Behind the Scenes with the Women of Ubuntu Life: U.S.

For Women’s Month, we’re celebrating a few of the powerful ladies who help make Ubuntu Life run each day with a conversation on healing, hope, and what they love most about their work.
At Ubuntu Life, women have always been the lifeblood of our community. From our Maker Mums in Maai Mahiu to our creative and marketing teams in Austin, a vast network of extremely talented ladies make us who we are each day.
In honor of Women’s Month, we sat down with a few of the many women who make Ubuntu Life run in the U.S. and Kenya. From our stylist to our photographer to our administrative team and our favorite model, we’re highlighting some of our key players over the course of the month to celebrate their stories.
The theme for Women’s Month this year is Providing Healing and Promoting Hope. We couldn’t think of a better topic for our conversation with three of our U.S.-based team members, model Riane Herzik, stylist Huide Devore, and photographer Dagny Piasecki. Here, they share their thoughts on healing, hope, and what they love most about what they do.

Riane Herzik

New York and Austin-based model for Ubuntu Life

Women are natural healers, will you share a time when healing was an instinctual action for you, who did you heal and how?
In general, I think most people in my life come to me for healing. I think understanding people and being empathetic is such a gift. A friend of mine has a young child, and when times got rough and her romantic relationship was in a decline, I helped her mentally and spiritually. I reminded her about the love in her life. I made sure I was there to try and be an example that you CAN overcome things, even the situations [when] it feels impossible to get over. Support, love, and empathy will get you through so many obstacles in life.
Healing ourselves after hardships or trauma is extremely important, will you share a few items on your self-care list?
I think healing is such a personal, and tender experience. It’s what makes you whole again. The little things always count for me. Writing in a journal is something very important to me—it reflects who I was in that moment. Looking back at past journal entries always reminds me how much I’ve grown. Music pertaining to my situations has a special place in my heart as well. Feeling like you’re understood, especially through music, is one of the best feelings in the world. I love spending time with nature when things are stressful or I need to get over some things. Opening up your mind to yoga and nature and breathing fresh air is always good for the soul.
Which women in your life promote hope, and why?
My boyfriend and I are very close to his pastor’s family. His pastor’s wife, Danielle Babin, is just a naturally healing and understanding person. She’s full of love and light. At one of my lowest points in life, without her even knowing, she changed my life in an instant. She radiates such positive energy, and she speaks to you as if she’s known you her whole life. Just watching her navigate a room is such a beautiful thing to see.
What is your favorite part of your work with Ubuntu Life?
My favorite part of Ubuntu is the sustainability. Besides all of the wonderful and welcoming people that are part of the company, of course. But there’s just something about beautiful jewelry and accessories that have an amazing origin story, [and a company] that cares about their effect on the world is wonderful to me.
What are you the most hopeful about in 2022?
I’m hoping 2022 is full of more understanding and love. There’s so much chaos in the world, as there always is, but with that needs to be a sense of connection. I’ve been seeing and feeling such a sense of community this year. I’m excited to be able to work and navigate this year with a sense of love and passion and being able to reach more people with those. This year, all around, just feels like an opportunity.

Huide Devore

Ubuntu Life stylist
Women are natural healers, will you share a time when healing was an instinctual action for you, who did you heal and how?
To refer to myself as a “healer” feels way too serious for me! Especially during a time when things in life feel so heavy, I try to find ways to express myself authentically based in lightness and humor. In saying this though, I do have a 9 year old daughter who struggles with severe anticipation anxiety, and finding ways to absorb that fear and energy so she doesn’t feel it so deeply has been an ongoing healing process for both her and me.
Healing ourselves after hardships or trauma is extremely important, will you share a few items on your self-care list?
By accident, I learned years ago that sonic vibration is really truly healing for me. A friend invited me to a sound bath on a trip to Idaho, and I was so unexpectedly amazed at the effect it had on my body. Any time I’m feeling “stuck” I’ll make an appointment for an Ashiatsu massage with a “Chakra Clearing”, which, I know sounds very “woo woo”, but something about the vibration of the tuning fork really moves things around for me (in the best way). 
I love adventure, riding bikes and taking time to stop and appreciate nature. It really isn’t just about the destination or the bike ride, it’s about all the things noticed along the way. 
Which women in your life promote hope, and why?
The community of girlfriends I find myself a part of gives me hope everyday. It’s refreshing to be a part of a group of girls who love and support one another and celebrate each other’s  successes rather than feeling threatened by them. All of my close girlfriends are really more like extended family for me. I have had the same best friend, Jennifer, for over 20 years. I’m grateful that my daughter gets to be a part of this relationship and experience what it looks like to have a friend who truly gets the essence of who I am. Every person (male or female) should be so lucky to have a friend like this in their lives!
What is your favorite part of your work with Ubuntu Life?
I’m extremely lucky to work with women I call my friends. I never take this for granted. I love being a part of something that is so much bigger than the product it creates, and I especially love that the Maker Mums on the Ubuntu team in Kenya seem innately joyful. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Dagny Piasecki

Ubuntu Life photographer
Women are natural healers, will you share a time when healing was an instinctual action for you, who did you heal and how?
I was about 8 years old and my dad had just told me about this man with magical powers that healed people with just his hands. I looked at him and said, “Where do you hurt?” He said his tummy, so I put my hands on his stomach and closed my eyes really hard, held my breath and hoped I had magical healing powers too to heal my dad! I opened my eyes, looked at him, and he said, “You fixed me!!!!” Whether it is true or not that I have magic healing hands, it has always been an instinctual action to take care of and help heal people, especially family. 
Healing ourselves after hardships or trauma is extremely important, will you share a few items on your self-care list?
- Pilates at PeachHouse 
- Big walks/hikes with the dogs 
- Long baths with rose-scented Epsom salt 
- Massage at Milk and Honey 
- Sakara beauty Tea 
- Plenty of sheet and face masks 
- Frozen Face roller
Who is the biggest healer in your life, and why?
My mom! She has epitomized motherhood to me. She loves unconditionally, respects me, has taught me valuable lessons, would do anything for me. Just saying these things out loud is healing to my soul.
What is your favorite part of your work with Ubuntu Life?
My favorite part is getting to document elements of a brand that serves such a greater cause. My time in Kenya was so special, and having the opportunity to photograph such an amazing community made me so happy! 

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