Self Care Festival & Makers Market

Los Olivos, California is a great place to be on any given day, but on April 20th this little town was the site of a truly spectacular event. The first annual Self Care Festival and Makers Market presented by the Valley Wellness Collective brought something for all the senses. Sights, smells, tastes, and wellness experiences were all available behind the iconic and newly invigorated Mattei’s Tavern.

The quantity and variety of offerings packed into a mere six hours was incredible, and certainly made a memorable day for all 800 attendees. There was not one, but two areas where classes were offered from local gyms and fitness studios. However you like to move your body, you were covered. From classics like hatha vinyasa from the Juicy Life and Olde Oak Meadow, to more unique choices like silent disco yoga presented by Yoga Dance Magic, or Evolutions from Bloom Yoga, there was something for any and all fitness levels. The festive community spirit made for a great opportunity to try out new exercise styles for the first time. All participating gyms and studios provided first class instruction, surly inspiring festival attendees to add new flavor into their workout!

With all those classes on offer, it is hard to believe there was time for anything else, but they were just the start of what guests got to experience! After all that hard work, it was definitely time for a bit of self-pampering. The buffet of self-care providers allowed participants to treat themselves from the inside out. L’Factor Aesthetics was on hand with immunity boosters and info on their intravenous nutritional vitamin therapy. For those who preferred a more hands-on approach, both massage and reiki were available from Massage Angel at Halo and Shireer Sandi, respectively. Self-care means feeling good on the inside and outside, and a bit of external beautification never hindered this pursuit. Guests were able to have a virtual spa day thanks to options such as Robin Poett’s facials, and natural skincare/makeup from Heather Grace as well as Beauty Counter. Once you began to feel radiant and rejuvenated, it was time to do some serious shopping with local vendors.

Though the Central Coast may seem like a small piece of California, variety of skill and ingenuity on display at the Makers Market was incredible. From JAW leather goods, to Pedaling Paper’s handmade cards, and everything in between, the booths were positively chock-full of unique items. CBD bath bombs were available from Life Elements, healing crystal jewelry was on display from Unique Life Crystals, handmade baskets were presented by Kelly Wilson, the list goes on! There were so many vendors with such a diverse range of offerings, it was an exceptional opportunity to see the hard work of local craftsmen. Naturally the volume of beautiful items to sample and purchase worked up quite an appetite, but there was plenty of tasty morsels around to keep the hunger pains away.

Chef Drew of Pico’s in Los Alamos whipped up delicious breakfast sandwiches, refreshing gazpacho, and Pico’s famous mushroom salad. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the food was described as “glorious”. In addition to these inspired dishes, both the Juicy Life and Greer Love Elixir bar brought natural juices and artesian kombucha. What you put in the body is just as important as what goes on it, and these delicious choices were sure to energize and renew. And of course, let us not forget the Strange Family pouring their wines all day, as well as mimosas in the morning. Why not start the day off sparkling?

Surely at this point it seems like one could not possibly have added anything else to this event’s agenda, and yet this recap only scratches the surface! Veronica Medina Clayworks had pottery wheel for guests to give a spin, Pedego Electric Bikes was giving out free rides, and on top of it all was live music. Local musicians such as Jonathan Firey, Arwen LewisMusic, Paige Peel, and more kept a steady stream of tunes for all to enjoy as they wandered the vendor booths and tried out new things. As far as audio technology has come, there is just nothing quite like the feeling of hearing music in-person.

Though it was bursting at the seams with options to see and try, this event was open to the community at no cost. Instead, guests were asked at the door to make a donation towards the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition, a division of People Helping People. The volunteer community leaders of this collaboration dedicate their time and energy to promoting healthy lifestyles for our youth, as well as reducing and preventing substance abuse. Thanks to the generosity of participants, $1000 was raised to support these increasingly relevant issues!

Anyone who missed this year’s event is likely feeling quite left out, but after such a roaring success, the Valley Wellness Collective is already looking forward to future events. VWC was founded with the purpose of facilitating the spread of wellness within the community, and the Self Care Festival and Makers Market did just that. This beautiful Saturday of Valley residents, practitioners, and makers of all sorts coming together was just the beginning.

Kelly Fiore

Kelly is the Founder of Valley Wellness Collective. She is also a barre teacher and lover of all things wellness and Santa Ynez Valley.