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Stefani Padilla of La Tierra Sagrada | Talking All Things Hair, Business, & Self Care

Happy Self Care Sunday Loves!

Today on the blog we are sharing an interview with one of our favorite self care gurus, and creator and founder of haircare line La Tierra Sagrada, Stefani Padilla. Below Stefani shares a glimpse of how La Tierra Sagrada came to be the phenomenal hair care line it is today, things she has learned along the way, and shares her tips on balancing work, relationships, and self care. 

Being a business owner, and also someone who values self care, what is your greatest piece of advice for balancing work, play, relationships, self care, and life in general? Are there times where you struggle to find balance?

Yes, in all honesty, balance is definitely my greatest teacher. As a business owner it gets hard to “shut off”. Balancing my health and relationships are truly the most important to me, since those 2 will be the 1st to show me when I’m out of balance. Self care is a huge part of my life, as it forces me to be gentle and nurturing to myself. I also have meditation practices I have incorporated into my life, that I share with my partner and friends. Sharing these practices tend to create a deeper connection allowing me to be more present and grounded in all areas of my life. Yoga, walks in nature, and tea really help me to find balance in those moments that I tend to spin out with work.

We love that you cut hair in a way that helps the hair cut last up to 6 months as opposed to needing to have the cut touched up every 4 to 6 weeks, how did your training as a hairstylist help you to adopt this practice? Are there any specific techniques you use to achieve this?

As a stylist, I specialize in “natural hair”. Most of my clients have hair styles that do not require much upkeep. I was taught early on, during training back in my early 20's in NYC, that I'll know if I did a good job depending on how long the cut lasted. I still hold this true when cutting. Because I have clients still in NY, LA, and Portland and I travel a lot, I need to be able to give styles that last. When I cut hair to the natural rhythm and flow of the hair and intuitively cut where it's showing me, I can create a style that is best for each client and their desired effect.

How has your hairstyling practice and style changed over the years?

The more you do anything, the better you get! I truly believe my skills progress as I do.

How did you come up with the concept of the Hairemony?

A powerful way to connect and recenter ourselves is through creating self-care rituals.

Rituals are considered solemn ceremonies consisting of a series of actions imbued with intention.

Something as simple as hair-care can become a sacred “ritual” if we create the space for self-healing.

After spending years in ceremony, I experienced the benefits of creating sacred space for healing with my own hair and I called it my “Hairemony”, which is a “Hair Ceremony” also known as a healing hair ritual.

What is your favorite non hair care related self care ritual?

The Spa! Water, Steam, Sauna- Repeat!

Loyly and Knot Springs are 2 of my favorites in Portland!

What is your favorite part about living in PDX?

The easy access we have to Nature! After spending the last 15 years in big cities, it was always such a task to get into nature. Whether it be traffic, or trying to get a car, or having to take 5 trains! I absolutely love that I am in walking distance to multiple parks and that The Gorge and Forest Park are 20 minutes from my house!

Tell us about the very beginning stages of La Tierra Sagrada? What did you envision for your brand in the very beginning? What brought the products to life?

La Tierra Sagrada was birthed through a true and tried experience, that has transformed into the hugest blessing.

I lived in New York for 7 years before relocating to Los Angeles. On the physical realm, I worked as a hairstylist. On the spiritual realm, I worked closely with the plant teachers of the south. Plant medicine has always been a clear guide for me. One recurring message was always urging me to leave New York City, but I chose to ignore the message, and stayed. After battling a series of autoimmune disorders, the one forcing me to leave, was a debilitating episode of chronic rheumatoid arthritis at age 28. I had been following a strict holistic approach to medicine so when I was put on heavy medications to help me walk again, the side effects ended up destroying my system. One of the most intense side effects was losing my hair.

It was in a ceremony where La Tierra Sagrada (The Sacred Earth) was conceived. The information was downloaded, and I was told to create this line as a way to heal myself, and share the healing with anyone else who has suffered from hair loss due to disease, medication, stress, etc. I launched the line in 2014 to share the wisdom, protection and healing benefits of these plants with the world. It has been the greatest honor and blessing.

How has La Tierra Sagrada evolved over the last 4 years?

It started in my kitchen, with only myself and 3 products-the Salt Spray, Jojoba and Treatment.

I didn't launch the Shampoo and Conditioner for 2 more years, and then the Dry Shampoo came after 3 years. It wasn't until this year that I finally manifested the best team I could imagine. Me turned into a team of 5!

The expansion has been a slow, but steady journey and it will continue to evolve and expand in ways beyond my imagination- and I can not wait!

What has been most surprising to you about creating and branding your own hair care line?

The success.. If I would've known back in 2013 when I was just formulating and playing around in the kitchen that I'd be where I'm at now, I most likely would not have believed it, and if I did, I might have ran the other way!

What drew you into the hair industry years ago when you first became a hairstylist?

I have always been obsessed with hair. I used to be a hair model for Jenny Strebe (Confessions Of A Hair Stylist) and she was a big inspiration. After moving, I had a few horrific hair traumas and decided I could do a better job, so I started doing my own, which turned into doing friends and family and eventually I got serious and went to school to get my license. 15 years later, I'm still obsessed!

How have you changed as a person since creating La Tierra Sagrada?

Wow, I have changed so much! I've really had to learn how to get out of my own way. I’ve had to learn a lot about business, how to surrender, responsibilities, priorities, balance, numbers, I mean the list can really go on. I feel like it was a real swan dive into the world of being a small business owner. I am not going to say any of it has been easy, but the rewards are huge!

If you could give your 20 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

SLOW DOWN AND RELAX! Sleep more and drink a lot more water than you think!

Do you have any specific goals for yourself or for La Tierra Sagrada for the next 10 years?

I do have a 10 year plan for LTS. It will include a handful of new products as well as something else I cannot disclose quite yet! But I see LTS expanding a lot, I want everyone to have access to these healing products, so the goal is to spread the medicine! And hopefully have my own space to offer one on one appointments with all LTS products, for the full healing experience.

We are so excited to see La Tierra Sagrada flourish over the years and have loved every minute of having Stefani's products in our shop. 

Join us this Thursday, August 2 at 7 pm for an open house style Meet The Maker with Stefani!