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Morning Rituals with Emily and Fred L'Ami
Emily and Fred are two of our favorite people. We met them at a birthday party at our friends Brian and Jessie's house early in 2016. We hit it off, and made dinner plans for a few weeks later.
Within that time, we decided to start a coffee company and even had a name for it: Canyon! Over dinner, Fred and Emily were surprised to learn about our vision for our company. We were then surprised, in turn, to learn that they had their own incense company (Bodha) and Fred is a designer!
And just like that, our new friendship blossomed into a creative collaboration. Fred and Emily both played a huge role in helping shape Canyon (Fred designed the Canyon logo and bag design!), and they continue to inspire us regularly as creatives, entrepreneurs, and partners.
They're also two of the sweetest people we know, and Emily bakes the meanest desserts. We've been very excited to do a Morning Rituals feature on them, and we finally got to do it when Fred and Emily had us over for oatmeal! Enjoy, and be sure to check out Bodha and Fred's design site!
(Also—scroll to the end for Fred & Emily's recipe for the pumpkin seed milk they made our the oatmeal with!)
Em: The first thing I do is get up and wash my hands with this traditional French lavender soap, it's a funny little habit I find really comforting. Then I have a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar, light a stick of incense & get back into bed to meditate. After that it's coffee with whatever nut milk we put on to soak the night before.
Fred: When there's time, a surf on sunrise. Otherwise I crawl out of bed to do yoga, followed by a walk to get coffee (if we're not making Canyon at home that is), then the day begins.
Em: Being surrounded by memories of the people & places we love - things made by friends & things we've picked up on our travels.
Fred: Things that tell our story, photographs, books or art, there's always a story or memory attached — and sharing those stories with friends is the best.
C+A: Where are you from and how did you end up in LA?
Em: We're from New Zealand but we ended up here via Sydney after winning the Greencard lottery! Being able to experience living in America and working for ourselves with no visa issues was such a gift we knew we had to give it a go.
Fred: Born in Holland, raised in New Zealand. Came here after winning a Green Card in the US Diversity Visa Lottery.
C+A: What are your favorite parts of living in LA?
Em: The people - we're surrounded by such inspiring people & there's a generous, creative, collaborative spirit here which is kind of magic.
Fred: Sharing the city with friends who drop in from home (New Zealand & Australia). Hanging with our LA friends in a city that has so much going on at any one time. You never need an excuse for donuts.
C+A: Emily, how did Bodha come about?
I'd always wanted to do something around scent and I studied aromatherapy, but it wasn't until I went to perfume school that everything clicked into place & I absolutely knew I had to create a therapeutic perfumery brand dedicated to helping people reconnect through scented rituals.
C+A: Fred, what drew you to design? What do you love about it?
My high-school art teacher introduced me to the idea and it stuck, I love the process, the journey and seeing what unfolds.
C+A: How do you stay inspired?
Em: Collaboration! I am so fascinated by what other people do so I love collaborating & getting to see them in their element & learn a little about their world.
Fred: I have to clear my head, allow ideas and thoughts to form... creating space is important. That might be through meditative activities (surfing, yoga, etc) travelling.
C+A: Like us, you are life and business partners... How do you navigate living and working together? Any tips?
Em: We're lucky that we have really different strengths and weaknesses which helps balance things out. I think the key to working together is being respectful and grateful for the other person's skill set and remembering to say thank-you.
Fred: Even though we spend a ton of time together we have our own things going on — these often pull us out of the studio at different times which weirdly creates the space you need.
Fred and Emily's Pumpkin Seed Milk Recipe
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 cups water
- Pinch of pink salt
Soak the cup of pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator overnight
In the morning, strain the seeds and blend them with 3 cups of water
Add pink salt while milk is blending
Roasted in Los Angeles