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Meet Trailblazer Karissa Raya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karissa Raya.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Becoming a mother has been life-changing, to say the least. Not only did I bring a new life into this world, but it also gave birth to new creativity, ideas and illuminated in me, an evolved purpose. I have always loved to help and be of service but having my daughter gave light to how much support it takes to thrive postpartum. When my daughter was one year old, I took a full spectrum training to be a doula. A doula (the term is relatively new) is a support person for birthing people; providing advice, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and during postpartum periods. Becoming a mother enlightened me to the beauty of our bodies and how intuitive we are as people. I became trained to encapsulate placentas and I began to discover essential oils and herbs for medicinal and emotional well-being. My business name came to me intuitively, a play on my daughter’s name, Olive, “all of” la vida or the life— Olive la Vida. As a lifestyle photographer, my mission is to capture just that— all of the life. From delivery room photography, nursery room or family photos, I capture precious moments amongst loved ones.

Aceite Mamá is my place to share essential oil knowledge. Plants are so powerful and after learning about how to use oils I have been called to share. Especially sharing knowledge with mothers to use oils on their children. When oils are pure and diluted, they are safe for children and even more so amongst the many options on store counters.

Has it been a smooth road?
There has been some struggle for me. For one, all of these wonderful ideas came to me at a time when my focus is caring for a young child. Mom guilt is something that many mothers have to overcome. I am not fully immune to feeling mom guilt at this point, but what helps me is identifying what it is that makes me feel that way. Usually, it’s the expectations the outside world has and not myself or my partner. Another thing that can sometimes be difficult for me personally is imposter syndrome, feeling as though I am not good enough and there are already women becoming doulas. I use affirmations and meditation as tools when my own self-consciousness sneaks up.

We’d love to hear more about Olive la Vida & Aceite Mama.
I am a full spectrum doula, supporting birthing people in delivery and postpartum, a photographer, placenta encapsulator, photographer and essential oil educator.

Most recently I began offering branding and style guides to small businesses that are purpose driven. What I have found is that many times the small businesses with the most heart and purpose are focused on making a product and running the immediate business needs. Their branding and photography is something that is not usually at the forefront. My goal is to support their missions by devolving this integral brand development for them to grow their business.

What sets me apart is my business runs with my daughter at the forefront. I am an advocate for non-violent parenting and practicing mindfulness in my day to day. I constantly check in with myself, what do I need, what does she need and adjust work accordingly. I share my journey so that families can see that growing a business while raising the future is possible.

Which women have inspired you in your life?
I have been inspired by Orange County native – Delilah Snell. She opened a retail shop that offered workshops and classes, a pop-up, seasonal handmade market, conference for creatives and opened a southwest market with food and home and kitchen goods. She is a clear example that you can evolve and should evolve with what feels best to you.

Every woman, especially mothers with businesses inspire me.

Casey Merkling, owner of Yoga Squared studio inspires me. Her business stands out to me and motherhood I think is the reason. She opened a yoga studio with a young daughter that offers to babysit so that mothers like her can leave their children in the babysitting room and do yoga. That to me is so special.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Karissa Raya, Kate Edwards

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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