Vision + Manifestation Series: Amani

Vision + Manifestation:
Amani Richardson

  All photographs by    Venesa Coger   r

All photographs by Venesa Cogerr

The Vision + Manifestation series is our new platform to highlight the power of manifesting from within. We explore what this process looks like through interviews + photography. It's important for our words and narratives to be captured with our pictures, for us, by us.

I met Amani Richardson back in June at Healthyish’s event for wellness + beauty. After the panels, Abena + I kicked it with her back at our hotel and talked very openly about all her hopes + dreams for the next few months. Sure enough, we caught up with her at at our own Brooklyn Conversations and Beauty + Chill events and she was already in the process of making those dreams come true, with incredible opportunities at EveryStylishGirl + BuzzFeed, and continuing with the Sad Girls Club. So when we were coming up with this series about visualizing + manifesting for the future, she was the first person who came to mind to have as our first feature. Amani has an incredible energy, focus, drive + vibe, and we’re excited to see what she does next. Make sure you keep up with her too and follow her at @amanirakeia!

Adwoa SeiwaaHey Amani, we’re so glad to have you as our first feature for this new series! First things first, tell us about yourself. Whether it's what you do, your passions, your drives, your faves, your feats—who are you?

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Amani: Hi friends! My name is Amani and I’m both an editorial assistant at BuzzFeed and editor at the Sad Girls Club. Outside of my work there I’m a contributing beauty writer for EveryStylishGirl and a lifestyle and wellness blogger on my own platform—amanirakeia.com.

Overall, writing is one of my greatest passions. I enjoy writing from the heart and giving the people the real and the raw. Some of greatest writing inspirations are Reyna Biddy, Cleo Wade, and Lauren Ash. I also have a great passionate for leaning into the cosmos through astrology and diving deeper into my journey of self-awareness. 

Adwoa Seiwaa: It’s wonderful that you have so many platforms to engage your passion. When I first met you, Abena + I had a deep conversation all about your visions for the future, which were so amazingly clear that it was obvious you would clear the way for your path no matter what, and now here you are manifesting the things you set out to. What is a routine or ritual that you do to visualize what you want + how to get to that point? How do you set your energy for the day, the week, a project, a task, etc.?

Amani: New moon rituals are a great way that I visualize my greatest desires. To set up my energy through my ritual, I make sure to clean + tidy up my space. I dim any lights in the room, light my favorite Alexandra Winbush candle, pour up some kava root tea, and then take a few long deep breaths. Lastly, for the real work, I open up my journal and begin by jotting down any current feelings or sensations I’m experiencing. Afterwards, I write out my visions for my career, week, project, etc., which I then follow by writing out the tasks I will complete to manifest each of those things.

Adwoa Seiwaa: That sounds like a great cleansing + clarifying process, to open up your awareness as well as to make space for new things to take hold. Linking back to Hanahana, "Smooth + Confident" became a tagline for the brand over a phone call between Abena and friend Kenya and has now become her everyday mantra. What does the phrase smooth + confident mean to you?

Amani: Own who you are, effortlessly. Smooth + confident also reaffirms that I have the power to tap into my sensuality and still manifest exactly what I want out of life. This mantra reminds me of the essence of shea butter and the way it glistens on my skin when in I’m in the sunlight. And whenever I’m in the sun, I know that I radiate with a such light and confidence that can be shared with others.

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Adwoa Seiwaa: That’s a lovely way to link those things. Now, on the flipside, if you aren’t  able to see a vision through or if you feel stalled, how do you move forward, recalibrate, or reset your intentions?

Amani: Rest like it’s no tomorrow. Rest is the perfect restart I need after a bad day, feeling under the weather or even having a tough time making decision. One of my new favorite ways to recalibrate is with CBD oil by my favorite brand Tonic Vibes. Their “O.G” line really helps restore my focus and energy levels all the while keeping me nice and chill. Sometimes when I’m thrown off my game I feel like it’s the end of the world, but I realize sometimes all you need is to put everything away and focus on something completely different other than your work or creating the next project.

Adwoa Seiwaa: Speaking of which, sometimes we go into something with visualized expectations and the thing turns out super different yet better than we hoped. Tell us about a vision or intention you set for yourself that didn’t work out the way you expected, because the vision changed, because there were (internal or external) blocks, for whatever reason, but that manifested positively or affected you in a big way and what you learned from it.

Amani: With my current position as an editorial assistant at BuzzFeed, I was really hoping to become a writer on the team, but plans didn’t work out for that. However, through this period I am learning so much about the organizational and planning skills writers need to have in order to continue to produce great content. All of the lessons such as the importance of editorial calendars, email etiquette, scheduling and branding are exactly what I am pushing for within my own brand and with the Sad Girls Club in order to take things to the next level. It still bothers me that I know I’m not really living my “dream,” but I know that I can’t leave my dreams in anyone else’s hands but my own.

Adwoa Seiwaa: Part of Hanahana’s mission is to disrupt the beauty industry and standard ideas of beauty. Do you envision yourself disrupting any concepts/standards/industries/status quos through your manifestations?

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Amani: I also feel that I disrupt both the beauty and wellness industry. By simply being open and having conversations about my sensuality and sexuality defy the standards we hold each other to within the Black community. I am also very vocal and open about my mental health from depression, suicide—anything that challenges me to be vulnerable. I do this because these are the things that no one glorifies or tells us the honest truth about. So many of us suffer in silence or feel as though we have to go through life alone, when in reality there is so much we all have in common.

Adwoa Seiwaa: All of that is super important, especially now. In that vein, how do you meditate and/or work on maintaining that energy while you’re in the process—emotionally, mentally, physically, however?

Amani: I work on maintaining my energy by keeping myself submerged in the work that makes me happy. Whether that be working on my blog’s newsletter, emailing brands for partnerships for Sad Girls Club or organizing my Instagram feed, they’re all reminders of why I should smile today and why my creativity deserves more of my attention. Each morning I make sure to spend a few moments looking at myself in the mirror to say, “I love you, girl.” I also kick off my mornings with yoga as a reminder to thank my body.

Adwoa Seiwaa: Is there a quote, a song, an event, an object, a person, an idea, something you appreciate that represents vision +/or manifestation for you?

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Amani: SZA’s entire album CTRL certainly represents me in a multitude of ways. But also, SZA’s essence and the wray of light + energy she exudes reminds me a lot of myself. No wonder most people I meet say that I remind them of her. (It’s super flattering.)

Also, a nicely warm scented candle represents manifestation for me. Every time I light a candle, it’s usually to center myself and find the perfect balance from my day. Coincidentally, self-centering + finding balance are two things I aspire to better grasp within my life. My favorite would have to be blowing out candles every night as they resemble having the opportunity to make a wish and make my dreams a reality.

Adwoa Seiwaa: CTRL + candles—a perfect metaphor for your visions + manifestations and for self-centering + finding balance. (And things we also love + look for at Hanahana, too.) So for going forward, describe for us a vision you want to manifest or see manifested in 2019.

Amani: In 2019, I vision myself having written and published my first poetry book, moving to Brooklyn, New York, in my first apartment and landing a full-time beauty/wellness staff writer position at Refinery29. All in all, I envision 2019 being a really big year for me career-wise.

Adwoa Seiwaa: From what we know about you so far, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to manifest all of these wonderful things. To send you back off on your journey, we’d like to ask: what’s your favorite Hanahana Beauty product?

Amani: Hands down, the lemongrass shea butter—my favorite morning skincare product to energize + awaken my senses to kick start my day. I promise, my skin has never felt smoother. No greasy or oily residue, just pure bliss.

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Thank you for being our first visionary, Amani! We can’t wait to hear how you manifest your goals + we wish you the best in everything on your cosmic journey.


Stay Smooth + Confident

- Abena Boamah