The Thirlby Team

We're pleased to meet you, get to know us below

All illustrations below are by our Editor-in-Chief & Founder, Almila Kakinc-Dodd


Almila Kakinc-Dodd

Founder, editor-in-chief, & illustrator

preferred pronouns: she/they

Almila Kakinc-Dodd is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief of The Thirlby. She is also the author of the book The Thirlby: A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body, & Soul. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nursing as a Dean’s Scholar at Johns Hopkins University.

Her undergraduate is in Anthropology & Literature from Mount Holyoke College, which she has further enriched through her Integrative Health Practitioner training at Duke University.

She lives in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area, where she regularly contributes to various publications. She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and urges others to join the movement.



Lenéa Sims

Spirituality editor & '“but how"?!” columnist

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Lenéa Sims is an energy worker, coach, and artist born, bred and living in Los Angeles. After reading one too many inspirational quotes, she decided there had to be a way to make metaphysical platitudes into physical realities. So, she developed a technique of simple energetic and creative exercises to help people enhance their energy and make real what they desire. Her work centers primarily upon joy, creativity, and empowering people to become their own healers. She has written and spoken about it all over including at SXSW 2018. Get more energy tips or book a session with Lenéa below.



Maya Oren

Art & visuals director

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Maya Oren is the creative director behind MOJALVO a visual marketing agency focused on creating content + experiences for the culinary industry. Maya grew up in New England, and has lived around the world spending time in Tel Aviv and Barcelona. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, taking long walks around her city of DC, and drinking coffee from local coffee shops. She is passionate about supporting local business and purveyors, and believes in supporting local economies by shopping small.



Natalie Vargas

WEB & graphics designer

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Natalie Catalina Vargas is a graphics designer and creative living in Washington, DC. She graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a BA in Public Relations and Advertising, along with a Writing Minor. In an effort to fill a creative void, Natalie created a blog to share sartorial and interior inspiration, and after a few years, began helping others elevate their work through beautiful design She's inspired by retro frivolity, mid-century modern interiors, good design, and her outrageous collection of ephemera.



Ariella Elovic


preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Ariella Elovic is an NYC-based illustrator and founder of The Cheeky Blog. She holds a BFA in Communication Design from Washington University in St. Louis. Her favorite subjects are spunky New Yorkers and their dogs, delicious looking food, and her own personal musings on the everyday.




Cameron Kakinc-Dodd

contributor &  the thirlby podcast producer

preferred pronouns: he/him/his

Cameron Kakinc-Dodd is a journalist and local newspaper reporter whose work currently focuses on criminal justice, court systems and the law. He’s also reported on immigration, indigenous peoples, geopolitics and much more. Broadly, Cameron is interested in understanding power and the systems limiting the ability of people and communities to live healthy, happy, and dignified lives. 

Cameron is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and urges others to join the movement.



Dr. Bryant Equejo, N.D.

science & medicine editor

preferred pronouns: he/him/his

Dr. Bryant Esquejo is a California-licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in the Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from San Diego State University in 2012 and his naturopathic medical degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in 2016. In his practice, he aims to help patients achieve optimal health and wellness by focusing on hormonal and thyroid health; adrenal dysfunction and stress-related chronic fatigue; gastrointestinal health; anxiety and depression; and nutrigenomics. He uses a variety of integrative modalities to assess and treat patients, such as bioenergetic muscle testing; advanced and basic functional laboratory assessment; therapeutic nutrition; lifestyle medicine; nutraceutical, vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplementation; intravenous micronutrient therapy; and energetic medicines, such as constitutional homeopathy and flower essences.

website & blog


Natalie Geisel

Editorial Intern

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Natalie Geisel is in her third year at The George Washington University studying women’s, gender, and sexuality studies with a minor in communication. Her love of writing sprouted from starting her fashion blog in high school, and her current written work spans from topics such as style, LGBTQ+ content, and music. She is interested in intersecting gender and sexuality into the world of wellness, hoping to add a queer voice to its editorial side. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare time at dance rehearsal, attending local indie shows in the DC area, or finding the best cafes that serve oat milk. She’s passionate about inclusive sex education and sustainable fashion and thinks everyone should be, too.



Dr. Tayiana Reed, PharmD M.S.

science & medicine editor

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Tayiana J.Reed is a clinical pharmacist and wellness expert dedicated to curating affordable, clean and natural health & beauty products to cultivate a holistic lifestyle. Dr. Reed currently works in public health in the DC area and has dedicated her career to helping patients and clients obtain clinically proficient, cost effective drug information.

She owns a sustainable and natural products shop called Wellness Apothecary, which you can shop from below.

website & blog


Dr. Patti Kim, N.D., LAc

science & medicine editor

preferred pronouns: she/her/hers

Dr. Patti Kim blends her studies in Studio Art, her background in Eastern and Western medicines and her passion for healing to truly practice the art of medicine with her patients. As a Naturopathic Doctor and Chinese Medicine Practitioner/Acupuncturist, Dr. Patti works with patients to peel away the layers to get to the root cause of symptoms, imbalance and disease. Health and healing are about seeing the entire person as a whole and Dr. Kim uses tools like botanical medicine, nutraceuticals, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutrition, functional medicine testing and acupuncture to reconnect the mind and body and to guide her patients towards balance. Dr. Patti works with her patients as a teacher and guide to help achieve long term wellness. 




Our rotating & ever-growing list of additional contributors are listed below. If you would like to regularly contribute or apply to be a part of the editorial team, please contact our team at

We're looking forward to hearing from & working with you.


Evie Bettman


Kristy Mucci

Linda Geddes

Ashley May

Bailey Mennona

Carrie Arnold

Denarii Moore


Jasenka Zubcevic

Christopher Martyniuk

Michelle Gerrard-Marriott

Michelle D’Avella

Miriam Chan

Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan

Shanta R. Dube

Sophia Stephens

Sophie Mitra

Steven Stack

Yewande Okuleye

Martha Henriques

Olivia Howard

Patti Kim

Rachelle Robinett

Sharona Hoffman

Shervin Assari

Sophie Cousins

Valerie Brett Shaindlin

Chelsea Tubbs

Farah Albani


Maryam Ajayi







Maisha Z. Johnson

nisha ahuja

and more