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Mother Essentials: Cleobella Founder Angela O’Brien

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Globally inspired. Ethically handmade. That’s the overarching ethos of Cleobella, a boho dress-driven fashion line founded by SoCal-based mother and designer Angela O’Brien. “We’re deeply rooted in our commitment to sustainability and employment that uplifts independent artisans around the world,” Angela explains. “Throughout the years, sustainability has been a core pillar for Cleobella when sourcing new materials. The brand is now GOTS certified with a focus on sustainable fabrics that are biodegradable.” Angela’s Mother Essentials are similarly conscious—from classic kids’ toys to green juice add-ons. Plus, the mother of two (son Keenan Case is 10, and daughter Indigo Skye is 7) even split her list into handy sub-sections. Enjoy!

What I’m Wearing—Ashlyn Midi Dress. “I recently got back from a family vacation in Bali and lived in the Ashlyn Midi Dress. It’s made from organic cotton so it’s breathable and lightweight and the fit is so effortless and versatile. I wore it during the day as a cover up or dressed it up to wear out to dinner. It’s my go-to vacation dress.” Ashlyn Midi Dress, $208, Cleobella

Recent Read—What Happened To You? “I recently read this and thought it was so valuable for helping learn how to overcome past family trauma and is educational around breaking generational patterns so I can be a better parent.” What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey, $26, Bookshop and Amazon.

Favorite Shoes—Astara. “My good friend, Mariah Lyons, designs these beautiful shoes that are grounding, healing, and comfortable to wear. Each style incorporates powerful gemstones that have different meanings.” Selene Prehnite Vegan Linen Mule, $280, Astara.

Favorite Beauty Product—Lanolips.I was introduced to Lanolips by my best friend, Jess, in Australia. Similar to the Lanolin we use when breastfeeding as new mothers, Lanolips is deeply moisturizing and naturally occurring in sheep’s wool. It is humanely and cruelty free, sourced from Australia’s sheep farmers.​​” Tinted Lanolin Lip Balm, $13.50, Lanolips. 

Favorite Kids’ Toy—Magna-Tiles. “I typically like to avoid buying plastic, but this is one exception. Both my son Keenan (10) and my daughter Indi (7) love to play with these and their imagination is endless. Magna-Tiles have been a great teacher about shapes and geometry and it still blows my mind that they can entertain themselves for hours together building.” Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 32-Piece Set, $49.99, Maisonette.

Beauty Tool—3 Barrel Curling Iron. “One of my employees turned me on to this 3 barrel curling iron and I love how quick and easy it is to use. I use it at least once a week and feel like the next day hair is even better.” Allure 3 Barrel Curling Iron with LCD Temperature Display, $28.97, Amazon.

Night Ritual—Muse Bath. “I love to wind down from my busy day with a little self care. Muse offers great organic bath products that smell amazing.” Body Sugar Scrub, $32, Muse Apothecary. 

Favorite Daily Practice—Kundalini Lounge. “I used to practice Kundalini in my local studio in Long Beach. But when the lockdown happened in March 2020, I found this online Kundalini platform as an amazing tool to get me through the height of the pandemic.” KundaliniLounge.com.

Favorite Family Game—UNO.A favorite family game. Our family all played together while in lockdown in Jakarta on our recent trip to Bali.  It’s so fun to get to a stage where our 7-year-old daughter is able to participate equally with her big brother.” UNO Family Game, $5.49, Target.

Daily Ritual—Juna. I love the daily Balance and Nightcap ritual, it helps get me through the stresses of the day and it 100% helps me sleep better throughout the night. Juna is my favorite CBD brand.” AM/PM Set, $74, Juna.

Go-To Drink—Green Juice. I love to drink a daily green smoothie in the morning to make sure I am getting the nutrients my body needs and to boost my energy for the day. I usually incorporate kale (or spinach), frozen banana, mango, pineapple, cucumber, citrus, and a scoop of Green Vibrance, hemp, collagen, chia, flaxseeds, and rice milk.” Vibrant Health Green Vibrance, $83, iHerb.

Signature Scent—Riddle. “It’s spicy, woody, and still very feminine and unique. I have been wearing this scent for over 5 years and always get tons of compliments on it.” Riddle Santal Roll-On Oil, $95, Riddle.

Favorite Thing To Gift—The Bali Word Bracelet. “Hand made in Bali with a good friend/craftsman. It’s such a special piece of jewelry since it’s hand carved from recycled brass and supports the local Bali community. We offer a variety of words on Cleobella.com, like gratitude, mama, strength, together, zodiac signs, love, and more, so there is always a bracelet for someone I am looking to gift.  Twice yearly we offer custom names at Mother’s Day and Christmas.” The Bali Word Bracelet, $42, Cleobella.

Favorite Activity—Travel. “Travel feeds my soul and is part of my family’s life. We live in Bali 4 months out of the year, travel to India annually, and always make time for fun family trips…usually places where my husband, Jim, can surf as well. Travel has been the foundation for Cleobella. My husband and I left our jobs in 2006 to travel around the world for a year, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for everything we do.”

Family Astrologist—Shannon Aganza. “Shannon has been an incredible teacher for me as a mother, wife, and business owner. She helps me better understand myself and those I love and guides me in important business decisions.” MoonGathering.com.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent past columns with Nikki Osei-Barrett of District Motherhued, Blair Paysinger of Post 21, Idia Lanlokun of Ola & Mide, Karam Kim of Bluecut aprons, children’s authors Evan Sargent and Joanna HoEli Yonas of Toki Mats, Shaina Kerrigan of Molly J., Jenna Levine of LINNÉ botanicals, Eunice Byun of Material, and Sandra Lin of Kiwi Co.

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