Exploring the Alchemy of Aloha
Global Experiences Director, Maître D', Self Adoration Advisor, Mayor of the Block — Ramona Sidlo has worn a lot of hats. And she makes them all look great.
It’s suddenly hard to imagine life before knowing Ramona Sidlo — spiritual growth expert, “recovering cool girl,” and Romer Waikīkī’s so-called Mayor of the Block. We first met Ramona a few hours before a mid-week red-eye flight hosting at The Lei Stand in Chinatown (Go. Order the Chex Mix. I promise). It only took a few moments of conversation before we were exchanging info and booking her for individual astrological readings. While I am admittedly not among the astrologically inclined, it was a true testament to Ramona’s infectious energy and positivity that I would have booked another hundred readings just to spend more time chatting. After that, it was clear we had to find a way to work with her at Romer.
Whether it was written in the stars or just sheer moxie, Ramona is now our effervescent woman-about-town — connecting with local businesses, collaborating with O‘ahu creatives, and dreaming up new ways to celebrate our colorful community. We could wax on about her virtues, but instead, we’ll let Ramona speak for herself. And give her a shout if you’ve got an idea or want to get involved!
You really hooked me when you spoke about your philosophy of “Aloha Alchemy” — tell us about it.
Oh yes, the Alchemy of Aloha! In Hawaii culture, Aloha embodies the philosophy of love. This concept of love in every form in our lives can sometimes be a challenge to find, understand, and keep. So, I developed a practice where we prioritize falling madly in love with ourselves. I believe that the more we can learn about ourselves the deeper we can love ourselves. So I help you learn about yourself through the Astrology Chart and your energetic body.
Alright, you’re an ex-New Yorker now living a decidedly not-New-York existence in Hawaii — How did you end up in O‘ahu?
I have family both here and in Maui, and for as long as I can remember, O‘ahu was my favorite vacation destination. I was lucky to have a job where I got to travel the world and see new places, but at the end of the day, the only place I ever wanted to come back to was Hawaii. I was the girl who was crying on the airplane on the way back to Newark (IYKYK).
I remember being in my aunty's pool and dreaming about living here, but like any good New Yorker I lived and died by the phrase “New York or Nowhere.” But by 2017 I was exhausted and burnt out, and I knew I needed either get a new job in NYC or move to Hawaii. The agreement was whatever came first. Within a few months, I had an apartment and a job in Honolulu. So I left my global job at Spotify, called off my engagement, and moved to Hawaii.
Spotify? So you weren’t always a professional Self-Adoration Advisor? Is there anything you bring from your past lives to this new chapter?
I think deep down I was always destined to be an astrologer, and everything up to this point led to my career pivot in my late 30s. Leaving Spotify was the hardest decision I have ever made. Real talk — that was my dream job. But I believe that there are moments that have already been decided for us, and Hawaii was one of them for me.
I signed up for a 3-year healing school to study under Ruey Ryburn, with the plan to return to NYC. But then COVID hit, so I stayed in Hawaii and launched an Astrology business. I’m extremely grateful for that forced pause. I know that if I’d moved back to New York, I would have jumped right back into the “hustle culture” and that rat race of life.
At the Lei Stand, I got to spend so much time people-watching. My biggest takeaway was how important the vibe is — you set the right tone and let people just be in the space. Now my job is all about setting the tone and meeting people!
We met you at the Lei Stand in Chinatown when you were the Maître D’. Want to give us the scoop on Chinatown and the surrounding area?
I always used to head in early and walk around to say hi to my neighborhood friends. I’d check out the Lei at Lin’s Lei Shop then grab an afternoon coffee at Po’ai by Pono Potions and a snack from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, The Daley, or Olay Thai. My two favorite bookstores are also nearby — Skull Face Books & Native Books. Oversized men’s shirts have become my new uniform, so for a new (aka vintage) shirt I go to Single Double. If I was up for it, I'd go grab a mocktail after work at EP Bar or Obake. Or sometimes just pop in and say hi.
What are some ways people can get better in touch with themselves while they’re in O‘ahu?
SURFING. I REPEAT SURFING! Obviously, this is not for everyone but if you can try it. There is something so freeing about being on a board in the middle of the ocean listening to the water. Most of my AH HA moments have happened in the water here. I see rainbows, turtles, whales, and coral. The Pacific for me is this beautiful escape from reality. No phones, no deadlines. Just me, my board, the Ocean and the angels.
“As an ex-New Yorker, being a neighborhood guy is super important to me. Community and connection are two of my biggest inspirations. ”
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