Lessons in Cool: Meet the Founders of Agni

  • Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
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Welcome to Lessons In Cool, a new series all about the people we’re constantly inspired by. They are tastemakers, curators of style, thought leaders, and well, just cool.

Meet Astrid Schanz-Garbassi and Miriam Cruz, the founding duo behind Agni, a brand that helps connect people with healing foods, nutrient-dense foods. “I saw so many people around me struggling with their health and feeling like they weren’t able to find solutions,” says Schanz-Garbassi. “Through my experience in healthcare and my own research, I knew that nutrient deficiency was at the root of so many health challenges and that eating the right foods and nutrients could be a powerful source of healing.” Agni’s collection of cookies, tea, and seasonings are designed to not only nourish the body, but support hormone production and balance throughout a woman’s monthly cycle (and beyond).

Striving to help people recognize and access the healing power of food has become a lifelong project.

- Astrid Schanz-Garbassi

Nutrition plays an incredibly important role when it comes to keeping one’s hormones in check — a hormone imbalance is what leads to things like cystic acne, PMS, PCOS, and infertility. Agni’s Better Periods Box includes products like Organic Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, made with pumpkin and flax seeds to support progesterone and estrogen during those moments in your cycle when you’re craving sweets the most. “A simple way to support a more balanced experience both at the cellular level and symptom-wise is to eat foods that contain the nutrients known to support these hormones, which is a core piece of our product development process at Agni,” says Cruz. Read more from the duo below!

Name & Occupation:

Astrid Schanz-Garbassi, CEO and Co-Founder, and Miriam Cruz, COO and Co-Founder, at Agni

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Astrid: Curious, passionate, playful

Miriam: Authentic, curious, warm

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First thing you do when you wake up:

Astrid: I change my three-month-old’s diaper. Baby A is very, er, “regular,” so my husband and I joke that she is our poop alarm. While I change her I say three things I’m grateful for and guess what her gratitudes are (ha), and then I give her a baby massage.

Miriam: I say “Good morning Miriam, I love you!” to myself out loud! Probably sounds a little creepy LOL but this was a tool one of my favorite teachers shared for those working on developing more self-compassion. I have to say, it truly makes me feel so joyful, probably because it’s kind of funny. Highly recommend :)

The 5 beauty products you can’t live without:

Astrid:

Miriam: My eczema has gotten significantly better since I was young, but I’m still always searching for the friendliest products that make my skin happy! Right now I’ve only got two trusted basics in my routine:

Your style uniform is:

Astrid: Low contrast neutrals and natural fabrics. I just love playing with and pairing shades of the same color. Also, it makes it a lot easier to choose what to wear. If I’m feeling some sand-colored pants, I just pick between a few beige and turmeric colored tops and voila... outfit done.

Miriam: Anything I can walk in for a few miles and would be comfortable wearing to an external meeting. Usually I’m in my white Nikes, Hidden Bee jeans (the designer is truly one of the coolest people I’ve ever known), and a cozy sweater with at least one extra jacket or layer on hand because I run cold.

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Cool to me means having the confidence to nurture your curiosities, share what you learn with others, and to treat both yourself and those around you with kindness and compassion regardless of what comes.

- Miriam Cruz

The song you have on repeat:

Astrid: White Gloves by Kruangbin, Breathe It In by Beautiful Chorus, Love You for A Long Time by Maggie Rogers

Miriam: Good Times by Elderbrook, 3 Nights by Dominic Fike (shoutout to Malcolm), Down by BAYNK

Recipe you’ve perfected:

Astrid: Green soup. “Recipe” is a generous term because it’s slightly different every time depending on the weather, my hunger level, and my mood. I’ve perfected the art of taking all the seasonal greens I’ve scooped up at the Farmer’s Market or in a CSA and combining them into hydrating, nourishing, lip-smacking green goodness. The common threads are homemade veggie broth, coconut milk for creaminess, ginger, thai green curry paste, and plenty of herbs.

Miriam: Kitchari with sautéed veggies. We went through an almost year-long phase of eating that 3 or 4 nights a week, so reeeeally got that one down pat. It feels so healing to eat and it’s a pretty tricky dish to mess up!

Last person you texted:

Astrid: A friend who had a daughter a few days after my girl Ayla was born. We trade messages like “What did your midwife say about managing a fast let down when breastfeeding?” and “How did J do last night unswaddled in the sleep sack? A woke up every two hours.” The solidarity is so comforting and the tip swapping has been so helpful.

Miriam: My brother-in-law. He just found the Instagram account I made last night and he thought it was a troll making me a fake account. I made it as a place for me to document my photography learning journey (I just got a used camera and truly have no clue how to use it yet but I’m having a blast) and of course Instagram has notified all my friends about it, which feels a little embarrassing but I’ll try to lean into it and embrace the embarrassment…

What does “cool” mean to you?

Astrid: Having the courage to keep learning more about who you are and how you’re meant to spend this precious life — even when you don’t love the answers. Also, kindness and compassion. Those never go out of style.

Miriam: Cool to me means having the confidence to nurture your curiosities, share what you learn with others, and to treat both yourself and those around you with kindness and compassion regardless of what comes.

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