Photo credit: Cecilie Chapman
Orgayana was created by Mathilde Moyell Juul in early 2018. Originally from Denmark, Mathilde moved to Singapore in 2014 with her husband and 3 kids, now aged 2, 7 and 9. A big chunk of her journalistic career was spent in the newsroom as an editor on lifestyle tv programmes, and after freelancing for papers and magazines out of Asia for a few years, she pursued her dream to become an entrepreneur.
HEALTH: When life changes your focus
Mathilde: “The idea evolved over time. Health has always been a big passion of mine, and due to the many illnesses in my family, I have always been on the lookout for advances in the health industry. I’ve done my own research to how I could use food, exercise and other tools to become stronger and more balanced in my life.
“I would not have created orgayana without all the baggage I’ve been carrying, both the good and the bad. Odd too look back and realise that composting in the garden as a 6-year-old and being faced with a brain tumour when 36, would form the base for a passion project that is now making a difference for so many people as well as helping our planet”
Mathilde lost her father to cancer in 2004, most of her grandparents have suffered from the disease and her mother has lived through 2 types in the past decade. So when she herself discovered a brain tumour, the size of a ping pong ball, 6 years ago, she was worried, to say the least.
“The doctor was quite confident that we were talking cancer, so when it was revealed that the tumour was, in fact, benign, I felt I’d been given a second chance”
A chance to create and do to new things in her career and pursue her interest in sustainable lifestyle, but also a chance to fulfil her dream of having a third child. Unfortunately, with quite the setback, Mathilde had 4 miscarriages, in just one year.
“I’d almost given up on the idea of having no. 3 and so had my doctors. My last resort was a holistic fertility doctor who advised me to find ways to decrease stress levels and to cut out certain foods. Two months later, I was pregnant with Chris, he’s now 2.”
“I was looking for one place to be informed, inspired and guided through this jungle”
When SUSTAINABILITY is a given
Mathilde spent her childhood in Denmark. In a house with a vegetable garden, fruit trees, compost and recycling bins. In the shops, it was normal to pay for a bag, so you brought your own, and when you’d finished your bottles and cans, you’d bring them back and receive money in return. When leaving her home country, even the cheapest of Danish supermarkets would carry affordable organic produce on 50% of their stock.
“Moving to Singapore made me wonder: what could I and Singaporeans do, to live a more sustainable and healthy life? I had a lot of questions, and was looking for one place to be informed, inspired and guided through this jungle.”
Mathilde grew up in a sustainable environment and the health challenges she had been faced with, forced her to look for alternatives. As a journalist an editor by trade, she saw it as her call to combine the two, and to form a holistic platform where people could get 360-degree guidance on how to live a green lifestyle. This is how orgayana was born.
“I would not have created orgayana without the baggage I’ve been carrying, both the good and the bad. It’s odd to look back and realise that composting in the garden as a 6-year-old and being faced with a brain tumour when 36, would form the base for a passion project that is now making a difference for so many people as well as helping our planet.
“Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary. “
Sarah Ban Breathnach
WHAT DOES ORGAYANA MEAN?
orgayana was created with 2 words in combination. ORGAnic and Mother Earth – GAYA. They also represent the two legs of orgayana.
1) ORGA – HEALTH: we strive to eat, breathe and live in an organic manner – to go back to basics. The ingredients we eat and the simple choices we make for our skin, what we wear, how we travel, etc. Living an organic healthy life, help us re-connects us to mother earth, help ground us to the soil we eat from and walk on.
2) GAYA – SUSTAINABLE: To live a healthy life, we are dependent on our planet to function. We need to look after it by thinking less waste, getting our hands into the soil and consuming with a conscious mind. When we live a sustainable lifestyle, we also benefit personally, freeing up space, sharing activities and saving money.
We call this ORGAYANA – YOUR GUIDE TO A GREEN LIFESTYLE.
…so now you ask – what is the NA? Well sustainability and health can be a little serious at times and we also want to be light and positive and for it o be fun to live a green lifestyle. So we added a musical twist to the name – ORGAYANA.
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM COMPETITORS?
We are a guide that focuses on health and sustainable lifestyle only. We don’t point fingers and we take pride in communicating our tips to everybody can use in their everyday lives.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The conscious movement is on fire – and it’s amazing to see the changes that are happening in Singapore at the moment. It inspires me to see that local millennials are doing volunteer work or projects to show their peers what can be done by the individual. I am still constantly learning myself and reading anything I can get my hands on (including my contributor’s work!) – my next project is to do composting on my balcony.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE JOB?
That people actually feel they are learning something new that doesn’t only enhance their own lifestyle but has an impact on the world as we know it.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE JOB?
Juggling entrepreneurship and being a mother 3 young kids takes its toll. I try to involve them, so they understand what I spend my hours on, and it has had the great side effect, that both kids were chosen to be eco-warriors at their school.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
We have many plans with orgayana – one, in particular, that will take the guidance of our clients to a whole new level and get them closer to our contributors and our clients.