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News – Page 2 – All Things O'Natural


By Dominique Harris
on September 27, 2018
With 0 comments

We can't continue to express how honored we feel about being a part of Design*Sponge's newest series, 'Living With Others'. Design*Sponge.


Design*Sponge was created by the talented Grace Bonny, who is a blogger, book writer and inspiration to over 930,000 on Instagram alone. I was attracted to her platform via Instagram not only because of the gorgeous photos that she posts to her wonderfully curated page, but also because she uses her huge platform to address conversations on diversity, inclusion, mindfulness of thought, speech and approach when dealing with issues of racism, privilege, sexism and the likes. Her book, "In The Company of Women" is a New York Times best seller and Design*Sponge also features some of the most amazing home tours EVER!!! You can check out our 2017 Home Tour feature HERE. 

(Photo courtesy of All Things O'Natural)


A peak at some of the feature via Design*Sponge

(photo of our dining room currently)

What is the best part about living together as a family?

 The best part about living together is honestly experiencing and seeing the growth and maturity that we experience as individuals, as husband and wife and definitely as parents. I have learned so much about myself being a wife and mother and we learn so much about ourselves being parents. We learn so much from our children. It’s a huge level of accountability as kids learn by what they see, so they are our biggest accountability partners and that’s an honorable responsibility, but also a very serious responsibility. We love eating family dinner together and chatting about the ins and outs of our day. Most people assume that because we operate our business in our home as well as homeschool our kids who are with us throughout the day we would grow tired of seeing each other — that’s not the case at all because the atmosphere at dinner is way more relaxed. And, when we need moments of “self-time” or “mommy/daddy time” we give the kids the freedom to enjoy their gadgets or watch a movie and we also tell them, “hey, guys, we need a moment so if you guys can enjoy a movie or enjoy some art time, we’d love it.” We find that speaking very straight to them works and they respect our time just as we respect theirs. It’s all about living in harmony, because, you know, there are six of us in this home. For the FULL FEATURE, check it out HERE

We are huge huge believers in teaching our children responsibility early in hopes that they become responsible adults. Daily chores are a huge part of our day and our children, I must say, do an amazing job of keeping their rooms tidy.

(Image of how our boys tidy up their room)

Are you living with others? What are some ways in which you live with others to create harmony?

As always, thanks for reading.


By Dominique Harris
on August 13, 2018
With 3 comments

Alright, ladies and gents, let's talk hydration and moisturization and access how they truly work for healthier hair and skin. This is a topic that I have been blogging about for about 7 years now because it is such an important, and many times, misguided conversation. 

Living a holistic lifestyle, I believe healthy skin and haircare is an amazing expression of love. When we truly invest in ourselves, it manifests from the inside out. 


A topic and tip that I have shared over and over is proper moisturization of the hair and then later in our journey, I wrote about the importance of moisturization through proper hydration in skin care. When I speak to customers and people I meet, I notice that when speaking with people and with answering many many questions about dryness, one of the most overlooked steps in hair and skin is proper hydration in order to achieve moisturization. 



Ok, now, before we dive into that let's chat a bit about what hydrators are and what sealants are and for those who have followed my blogs and social media sites for years have hear me express over and over that oils and butters are NOT moisturizers, even ones that are considered to penetrate the skin. In order for an ingredient to be a moisturizer, it must contain water. Oils and butters are known as SEALANTS, they are wonderful for locking/sealing moisture into the hair and skin. Applying an oil or butter to damp or moistened hair and skin works to trap/lock/seal the moisture into the hair and skin. This is why I'm always confused when brands label a completely water free and oil or butter based ingredient a 'moisturizer'.



Ok, what makes an oil penetrate the skin or hair is due to the fatty acids, molecular structure and other constituents in the oil's profile, thus allowing it to trap moisture into the skin or hair faster, not that it is actually moisturizing the skin or hair. When you apply a butter or oil, no matter the butter or oil, to dry hair or skin, it will cause a 'greasy' or 'oily' feel, which is MUCH different than a hydrated or properly moisturized feel. Water and oil/butters react chemically different to the hair and skin and in order to achieve true hydration, the moisturizing step must include, well, the proper order of steps. For example: After cleansing the skin, many people simply apply a butter or oil to the skin. This can cause a few things to occur. Excessive oil production due to the lack of properly moisturizing. Dry skin, due to the similar lack. Acne breakouts and the likes. Same with the hair. If we apply an oil or butter (again those are 'sealants') to the hair before applying a hydrator (water or aqueous penetrating ingredient) then we are sealing dry hair, not hydrated hair, causing dryness, damage, breakage, itchiness. Skin and hair must maintain a certain level of hydration in order to retain its elasticity and overall health. For our skin, proper hydration allows every cell to work at its optimum aiding in clear, bright youthful and healthy skin with a natural glow. The hair nor skin can perform at its optimum when it lacks the proper hydration step.



Correct! Cream moisturizers or what many brands label as simply 'moisturizers' do contain water, however, they are still considered oils due to their lipid barrier cell binding function. 


Here are some tips that can help:

TIP 1 (SKINCARE): In order for the skin to truly enjoy the benefits of the other steps and perform at its optimum, after cleansing, apply a healthy toner (organic ingredients work amazing with the skin's circulation and for their powerful nutritious and mineral content..natural ingredients alone may be good, but they can also contain harmful pesticides which can also provide harmful results to our skin). A water based product such as a toner must be applied first to open and flush the cells with fluids. After hydrating/misting skin with a toner and while the skin is still damp (very important), apply an oil, beauty balm or serum to the skin to seal/lock in the moisture. When you combine water and oil, you have created an actual moisturizer without the added filler ingredients. 

TIP 2 (HAIRCARE): Just as with our skin, the same proves true for healthy moisturized hair. After cleansing or if rehydrating, apply water or a water based spray to hydrate the hair...while the hair is still damp, seal in the moisture by applying a butter or oil to the hair to seal/lock/trap in the hydration and voila! Moisturization occurs and should provide healthy happy results.



Shelton, M., 1991 Aloe vera, its chemical and therapeutic properties. Int J Dermatol. 30,679–83.

Tai-Nin., Chow, J., Williamson, D.A., Yates, K.M., Goux, W.J., 2005. Chemical characterization of the immunomodulating polysaccharide of Aloe vera L. Carbohydr Res. 340(6), 1131-42.


By Dominique Harris
on July 31, 2018
With 3 comments


Our busy busy weeks, wowsa! I literally force myself to take a moment to recoup because business has been nonstop. What the heck is going on you ask? Well stay tuned and you'll find out the why and how we manage it as a family and brand. This is fantastic, of course, but we do have to be mindful that we are homeschooling and have active kids who need our time. These past few weeks have been 14 and 16 hour days, barely any home cooked meals and tons of "be right there in a moment" moments. Part of our vision for beginning this business was to make sure we always have not just time for our kids, but quality time. This is one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool our kids (for a look into why we homeschool, check out my post HERE). We have recently restocked our website and restocked our website with product sell outs happening almost as soon as we load them on the site. Why on earth do we place a limited supply on our products? Read more to find out the scoop.


We chose a slower growing business path, but have been blessed to sustain our family of 6 and purchase a home (feel free to check out our home Tours via Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy) and invest and be more than ok as a slow growing business. So don't ever feel as though you must rush your vision, grow at a pace you're comfortable with because moving on your vision, that's success already. We have not monetarily paid any bloggers (definitely not knocking as it's one of the best ways to build brand awareness, I speak about this more in a recent blog post HERE) but have been extremely blessed to have some that were customers and loved the product so much they chose to shout us out via their YouTube channels..that's truly grace. That's the universe and Creator bending to our requests and diligence and faith.


One thing that is super duper important to us,being a 'green beauty' brand is that we place a lot of value in the integrity of our ingredients which our products are filled with. We source some of the highest quality ingredients that are mostly organic or wildcrafted, cold pressed, steam distilled and never adulterated with cheap cuts  or yukky ingredients. This is one reason why our products are a bit more pricey than many commercial brands and because we will not compromise on ingredients, we do not compromise on the price of our products and as 'green beauty brand, we are actually a bit less expensive than many many green beauty brands on the market. Great ingredients cost, period! For a detailed read on 'Why Organic Is More Expensive" check out my blog post HERE. We are blessed with a very very diverse customer base with very diverse hair care types and needs and magically enjoying the exact same products. We formulate and handcraft our products to be able to be enjoyed by all hair types and most skin conditions. We are huge believers in the beauty of choice and we understand, however, that this may not be everyone's path of living and everyone may not be that interested in the benefits of not only natural ingredients, but ingredients that are without harmful pesticides and sourced from companies who utilize ethical practices..we completely understand this and respect this, everyone is NOT our customer. 


Family time and self care. The base of our existence is geared towards a healthy family lifestyle. We center our business around our family, who will always come first. Part of our vision for beginning this business was to make sure we always have not just time for our kids, but quality time. That was one of the reasons for by passing big box stores such as Target (cause I get asked why we passed on that opportunity). We prefer smaller intimate boutiques as retailers. Not knocking the big box stores, just sharing our path. I actually think big box stores can be an amazing path to building a brand, our chosen path is just different. Last week, we prepped over 500 orders and still have hundreds of products to prep and ship and the orders are continuing to roll in and we are unbelievably grateful because we realize that new businesses close and do not make it past 5 years and we've been blessed for 7. This business has seen me through two pregnancies and now those kiddies are 5 and 7. We love a family environment and atmosphere and for the most part, we attract very very respectful customers and supporters.with the occasional few who may not truly understand our vision. We try not to overwhelm ourselves in order to garner every single purchase hence the limited supply even during high demand times. We slow pace so that we may be able to fulfill orders in a healthy timeframe, not in a stressful manner, so we absolutely appreciate your patience. We take a lot of time to fill our website with helpful blog posts and healthy hair, skin and lifestyle tips. We keep our invoices updated with current processing times (gotta read them though..gotta read them!) and if we fall behind schedule, we communicate. As a lover of holistic living, I'm a firm believer that respect play a major major role. I believe even when we are frustrated, we can exude a sense of integrity and maturity in our speech. Because of this, disrespectful overtones or speech are not tolerated by me nor towards anyone who may work for us and we exude the utmost respect for our customers. Even in the moments of disagreements, we can choose to exude maturity and respect, if anything, for ourselves. Character speaks volumes. Holistic living is more than one aspect of who a person is, it's the whole person, mind, body and spirit working as one to create a loving and positive self and therefore we exude that love for and towards others and we teach our children the same, not only through our words, but through our actions being the largest example. 


There's been times of wanting to give up, times of motivation lack because it does get really challenging. There have been tears, exhaustion, disagreements, but those have always been outweighed by laughter, blessings, motivation, inspiration and freedom. That's when we know it's time to recoup and regroup. I wish this for everyone who may feel overwhelmed or stressed or disturbed in their spirit at the moment. Find some time for self reflection, be honest about that reflection, embrace the process of overcoming obstacles and discover what peace and joy look and feel  like for you. Wishing you Joy and Peace, Peeps!


tips: Be sure to always check out our 'Shipping and Returns" policy. It will stay updated on our current processing times..we also include this notice on ALL invoices, be sure to read them over. And as always, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! 




CurlyProverbz Names Our Leave In Conditioner Her Favorite EVER!

By Dominique Harris
on June 14, 2018
With 3 comments

photo via @CurlyProverbz

    Ah, the beauty of reviews. Reviews are always a way to learn, share and grow as a brand. We are always so thankful and so thrilled to read reviews from our lovely customers, and I may be biased when saying that we have some of the best customers EVER! Receiving reviews are helpful in a business's growth because not only does it help potential customers learn more about the product, it also helps us, as a business, understand what we are doing well and not so well, especially when the review is a constructive criticism. So, again, a huge thank you for continuing to leave your reviews, we truly appreciate you.

     Now, when it comes to brands and bloggers/influencers, many brands will pay for a blogger/influencer to rep their product(s) in order to increase sales. This is actually a very smart strategy if the goal of that brand is to grow quickly.  It can be great for marketing and advertising and overall a way to increase awareness about a brand. Our chosen journey was to grow consciously but slowly since we also homeschool our 4 children, so we have not chosen to monetarily pay for blogger/influencer services (and boy have we had many to reach out through the years) again, which can be an amazing way to grow your customer base and brand awareness. Word of mouth, loyal customers and referrals have sustained our business for the past 7 years and we couldn't be more grateful. So, when popular blogger, CurlyProverbz heard of our brand from one of our loyal customers (and if I ever find out who that is, I truly want to send them so much love and reward them for!), our adventure began with building a relationship with a blogger/influencer. We shipped out a hefty package to the UK to CurlyProverbz who enjoyed our Leave In Conditioner in Lemongrass, Dudu Osum Shampoo, Farmer's Daughter Herbal Steam and Rajati Enzyme Mask. We had no expectations as we did not monetarily pay to receive reviews or a post, we just appreciate the honest feedback and if the results were great, let us know and we can move forward .

     Fast forward to a month or so later and literally an immediate SELL OUT of our Leave In ConditionerDeep Conditioner, Shampoo and Hair + Body Butter in Lemongrass (the beauty of new customers is that they try additional products in addition to the one they initially shopped for). And our normal processing and ship out turnaround of 1-3 business days became 7 business days. Wow! Talk about a rush!!! We didn't realize where the immediate rush of sales were coming from until, ding (light bulb), I happened to view Curlyproverbz YouTube channel and saw a new video with her naming our Leave In Conditioner the best she has EVER tried and she has tried many. She called it her 'bae' . A few days later, Farida (CurlyProverbz) sent me a DM of the video she created and left some amazingly positive words of her love of the product.

     Farida's (CurlyProverbz) honest experience, extremely beneficial knowledge and love of the products inspired her to create an amazing video on her Youtube Channel naming our Leave In Conditioner her hands down "Holy Grail Leave In Conditioner" (we were pleasantly pleasantly shocked) and we gained some amazing new customers and so far, repeat customers, around the globe within a matter of minutes that has continued to grow to date. Her video increased our  sales 3.5X (April 2018) and our email list gained over 800 new subscribers to date (April - June). Our repeat customer base has grown twice the size since April 2018 and Youtube has now been our consistent top social media conversion platform since April 2018, making 90% of our current sales generating from Youtube via CurlyProverbz channel. And, we are enjoying an amazing influx of reviews and feedback from beauties all over the globe with all hair types and are consistently receiving Insta Story mentions, photos and email messages of how much customers are loving our products. 

So a huge huge, gigantic THANK YOU to Farida, CONGRATULATIONS on the new baby and thank you to our loyal and new customers...we truly appreciate you!! Be sure to head over to CurlyProverbz Channel and WATCH THIS VIDEO to catch her review of our Leave In Conditioner. As always, thanks so much for being a part of our Green Beauty family!




By Dominique Harris
on April 09, 2018
With 2 comments

Last week, I was enjoying some needed down time and came across one of my favorite Insta Brands and home tour websites, Design*Sponge . Design*Sponge shares amazing home tours and features from artists to chefs to many different genres of creatives. What I love most about Design*Sponge is that it consciously strives to continuously be inclusive of people of color, sexual orientation and various social demographics not only in their home tours, but also the various genres of creatives. I was reading a particular article which sparked my fancy asking the question 'Can You Support Indie Brands and Box Stores?' more specifically, 'can we ethically support handmade/independent work and big box stores at the same time? Check out the full article HERE. This article sparked my interest because I am a shopper who support both Big Box and Small Handmade Indie brands. The article addressed many of the concerns expressed when shopping Indie vs shopping big box, tackling issues such as: cost, accessibility, ethics, quality and quantity. It was great reading the comments posted after enjoying the article, as the concerns were equal parts cost + accessibility to ethics + quality..some really great points of view and overall good stuff!


After reading the article and comments, I engaged in a conversation with Grace Bonny, creator and founder of Design*Sponge, proposing an additional point of view that has been a major and ongoing concern from a different perspective that was not covered in the article nor comments. I expressed that when it comes to Indie brands as well as Big Box stores, the lack of diversity and the prevalence of exclusivity are major concerns in who these brands choose as their target demographic and who they choose to market to, as well as who they display via their websites and their social media sites. This, in turn, influences who people of color choose to support with their dollars. Also, since the popularity of social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, we see this lack of diversity pertaining to the accounts they choose to 'regram' or 'repost' via their social media pages. What we notice, particularly as people of color, is that many of the brands that we love to support and even more when they are small Indie brands, is that the focus is very exclusive to a certain demographic, particularly a certain racial demographic. In this article, I want to address how implicit biases and how our exploitative economic system play roles in how brands choose how they market and to whom they chose to market to and how those choices influence how buyers of color choose to show  support.  I will also address how implicit biases and systemic racism affect how we as consumers are affected. First, let me begin by expressing that this article will address issues of  race as well as how race plays a major role in how we view social demographics and how they both play a role in how we choose to market and express inclusitivity. These are important topics that my husband and I speak about in intimate settings among our diverse group of friends and that diversity helps to bridge the gap of understanding more than one point of view. It helps to educate as well as learn, to share and embrace and most importantly, bring awareness to an issue that many times is overlooked or simply not even thought about. Hold on tight, there are layers to this madness!


Unfortunately, as much as we grow weary of thinking about it, race in the US is closely integrated within our economic system, woven into the fabric of the foundation. Because it is so woven into our cultural society, it can often go unnoticed, ignored or denied by non people of color. Though race is pretty much something that was created as a tool used to separate and create an unbalanced hierarchy, it became a living energy throughout the years to justify a racially exploitative economic system. With this, created an existence of implicit biases that have been, throughout the years, weaved into the fabric of our thoughts, our ideas, who we choose to associate with and influencing who we view as elite, middle class and poor, with people of color, particularly blacks in America due to many many systems that were consciously put into place which created an exclusion of many many people of color from the opportunity of progressing economically, being at the bottom of that economic pool. Check out some great articles HERE HERE and HERE regarding the wealth gap in America that was created and exist even in today's society and how this intentionally targeted economic system play a role in how we live in this society, circling back to how we view others, consciously or subconsciously, in this society.


Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an 'unconscious' manner. Implicit bias is different from explicit bias, which is bias we admit to. Circling back to how implicit bias play a role in how and to whom we choose to market, people of color, particularly, black and brown people in America, have not and currently are not associated with economic growth or empowerment, save for a top few that most people can name. And, let's be honest, if we can name a few, then that in itself shows a grossly uneven playing field. These biases that have been built up in our subconscious throughout our lives, affect our 'lived' experiences and how we deal with others who are different from us and play a role in how they are viewed, which ultimately play a role in how we choose to market our business and to who. A great podcast on understanding our implicit bias can be enjoyed HERE , (highly recommended). Because implicit bias play such a major role in hiring decisions, medical care and business decisions, it can also can play a role in our everyday lives. It can play a role in the neighborhoods we choose to live in, the establishments we choose to patronize, the shows we watch and how we target and market to chosen consumers.


The problem with implicit bias is that it can create bad feelings about self, let's be honest, no one wants to feel bad about themselves. Because America is still struggling with reversing the legacy of institutional racism (societal patterns that impose impressive or otherwise negative conditions on identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity) an institution that has left many communities segregated even today, it has aided in creating the pool from which we form relationships and societal circles. What happens, then, is that the backwards thinking, what we may think is normal is really cultural pressure that pushes you into biases, implicit and explicit. This in turn, affects how businesses, large, small and micro, choose to market and to whom they choose to market to, which reflects on their websites and social media pages. I witness this a lot in the wellness, green beauty, travel, fashion and interior world. It has been such an issue that brands such as REVOLVE came under heavy scrutiny fire and design focused magazines such as DOMINO was inspired to feature articles regarding diversity and inclusitivity. 


Well, taking a step back and digesting the information that I've shared above, how businesses choose to market and to whom play a part in the system of racism and implicit bias. It helps to debunk stereotypes when we consciously interact, work with and have conversations with people who look different from ourselves.


Being a handcrafter and small business owner, myself, for the past 7 years I see a lack of inclusitivity in the 'Green Beauty' industry, which is the industry that my brand would be a category of, in terms of featuring people of color in marketing and featured on social media for the brands.This lack of inclusiveness can lead people of color, people like me, who would have thought of supporting certain brands with feelings that those brands do not want potential buyers who look like me to view nor buy their products.On the flip side of business, I also deal with the inaccurate assumptions that because the business that I own and products that my company handcraft are created ONLY for people of color. So, I get to see both sharp ends of the swords.


Bottom line, everyone has 'lived' experiences and everyone's experiences are different and valid. When people of color voice their grievances about feeling excluded and their dollars not valued, listen. Those grievances are just as valid as when women voice their feelings about feeling excluded and not appreciated or deemed worthy or equal in a world dominated mostly by men. We all wish to see ourselves reflected when shopping or investing in brands that we find value, this is no different for people of color. Inclusitivity and the recognition that diversity exclusion exists is a major step in recognizing how implicit bias play a role in our society. Recognizing that racism is much deeper than the outward explicit nature of white sheet covered men and women spewing hate. It's much deeper than Neo Nazis marching aggressively in attempts to intimidate through terror and fear. Again, it's a system that affects many things from where and how we live, who we associate or do not associate with, who we value and who we don't, where we send our kids to school, where those schools are located and how they are funded, how institutions fund loans and to whom and how this plays a major role in wealth building, who companies choose to hire and who they do not, how we choose to market our products and to whom and right down to social media, who we choose to follow and who we do not. 

Think about these things here and ask honest questions of yourself:

When you think about where you live, where you shop, where your children attend school, events you attend, are you mindful of diversity? These things can appear so normal and so innocent, however, if people only attend or are only surrounded by people who look just like them, how are relationships formed with anyone who might be different? This makes me think about another conversation Grace and I were having regarding racism and implicit bias and I mentioned that much of the issue is that how can we expect non people of color to relate to our issues when they don't even associate (whether consciously or unconsciously) with people who look different from themselves. This is why diversity is important.

And even deeper, an important question to ask is, though we shouldn't quite label all things as 'racist' the question we do want to ask is, how do I make sure that I'm not subconsciously supporting systemic racism or harboring implicit biases? Here are some questions you can begin to ask yourself:

1. If you live in the US and have rarely or never been around people of color, how are you truly viewing people of color? How do you empathize with their 'lived' experiences? What are your initial thoughts of people of color and How do you form those thoughts, based on what circumstances? Are your thoughts and feelings formed based on images presented in media? 

2. As a brand owner or business, do you make conscious efforts to hire people other than those who look like you? What does your staff look like? 

3. Have you built personal relationships, beyond a 'hi' or 'bye' with a person of color?

4. When meeting or associating with people of color, do you use urban slang terms in hopes of fitting in or relating with the assumption that all people of color speak this way?

5. When you see a brand or business owned by a person of color, do you automatically assume the product or service are ONLY for people of color? Do you question the excellence more? The quality of the product or service more?

6. Do you automatically exclude certain neighborhoods as places you might live or send your kids to school? What do those neighborhoods look like? Those schools?

7. When you have a negative experience with a person of color do you automatically lump all persons of color in the same category, making them a monolith in your mind?

8. When you think of success and wealth, what type of people do you automatically associate with wealth and success? What aided you in forming these thoughts?

9. When a person of color enters a restaurant or event, do you automatically stare at them without realizing how that may create feelings of discomfort?

10. When you browse the website or social media page of a brand or business, do you recognize if they have an even presence of diversity? If no, why? If yes, what are the thoughts that run through your mind?

11. As a brand owner, do you consciously display diversity on your page? Do you regram/repost social media pages of people of color who have supported your business? If no, why? Do you question whether reposting a page from a customer who happens to be a person of color and how that will affect your following or business or brand image?

12.If you were to browse your social media following, what do you see? Do you follow or support pages owned by people of color? If no, why? If yes, do you actively engage?

13. If you do have a conversation with a person of color who may be expressing their concerns about discrimination or racism, do you truly listen without feeling the need to correct or offer advice or do you simply dismiss their concerns?

 14. Do you discuss race with your children? If not, why? If not, here is a great article on the importance of discussing race with your children. And if you wish to know how to begin talking to your children about race, check out this article HERE. Do you include books, toys and shows that show diversity in your home with your children? Are your kids exposed to persons of color in fields other than nannies, housekeepers, lawn care? Breaking issues of a broken system begins at home and begins early.

15.When speaking with your friends or perhaps a person of color, do you make mention that you, 'don't see race' or 'my best friend is black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American'? 

16. Do you become defensive when asked about racism and make it more personal? If so, why? Remember, systemic racism is more than about an individual and personal feelings, bottom line, it's more than just about you.

TIP: When asked questions by Whites on the detriments and intricacies of racism and how it affects day to day life for POC (People of Color), I love to recommend the audio book by Debby Irving "Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race". The author does a wonderful job narrating the book and truly helping for Whites to question their own biases and question their complicity into a racist system. I highly highly recommend this book and even further, after reading, discussing with your friends, family, definitely children and/or colleagues. This book will disrupt comfort zones, provoke some seriously deep thought and attack defensiveness.

So, I know that was pretty lengthy, but hopefully it will help spark awareness as to how our own thoughts, choices and actions can support a system that outwardly we may not agree with. I'm a huge 'why' person, so I'm always striving to get to the bottom of the 'why's' of how we think, act and react or respond. My belief is that in order to even begin the process of healing, one must have those hard truthful conversations with self and then with others. We may not necessarily be able to change society, but we can change our outlook and how we choose to live within this society, one thought, choice, conversation and action at a time.


Further reading..Important books that will help further understand the setbacks suffered and how those setbacks have affected much of the current economic hardships faced today by Black Americans.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zin





Meet the Family Behind The Brand and Welcome To Our Home

By Dominique Harris
on December 06, 2017
With 3 comments

There is something so amazingly gratifying and humbling about operating a business. It's especially gratifying operating a business with your spouse as well as homeschooling your kids and making it happen. 

When it comes to social media, I adore it for so many reasons. It can be a tool for connecting with old friends, classmates, new friends. A place for inspiration and motivation, learning and sharing, educating and growing. We use our social platform not only to bring awareness and market our brand, All Things O'Natural LLC, but to also connect with people around the globe through holistic living, homeschool, design, art, DIY and visual storytelling. And, I must say, there are some absolutely amazing accounts and amazing people that I've been inspired by. One in particular is the brand, Design*Sponge.

Design*Sponge was created by the talented Grace Bonny, who is a blogger, book writer and inspiration to over 900,000 on Instagram alone. I was attracted to her platform via Instagram not only because of the gorgeous photos that she posts to her wonderfully curated page, but also because she uses her huge platform to address conversations on diversity, inclusion, mindfulness of thought, speech and approach when dealing with issues of racism, privilege, sexism and the likes. Her book, "In The Company of Women" is a New York Times best seller and Design*Sponge also features some of the most amazing home tours EVER!!!

So, one amazing day in October 2017, actually it was on October 4 to be exact, senior writer for Design*Sponge, Sofia Tuovinen, inboxed me asking if my husband, Syeed and I would like to be featured as a Home Tour guest on their blog...Wait..What?!?!

Can you imagine my excitement? I have oogled over their site and have been swooned by many of their home tours for a few years now. So, can you guess what my answer was......

So, fast forward to 2 months later and at the wake of our 1 year anniversary of owning our home (we closed on December 12, 2016...also our wedding anniversary), our home tour is humbly gracing the blog, Instagram and Facebook accounts of Design*Sponge. Side note*** all of the support you guys have shown on our All Things O'Natural Instagram account as well as all of the comments left on our account and on the feature, as well as on Design*Sponge and Sofia.Tuovinen accounts are just simply mind blowing...we can't thank you enough! Your continuous support helped us get here.

To view our feature, please click on the picture below and feel free leave us a comment (trust me, we read them ALL), share and enjoy!


By Dominique Harris
on July 22, 2017
With 4 comments


Palo Santo (Spanish for 'Holy Wood' or 'Wood of the Saints") comes from the mystical tree that grows on the coast in South America. The distant relative to trees such as, Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal, it is enjoyed for many uses whether it be for healing, energy cleansing and/or creativity. Palo Santo is wildcrafted and ethically harvested with sustainable practices.

Even though you may stumble upon a Palo Santo tree while trekking in the RainForest, you wouldn't necessarily experience a 'jaw dropping' visual experience..but, nonetheless, who wouldn't love to see a Palo Santo tree in the flesh..or bark.



(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Although this tree may not have the majestical look like say a Weeping Willow, Old Oak or Huge Maple, it's what's inside that is truly magical. The Palo Santo tree has a strong spirit and so many amazing benefits, but only long after its death, hence the term 'natural death' when associated with Palo Santo. The concentration of essential oils that give its wood an irresistible aroma and remarkable healing properties do not develop until after the tree fell on its own accord and it is given ample time to rest peacefully on the forest floor.

interesting fact: Those who harvest this wood discovered that not only are there male and female palo santo trees, but that they grow in groups of one male and eight females. The lone male outlives his female counterparts by a long shot. While female trees tend to live around 40-50 years, the male can live up to 200 years. Their wood also has distinct characteristics. Wood from female palo santo trees is yellow, solid and heavy, whereas that of the male is white, hollow, fragile and light. Shamans teach that these trees have a distinct spirit that lives in the wood long after the tree’s life has ended. It should be no surprise that shamans treat this tree as a living entity!




One of the most stunning qualities of palo santo wood is its inherent ability to purify all that it comes in contact with on an energetic level. Wherever its smoke goes, it cleanses and purifies, so it can be used to purify a room, an entire home and especially people. But there’s a bit more to it than that. Shamanic wisdom explains that an attraction to the aroma of palo santo is a sign of emotional and spiritual purity. There are some, however, who feel a peculiar discomfort when in the presence of its aroma. If this happens to you, do not be discouraged! This is all part of its purifying effect and gradually you will also enjoy its natural fragrance as the wood’s cleansing and purification takes effect. Just try, try and try again, and you will soon find the palo santo aroma irresistible and enjoy a feeling that can only be described as being lighter (energetically, of course!).



The wood from palo santo trees is also commonly burnt as incense and used to make a natural mosquito repellent (like citronella oil) because it possesses aromatic resins and volatile oils. Historically, palo santo wood chips or sticks were used as incense to keep off mosquitoes. If you can find wood chips, sticks or cones, burn one or two in an incense burner for about 20 or 25 minutes.

TIP: You can also use palo santo essential oil in the same way or combine it with water and spray it directly onto your skin or clothes.



(via Dr. Axe)

          A.) IMMUNE SYSTEM: As a rich supply of antioxidants and phytochemicals called terpenes, including      limonene and α-terpineol, concentrated palo santo oil is effective for fighting free radical damage (also called oxidative stress), relieving stomach aches, fighting stress, reducing pains due to arthritis and healing many other conditions. Particularly, it’s been gaining attention for being a natural cancer treatment for inflammatory diseases. An analysis of steam-distilled palo santo oil (using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) showed that the major active constituents include: limonene (89.33 percent), α-terpineol (11 percent), menthofuran (6.6 percent) and carvone (2 percent). Other beneficial compounds in smaller quantities include germacrene D, muurolene and pulegone.

         B.) DETOXIFYING: Palo santo helps support the immune system and turns off inflammatory responses from things like a poor diet, pollution, stress and illness. Try using several drops of pure palo santo oil as a detoxification agent by combining it with hot water (not boiling) and drinking it as an herbal tea. It’s great for calming the nervous system and to recover faster from illness, chronic fatigue syndrome or emotional pain.

         C.) RELAXANT: Considered an oil that’s grounding and centering, both palo santo and frankincense oils are used for emotional and spiritual support since they work like natural anxiety remedies. Once inhaled, palo santo travels directly through the olfactory system (which controls our sense of smell) of the brain, where it helps turn on the body’s relaxation responses and reduces panic, anxiety and insomnia.

TIP: You can apply several drops mixed with a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) to your head, neck, chest or spine to help you unwind and fall asleep more easily. You can also combine palo santo with lavender oil, bergamot oil or frankincense oil for additional relaxation benefits.

          D.) PAIN RELIEF: Known to combat migraines and even stress-related headaches or bad moods, palo santo helps to lower inflammation and increase blood flow that can help turn off perceived pain. For a natural headache remedy and instant relief, dilute a few drops in water and dissolve the vapors with a diffuser whenever a headache strikes. Or try rubbing some palo santo mixed with coconut oil or Jojoba Oil onto your temples and neck. As a great way to naturally lower pain from arthritis, injuries, chronic neck or back pain, and sore muscles, apply several drops with a carrier oil three times a day directly on the point of pain. For a natural remedy for muscle, bone and joint pain, try massaging the oil mixture into the skin until the oil is absorbed or sitting in a soaking bath with palo santo and Epsom salts.

4.) HOUSEHOLD CLEANER: Similar to clary sage and cedarwood essential oils, palo santo has a cleansing effect that can help reduce odors, bacteria and viruses within your home. Palo santo woodchip incense or essential oil can also be used to clean the air and surfaces in your home and prevent illnesses, contamination or even “bad energy.” Purify your kitchen, bathroom or appliances by diffusing the oil or running it through your household appliances.


AROMATICALLY: You can use palo santo essential oil for aromatherapy by diffusing it within your home using a diffuser, or you can inhale it directly from the bottle. If you’d prefer to try using dried palo santo woodchips instead of oil, use a candle, match or lighter to ignite your sticks/cones and hold them at about a 45-degree angle pointing the tip down toward the flame. Allow it to burn for about 30 seconds to one minute, and then blow it out or add it to a non-flammable metal, glass or clay bowl to slowly diffuse throughout your home (keep in mind: Palo Santo sticks do not constantly burn until they burn out like incense sticks. You light them, allow them to burn and enjoy the smoke, similar to sage sticks, however they burn out quicker, but you can relight them over and over until the entire stick is completely burned)

TOPICALLY: Always be sure to dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil before applying onto skin, such as: Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Coconut, Olive. 

TIP:some people react to citrus, frankincense and palo santo oils by experiencing skin irritation, so perform a patch test first to be safe and use caution when it comes to applying the oil to babies, children and pets.


We love Palo Santo so much, not only as incense sticks, but we also add the wildcrafted essential oil to our Rosehip Facial Serum. This is a huge reason why before apply the serum to your clean damp skin, we advise to rub a few drops into your hands, close your eyes, bring your oiled hands to your face and take a deep relaxing inhale..then gently press into skin to lock in the moisture.



You can usually find Palo Santo at hip stores that sell incense or organic markets. Here are a few faves of mine where I love to grab my Palo Santo

Shamans Market





By Dominique Harris
on June 20, 2017
With 1 comments

During my journey of embracing my natural texture back in 2010, I've used heat all of 3-4 times and took extreme precautions when I did so to prevent heat damage. What is heat damage? Heat damage is when the protein bond in the hair has been permanently damaged due to either, heat or chemicals such as colorants, dyes, relaxers or texturizers. Because the protein bond has been damaged, it is irreversible damage, so the best method, should this occur, is not to beat yourself up as hair will always grow back and either gradually trim the damaged hair (as in transitioning from relaxed to natural), or clip the damage all at once. I've blogged a few times on using heat to help with preventing heat damage, especially if you are choosing to apply heat to your own hair yourself...hey, I'm with ya, a stylist hasn't touched my tresses in over 8 years now.

At the present time, I am on a loc journey and have been for almost a year now, but I do have many social media supporters and customers who enjoy a little heat from time to time and I love to help share any information that will aid in keeping those tresses healthy.


STEP 1: Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse the hair. Applying heat to unclean hair increases the risk of heat damage due to the buildup, oil and dirt that's on the hair, so be sure to clean it. Try to avoid shampoos that contain sulfates (harsh foaming agents that are drying to the hair). Here's what I use: DUDU OSUM SHAMPOO

STEP 2: Deep Condition the hair as it improves the moisture and elasticity of the hair. Be sure to rinse the deep conditioner thoroughly to prevent buildup creating a 'smoky' atmosphere when straightening the hair. Here's what I use, NOURISHING DEEP CONDITIONER

STEP 3: Moisturize the hair to aid in protecting the hair against so much heat. Here's what I use: NATTY MOIST LEAVE IN CONDITIONER

STEP 4: Apply a sealant to the hair to help minimize exposure to so much heat, aiding in drying out the hair and causing heat damage. Here's what I use as a heat protectant and sealant, NATTY BUTTER HAIR + BODY BUTTER

STEP 5: Ok, so this is completely optional. I place my hair into two strand twists to allow to dry to at least 75-80%. This lessens how much heat needed from the blow dryer. TIP: Blow drying on sopping wet hair aids in using much more heat than needed.

STEP 6: Once my hair is 75-80% dry, working one twist at a time, I untwist then use a brush such as a denman brush to comb out the curls from the twists, then I apply very little NATTY BUTTER HAIR + BODY BUTTER as a heat protectant. Holding the blow dryer 4-5" inches away from my hair or use a dryer with a comb attachment...if you do not have one, gently glide a comb downward as you are blowdrying the hair. Optional, with a temperature setting no higher than 375 degrees (TIP: hair will burn and be exposed to possible heat damage at temperatures of 450 degrees or more), I slowly work my flat iron from root to ends. I do this until I have applied heat to all of the hair that was in twists.

My hair in twists prior to using heat              My hair after applying heat


When using heat, I do not strive for bone straight, as I do not want to risk damage. My hair is very thick, so this took about 3-1/2 - 4 hours to do as I took my time so as not to rush. I also trimmed each section as I straightened. As I mentioned earlier, I've used heat 4 times since I did my big chop in 2010 and my hair has thrived with very minimal heat, healthy diet, good water intake, protective styling and healthy products. For more information on the DO'S and DONT'S of using heat, click the link HERE

For details on my Healthy Hair Regimen throughout my journey, check out the blog post HERE

As always, I hope this helps


By Dominique Harris
on June 17, 2017
With 2 comments

ORGANIC...SMORGANIC..Let's talk about it!

Being a handcrafter of apothecary products that include natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients, I receive a ton of questions regarding the scoop on organic ingredients and why they are so expensive. So, I thought, hmmm, what better way to try to explain the scoop on organic than a blog post, yay! In terms of our ingredients, look for the (*) next to any ingredient, which symbolizes an 'organic ingredient'. 


According to the USDA, organic ingredients must be 95% free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers and dyes. Organic is the most heavily regulated food system. The ingredients also must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering (GMO). Fact, just because an ingredient is 'natural' does not qualify it as 'organic'. sum up organic vs. natural , here's a list via 


Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics said it best, "Organic food and products cost more because they're harder to grow and harder to make....simply put. There's a fee associated with becoming certified organic, but there's more to it. Organic farmers have lower crop yields and smaller crops, and have to manage pests with very time consuming, natural methods like crop rotation, inter planting and the use of lady bugs (a gardeners dream bug) rather than spraying a plant with toxic pesticides."

Converting land to organic status is a three-year process. There is a two-year conversion process consisting of building up the fertility of the land. Produce grown in the first year cannot be stated as organic. In the second year produce may be stated as “In Conversion”. It is not until the third year that produce may be stated as fully organic. Soil and natural fertility building are important parts of organic farming. The farming practices are environmentally friendly, but the non use of harsh chemicals make the crops more volatile. Animal meat considered organic must contain 95 - 100% organic materials, therefore, synthetic additives and antibiotics cannot be added to the animal feed. So cleaner, healthier meat products and lower risks of exposure to carcinogenic ingredients. As a product maker, I can tell you that the costs of organic raw materials are expensive, bottom line,  especially when they are from great reliable sources who have met certifications such as Oregon Tilthe (OTCO), USDA Certified, Forest Grown, Fair For Life and others... When the cost of 'organic' is higher, consider these facts as well (via :

  • Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing.

  • The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups that we pay for through our tax dollars.

  • Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.

  • Organic farms are usually smaller than conventional farms and so do not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.


  • The USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products: 

  • 100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients 

  • Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients 

  • Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) 

  • Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package. (vis


Well, one of the main benefits is the fact that you lessen your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals such as  pesticides, harsh solvents and dyes..many which have been linked to cancer. So, in essence, you are paying a little more for cleaner, healthier food and ingredients for your whole self. 


Well, for one, try cooking at home more and incorporating plants into the diet. Eating out is expensive, period, and most times, the ingredients used in restaurants are not stellar. If you don't have access to organic often, try to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and use a great cleaner to try to remove the pesticides, such as: soaking produce in distilled white vinegar, a soak using pure African Black Soap or we love the Environne Cleaner. Also, you can make some amazing household cleaning products with simple ingredients such as: Baking Soda, Distilled White Vinegar and Lemon, throw in a few essential oils that are great for keeping in your pantry such as Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil  (this is also an amazing oil to apply directly to burns or cuts) and/or Peppermint Essential Oil..Doctor Bronners does an amazing job at cleaning counters, carpet, upholstery, tubs and the whole one bottle. You can make your own healthy deodorant by combining baking soda and organic coconut oil, add a few drops of sage, lavender and/or tea tree essential oils and voila! Make your own bath salts for a relaxing soothing bath. Make your own body oils using high quality oils such as: Safflower, Sweet Almond and Olive Oil, drop in a capsule full of vitamin e (1%) and voila! Organic living can be just as frugal as conventional living when you get familiar and creative with ingredients...and, it's quite empowering and fun to make your own healthy living goodies! So, how bout' it..ready to indulge in the 'organic' lifestyle? As always, I hope this helps.

DRY BRUSHING...So, What's The Rave

By Dominique Harris
on April 10, 2017
With 1 comments

So, let's talk about the beauty and benefits of 'brushing'. No, not your hair, not your teeth, but your skin..yes, your skin. Did you know there are actual benefits of brushing your largest organ? Well, there are and I'm about to indulge your brain as to the amazing benefits of this ancient holistic practice..let's go!


If you've followed my social media pages; facebook , Instagram and/or Twitter, you may have heard me mention the holistic practice of dry brushing in years past posts. As anyone who knows me (personally and cyber-ly) knows that I love anything that is calming, relaxing, holistic and meditative. This soothing practice is not only enjoyed in spas, but can also be enjoyed right in the comfort of your If you have heard of dry brushing, you have heard that when doing this practice, you should brush towards the heart..but, there is actually much more to it than that. But, let's talk about some of the benefits of this practice. 



LYMPHATIC SUPPORT and DETOXIFICATION: Though it is not spoken about much, our lymphatic system is a MAJOR part of our body's immune system. Made up of lymph nodes, ducts, vessels, and organs, it is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. The lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, known as lymphatic drainage. When this important system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up in turn making you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerhouse detoxification aid. Think of it like this..the blood system brings in the groceries, the lymphatic system takes 'out' the trash. Note: some may experience slight sickness when detoxing so be especially certain to fill the body with whole foods such as organic fruits, vegatables and lots and lots of water)

EXFOLIATION: Due to the movement and bristles of the brush, dry brushing aids in removing dead dry skin. Not only does this improve our skin's appearance, clears clogged pores and allows our skin to breathe (be sure if using a brush on the face, it is a softer bristle brush), it also aids in minimizing the effects that dust mites bring as they feed off of dead skin cells. Check out how JannyOrganically reduced her allergies by dry skin brushing..amazing, right!

RELIEVES STRESS: The act of dry brushing can be extremely meditative. The practice of dry brushing aids in reducing muscle tension, calming your mind which leads to relieving stress.

IMPROVES DIGESTION and KIDNEY FUNCION: Not only does dry brushing aid in elimating toxins, it goes deeper as it aids in supporting our digestive and organ functions. Many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. I also found that castor oil packs do an amazing job of improving digestion and eliminating toxins from the body (I'll create a later post about the benefits of Castor Oil Packs). Dry brushing encourages the elimination of metabolic wastes which increases circulation to your skin.

REDUCES CELLULITE: Now, keep in mind, each person's body is different, so results may vary..but here is a little information as to how dry brushing has helped rid the body of cellulite. How dry brushing aids in potentially reducing cellulite is that it helps to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. Dry brushing may also aid in removing toxins that break down connective tissue, though some believe the effect is temporary, mostly as a result of the skin becoming more plump and swollen after brushing.


Now that we've chatted a bit about some of the benefits, let's indulge in how to dry brush the proper way. A great video that I found to be extremely useful was this DRY BRUSHING video after researching and reading and viewing so much information on dry brushing methods.

FIRST: Set aside 5-10 minutes of self care time and Seek out a quiet spot where you can really get into the moment...You could also simply hop in the shower and dry brush in the shower (water off) and afterwards enjoy a nice shower that rinses the dead skin down the drain and you nice and clean. Note: This practice may drain you a bit, so if you must return to work or have a busy schedule afterwards, wait until the evening to do dry brushing.

SECOND: Grab your high quality dry brush, I got my gal from GoodJuJu Herbal via Etsy. I loved the price and the fact that the bristles are natural vs. boar's hair. This one does not come with a handle, but I have been able to do what I need to do without one and I'm very very gentle on my facial area. You can also find them on Amazon, like the one HERE and one specifically for the face HERE...check the reviews. The bristles should be a little stiff, but not sand paper rough. 

THIRD: Watch THIS video for the in depth how to. You can brush your entire body, however, be sure to avoid areas of exposed wounds, abrasions, vericose veins or open sores.

FOURTH: Take a nice shower and slather on some of our CALM Body Oil, teehee, while your skin is still wet to lock in the moisture from your shower. 


FIFTH: Drink plenty of water..Remember, you just did a detox, so smoothies are great as well.

Repeat daily, if possible, for the best results.

 My experience thus far has been that of smooth skin, though I exfoliate quite often using our products...but, my digestion has been even better and my skin feels tighter,. It can be quite addictive as any self care method can, but that's a great thing. Have you tried dry brushing? Feel Free to share your experience.



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