Ali Johnson spends her days creating Sphaera Soaps, a truly artisanal range made from natural ingredients and essential oils. Her training as a sculptor and a career in visual arts is obvious in her product due to its natural beauty and sculptural form. Ali has taken a functional everyday item and turned it into not only a thing of beauty, but a product that is good for you and the environment. Here she gives us some insights into her sleep style and rituals for self-care.
Savonnier (soap maker) and founder of Sphaera soap.
Morning person or night owl?
Night owl, definitely. I find I can think much more clearly in the quiet of the evening, after the busyness and competing demands of the day are done.
What do you remember about your bedtime ritual as a child?
Having my mum to myself for a few quiet minutes, as a member of a big family this was very precious. Being able to drift off to sleep feeling loved and understood.
What’s your bedtime ritual right now?
Hot bath or shower to wash away the day and change my energy, a beautiful face oil and then reading a novel till the words start to blur….
What was the last dream you can recall?
A surreal mix of forgetting things in strange places and having too many bags to carry, not too hard to interpret really!
Describe your bedroom style in three words?
Faded grandeur, linen
Duvets or blankets?
Duvets, or sometimes both.
What is always on your bedside table?
A teetering pile of books and an antique pink glass reading lamp. Also my favourite Organic pawpaw lip cream.
If you could be a character from a book, who would you be?
Valancy Stirling from ‘The blue castle’ by L.M.Montgomery. She undergoes the most wonderful, funny and profound personal transformation throughout the novel. I have always loved this book, the gentle social critique and humour is so subtle and clever. My sister bought me a very old copy and every few years I read it again, often when I am at a low ebb and it gives me courage, like an old friend.
Journal or electronic diary?
Journal, definitely. I lug a big heavy diary around with me, my to-do lists are always handwritten, it helps me think clearly and remember.
Favourite poem/poet or book?
I love Mary Oliver’s poems, although I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite book or author. I enjoy reading all sorts of genres, especially depending on what is happening in my life at the time.
Favourite morning ritual?
Dry skin brushing and then a shower, both often completed with my eyes still closed. These work together to wake me up and get me moving.
Favourite way to relax after work and at the weekend?
I am a bit of a homebody, so usually gardening, reading or soaking in a bath. Going away in our rumpty old caravan and playing board games with my boys.
How do you treat yourself?
Lots of little ways, like a special piece of clothing every few months. Small edible luxuries, like real maple syrup and fancy types of salt, are favourites.
What does luxury mean to you?
Time and health, always. On a lighter note, I love beautifully made, thoughtful everyday items that bring a tiny bit of joy every time you use them.
Complete this sentence: I couldn’t function without…
My husband Thomas, our two beautiful boys and a bit of time alone.
What hashtag would you give your mornings?
During the week?
On the weekend?
Where is your happy place?
Narrawallee beach on the South Coast of NSW. Our family bach is there, filled with summers of memories.
What do you wear to travel in?
The most comfortable thing I can find that looks good, Kowtow pants are definitely a favourite. I also like having a large, soft scarf that can multi-task.
Melbourne, to have a weekend with my two beautiful sisters. We will go to our favourite bookshop ‘The hill of content’ and wander about chatting together, bliss.
You can find Sphaera at www.sphaera.co.nz