Andrea Ridley is co-founder and owner of Udander health spa and proprietor of Abhinaya, a business focusing on curated wellness experiences around the world. It’s no wonder that being in her presence is calming. She emanates a peace and tranquility that her work strives to impart.
Having grown up in Portland, Oregon, she has traversed the country, living in Stillwater, Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and Sacramento before settling in Oklahoma City again in 2010. Her contribution to the wellness space in the 405 continues to be felt throughout the community.
405: How did you first become aware of or interested in the wellness space?
Ridley: I first became interested in the wellness space when I began taking barre3 classes 12 years ago in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. That really was the “lily pad” (as I like to call it) for understanding that I would be entering into the wellness world at the time. Udånder was birthed in 2014. While it was similar to my previous business in a service-based way, it was refreshing to dive deeper into different modalities of healing through touch and self-care.
405: Describe what the intention was behind both Udånder and Abhinaya. Also, those are unique names. Can you share their meanings?
Ridley: The intention behind Udånder was to create a simplistic, Scandinavian-style spa that would be different from anything that existed in the OKC market. Katie Goodrich (my business partner) and I have traveled together for years, and were inspired to share some of our favorite experiences through Udånder, which means “exhale” in Danish.
The intention for Abhinaya came later, as I was going through my divorce. I needed to create an LLC and was skimming over Sanskrit words one day. The word Abhinaya stuck out to me, and later became a passion project and retreat business that I’ve always dreamed of doing. Abhinaya is an Indian word meaning “leading an audience toward” in Sanskrit. The “why” for Abhinaya became clearer for me on my first visit to Bali back in 2017. Abhinaya was launched in 2018.
405: Do you have mentors to whom you look for guidance and inspiration?
Ridley: My first mentor was the founder of barre3, Sadie Lincoln. She helped me find my voice and instilled a confidence in me that I didn’t realize I had. I’m inspired by too many people to count. Travel, wisdom, experience, journeys, stories and, well – beauty – are all driving forces of inspiration for me.
405: What do you love about working and living in OKC?
Ridley: The thing I love most about living and working in OKC is the people I’ve met along the way. It’s been so much fun to witness the developments Oklahoma City has experienced over the past decade.
405: Do you have a favorite OKC spot?
Ridley: The truth is, I don’t have favorites. I have so many places I’m fond of in OKC, I can’t choose just one. It depends on the weather, whom I’m with, occasion, etc. Well, I have three …
- Coziest dinner or night out: The Metro
- Quaint conversation for any occasion with a quality cocktail: Bradford House
- Ways to waste time: Sit by the fire at Full Circle and ruminate on my next read, or visit Commonplace Books, because I love both of these bookstores equally.