Eva's creative escape to Ojai
Posted by EVA FRANCO
In my early 20’s living in the Philippines trying to jumpstart my first label, I was desperately searching for some meaning to my work and life. In a random bookstore in Manila, I came across the book “Total Freedom” by Krishnamurti.
I felt like I had discovered a hidden treasure of wisdom. His book resonated so deeply that I started, for the first time, asking the right questions in my journey of self-exploration. His message of “Do not do as I say discover for yourself what is true for you”, was so refreshing against all the dogmas I had witnessed. Many years later when I had moved to California I recalled his journals speaking about his home and the nature he observed on his daily walks in Ojai, CA. Just 90 minutes north of LA, I drove into this enchanted valley of orange groves and pink sunsets and fell in love with this small town of 7,000 people.
I stayed in his house now called the "Pepper Tree Retreat" and spent hours among the tranquil juniper trees, picking oranges, reading, writing, reconnecting with nature and sometimes just observing. Over the years Ojai has become my happy place to recharge, reflect and connect to my creativity.On each visit, I discover new gems like the Krotona Library (which was founded in 1924 ) filled with spiritual books from around the world.
Witnessing the magical sunset from Meditation Mountain is a do not miss event (thou the recent fires have kept it closed). There are a precious few moments in the evening when the mountains around the small valley begin to glow vivid shades of pink and red around sunset. Called the Pink Moment, it is believed this phenomenon happens because Ojai is one of the few valleys in the world that runs east to west.
Gifted healers like Lee Smith reside in Ojai, her deep emotional release work helps to clear up pent-up emotions and become clear about one’s purpose in life.
Another beautiful soul that lived in Ojai was Beatrice Wood. The artist's whimsical pottery is on display at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts. You can still visit her working pottery studio today.
My favorite lunch spot is the Farmer and the Cook. It's a sweet way to blend with the eclectic locals. The township has stayed true to their roots and not allowed any national chains to disturb the uniqueness of Ojai.
The Resort 2019 Collection is very much the reflection of vibrant orange colors against the blue skies. Pieces that you can wear in the countryside or in the city rejuvenating one’s spirit with bright colors and conversational prints.