We had the good fortune of connecting with Raya Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always had a deep love for business from selling lemonade in the front yard during summer, to selling candy to my friends on the bus as early as the second grade. I started Ray of Hope Healing after undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, during this time I lost my hair and I began the journey to grow back healthy strong hair through powerful plant based solutions. Similar to the hair care line being created from my personal experience, I witnessed how common skin conditions were treated with harsh steroids and knew mother nature held the solution for common skin ailments as well. Through research inspired by Naturopathic medicine and holistic medicine, Ray of Hope Healing was created. My Grandmother was the kindest person I’ve ever known, when she passed away I rebranded Ray of Hope Healing in her honor and legacy and Petals for Jean was created.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I first discovered art via food while ill in middle school as an outlet to process my pain and to make sense of the world around me. Pastry became a science that comforted me and healed me as I recovered. I tried traditional university but like most creatives, art called my name louder and I attended pastry school instead. The love of formulation continued as I began a journey into a plant based lifestyle to heal my body. Building trust to listen to my body and cater to it instead harming it became the foundation for who Petals for Jean is and became. My love for quality ingredients translated to a strict standard for my hair, skin and body brands and laid the foundation for telling a story of overcoming, inclusion and quality through my brand. Choosing a life of art will come with struggles and hardships but following your calling gives you a peace that is indescribable. To continue to honor the highest standard, Petals for Jean is an inclusive sustainable take on vegan and sustainable hair care body care and skin care. Founded in ethical, seasonal and small batch production with love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a chef, if my best friend was visiting the tour would begin with a trip to Munchies Diner a must have is the BBQ wings, an oreo milkshake and of course their amazing street tacostacos,and and the fact that it is black-owned is the cherry on top! My best friend knows we love a vegan vacation so this would be a vegan food centered trip. Next, plant shopping is a must! We would have to visit Laguna Hills Nursery and Flowerdale Nursery in Santa Ana, support your local family owned plant nurseries! I would have to have her visit my stores inside of Open Market OC (shameless plug) but it is one of the best ways to shop small with over 200 small businesses all together. We would have to eat sushi at least once or twice, so I would take her to Kenzo in Huntington Beach or Naughty Panda. Either way we would end up at the beach and she couldn’t leave before eating at Wheel of Life in Irvine for some of the best Thai vegan food which is high praise because of course we have to go to Bright Star Thai Vegan, and Loving Hut who has the best vegan cheesecake. She’s always up for a hike so Griffith Observatory is a must to spend a bit of time in the clouds.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family, beginning with my grandmother. She encouraged every dream I had and talked me through every failure. She was kind and loving, but she also had a tough kindness who stood up for her family and loved them fiercely. I want to recognize my parents as well who allowed me to have my first storefront in the living room at 8 years old and as I grew, their love and support never wavered.My siblings for allowing me to be me and loved and believed in me at every stage. My best friend who answers every panicked call and has been by my side for 15+ years. My cousins who are more like sisters who cheered me on and stood beside me at every event. Last but not least, my fiancé who believes in me and supports me in more ways than I could have ever imagined nor thank him for. I am made of all of their love, kind words and encouragement.
The Goodlight Club