greater the inspiration to make it work.
Having a career that focused around books, telecommunications and fitness let me connect with people about ideas, communication and health. Fortunately, I was always able to work with companies that matched my personal passions. I grew up reading, moving and talking, a lot. It was natural that my next step would mean that I figured out how to combine everything I love into my perfect career. I think that what Ashley and I do at a&o is the culmination of a lifetime of passions.
I stay inspired by constantly finding new ways to grow. Getting certified in yoga was as much for me as it was for a&o. I’m committed to making sure that people have access to wellness spaces and nutritional information regardless of the neighborhood. Our readers and contributors are also my biggest inspirations. Sharing their stories is just one more way to give back.
My favorite part of the website is the ‘Yogis of Color’ series. My love of yoga can’t be overstated. I think yoga is transformative. Having yogis detail their own yoga journeys whether they are teachers or not is an amazing gift.
Ashley and I both believe that inspiration is everywhere!
Oneika and Ashley are available for bookings to share their expertise about healthy living, interior design and how help women discover their own inspiration. Drop us a line if you also have a story to share! Contact: