DIOSA 003: Aba Gyepi-Garbrah
Say hello to the lotions & potions queen - Aba!
Aba is the founder and boss-lady of Aba Love Apothecary. As fate would have it, a friend who was studying acupuncture asked Aba if she could practice acupuncture on her. Aba agreed and was soon surrounded by Reiki healing and essential oils. Through this experience, she fell in love with energic healing mixed with essential oils. She then went on to become a certified Aromatherapist.
I introduced myself to Aba after a Moon Club workshop we both attended where she was open and honest about things that she was currently going through. From one ambitious, entrepreneur to another, I felt connected to her. She's working a full-time job in one of the most grueling industries (FASHION) and running her business at the same time. And she doesn't cut any corners, slide over to her website and purchase her products and experience it for yourself. Her Divine Me anointing oil is heaven sent. I have that in my purse at all times. I use it on my third eye before prayers & meditation and I also rub a little bit behind my ears when I need a boost of energy. Ya girl added Palo Santo as one of the ingredients so you know I love it!
BM: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. YOUR SIGN, THINGS YOU DO FOR FUN, ETC...
AG: Well, I’m a Gemini Sun, Cancer Rising + Pisces Moon. For fun, dancing, exploring art + eating yummy foods are ALWAYS fun. And travel- I’ve got such wanderlust!
BM: DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A WITCH? WHAT DOES THAT WORD MEAN TO YOU?
AG: That’s a question I’m not sure I can answer just yet. But I will say I consider myself a kind of initiate. There are real powers to witchery and I cannot say that I’ve mastered them by any stretch, but I deeply respect the type of power the Witch holds. And I learn from it. There are many ways to be a Witch, especially through art & craft. Though it’s almost a pop-term now, I put much respect on that name! What being a Witch means to me is someone whom understands energetic power and knows how to use it wisely. And works with the natural cycles of the Moon and utilizes earthly tools (oils, herbs, plants, mineral forms) or just purely intention to aid in their “Work”.
BM: THE SKIN CARE INDUSTRY IS MASSIVE WITH AN EXPECTED REVENUE AROUND $11 BIL BY 2018, YET THE MARKET SHARE OF BLACK SKINCARE IS MINUET. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS? DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR MAKING A LINE EXCLUSIVELY FOR DARKER SKIN TONES?
AG: Yes, this is true. I do think black skincare as a specific category will continue to grow- it’s really already out there but it’s just not as splashy in as many stores as most of the brands out there but that’s already changing. If I did something exclusive for darker skin, it would be makeup but that’s a whole other game entirely!
BM: WHAT ARE SOME SKIN CARE TIPS FOR DARKER SKIN TONES?
AG: Exfoliation is your friend! Regular use of a gentle fruit enzyme exfoliator is key for getting rid of dead skin, prevents flaking and keeps pores clear. It also helps with the removing of dark marks and achieving smoother skin. And sunscreen, on the daily! And if possible, find a dermatologist that specializes in skin of color.
P.S., if you're in NY and looking for an amazing dermatologist, Aba highly recommends Dr. Carlos A. Charles.
BM: HOW CAN SOMEONE INCORPORATE AROMATHERAPY INTO THEIR LIVES?
AG: Best way is to keep it simple with a couple high-quality oils from suppliers you trust. I encourage people to explore oils with information other than what sounds good. Experience the oils using the mind-body connection. Notice the kind of energy resonates with you. Be aware of what gives you tingles, softens you or gives you the jolt of energy you crave- those are the right ones! Then just create 1 or 2 blends in little vials you can take anywhere. At home, a timed nebulizer is also great.
BM: DO YOU USE CRYSTALS? WHICH ARE YOUR FAVORITE? HOW DO YOU USE THEM?
AG:Yes I do use them! I have a few that I go between: Opalite, Selenite, Celestite, Rose Quartz, Kyanite, Black Tourmaline, Orange Calcite, Citrine and I just ordered my first Amethyst! Sometimes I’ll place them around my work space when I’m blending or I’ll pick one that I what to spend time with and use it my morning mediations if I have an extra 20 minutes.
BM: WHAT IS YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE ROUTINE?
AG: It’s been harder for me to rise early in the am for morning rituals, so I have been doing morning prayer or mediation in the shower. It’s amazing and especially good if I’m having very vivid dreams and need to do a bit more to feel grounded. And I love showers so it’s just next level. When I get home from work, I usually smudge myself and pour myself a cup of hot water or make an herbal tonic and collect myself before I spend an hour or to catching up in Aba Love emails or formulating.
BM: WHAT'S CURRENTLY ON YOUR ALTAR?
AG: Fresh flowers, my crystals of choice, candles, an incense or smudging stick (I rotate between Palo Santo, Copal, Sage + Sweetgrass). A roseary, a few images of my spirit animals, and 1 or 2 items from my grandparents whom have passed. There’s also a tarot deck & journal within arms reach.
BM: ARE THERE ANY FEMALE ARCHETYPES THAT YOU CONNECT WITH? WHY?
AG: Yes there are a few Isis, Mary Magdelene and Mother Mary. There are too many reasons to list why. But I will say I became intrigued with their mastery and have learned a lot from them in terms of how I wish to exist in this world. Their messages have often moved me to tears so my heart is very close to them.
BM: WHAT DOES HONORING YOUR ANCESTORS MEAN TO YOU? HOW DO YOU HONOR YOUR ANCESTORS?
AG: Well, if it was not for them I wouldn’t be here, firstly. Secondly their prayers have protected me beyond space and time! I honor them by remembering them, I call them into mediations or ceremony for guidance.