In the Village with Sarah Aoanan
At Home is a series observing personal journeys, through origins and current spaces. With each feature, we hope to inspire duality of relaxation and effort in the every day.
We first met Sarah Aoanan during a sound bath at WOOM in New York City. She had a calm presence to her so it was no surprise when we later learned her role in impact work, most recently as a patient advocate and community outreach manager. We took a stroll with Sarah in Greenwich Village where we spoke about bi-coastal living and the power of human connection.
Where are you from? What was a defining memory from your origin?
I grew up in Los Angeles. As a child, every night before I went to bed, my grandfather would serenade me with his violin or the piano singing lullabies and old Filipino love songs to put me to sleep.
What was your favorite travel memory and why was it your favorite? What did you take away from it?
I've never felt more comfortable believing and being equal than in Ephesus, Turkey. Ephesus was originally an ancient Greek city famed for its Temple of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth and virginity. It is also the place where the Virgin Mary is said to have spent her final days. People of multiple faiths: Muslim, Christian, Jewish and who knows what other belief systems continue to honor "she" the feminine... In a time and country where there is more religious divide than ever, I felt completely safe there to believe.
How do you reconcile the duality of relaxation and effort in your life?
I remind myself that I am human, that life comes in waves. The waves come and go, and I'm constantly surfing. Ultimately our bodies are the best indicators of whether we need relaxation or have the energy to make an effort.
What is one idea or concept that you stand for and why?
Each one of us has a story and a voice to share our story. Stories are how we heal and how we encourage others to do the same. I’ve spent the past 10 years working with vulnerable women, whether it be survivors or sex trafficking or domestic violence, or patients with breast cancer and autoimmune illness. Their identities are often overlooked, hidden, and taken away. It is in the recognition of their experience that enables them to begin healing and raising their voices. Healing ourselves leads to healing a whole.
How do you build a sense of calm in your personal space?
Silence. Peppermint, lavender, and afternoon tea.
Describe your personal style. How does it reflect back to your way of life?
My personal style is akin to my bi-coastal life. With so much travel, the most important thing is to be comfortable, easy, and bright, which usually means anything oversized and sometimes looks like pajamas. Par en Par fits perfectly into the mix.
Where is your personal journey leading you to -- what's next?
My professional journey is leading me back to school. In January, I am starting an MBA program at Columbia University. The program is 28% women and I want that to change. My personal journey is inward, it is spiritual, it is a path towards what it means to be fundamentally feminine. My goal is to help other women feel comfortable in their own skin, to know their worth, recognize their power, and live comfortably in their truth.
Follow along Sarah's journey here.
Shop the collection here.