Hi Jenni, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with natural products? I'm originally from Overland Park, Kansas, just southwest of Kansas City. I graduated from the University of Kansas. My boyfriend, Brad, and I did some traveling abroad and moved to South Lake Tahoe for a few years. While in Tahoe, I had a job as a physical therapy aide and it revived a desire I once had to become a nurse. We decided to move to Boulder in 2012 and I started looking at programs in the area. I became a nurse in 2016 and was lucky enough to be in the new grad nursing program at Children's Hospital of Colorado.
It has only been during this last year that I became very interested in natural products. Better late than never, I suppose. But I want to be a part of the movement to empower others to make better decisions when it comes to their bodies. There is a documentary on Netflix entitled Stink that really jump-started me into looking at what ingredients I'm putting on my skin. From there it has snowballed into exploring various natural herbal remedies. I'm starting to make my own skincare products because I want to know what ingredients are going into those products. Plus it is fun to learn about different herbs and how they can be used in different ways.
You're a pediatric nurse. What does this entail? As a pediatric nurse I get to help coordinate the care of children who are in the hospital. I work on the respiratory floor and we have a lot of patients who get hit hard with different illnesses. We see lots of children with wide ranges of diagnosis, such as long-term chronic diseases that have caused the child to need a tracheostomy to help them breath. But I also see healthy children who are in for really bad cases of common bugs. I love my job because I get to help the children and the families during a time in their life that is stressful. The best thing is that I get to hang out with kids all day! I also really enjoy education and I get a lot out of teaching the families.
WishGarden has started an Ambassador Program which you are a part of — and you are the recipient of this month's Ambassador of the Month Award. How's the Ambassador work going? I'm absolutely loving it! It is so much fun to go around to co-workers and friends and give them samples. The coolest part so far was when two strangers commented on my post online and I sent them samples. Social media can connect people that otherwise would never have interacted before. I am excited to be a part of sharing with others the different products that WishGarden has to offer. What's even better is that the company is based in Colorado!
You're an aspiring herbalist. How are the studies going? I recently took a family herbalist class in Lafayette, Colorado, at The Little Herbal Apothecary. I learned so much and I have goals to go to herbalism school within the next five years. I want to do something with my nursing degree and herbalism down the road. I don't know what that will look like, but I want to blend those two passions. The great thing for me is that I am in the right area for integrative health.
Natural products seem to be all the rage these days. Do you think we are witnessing a change in consumer attitudes towards the environment and natural products? I really hope so. There seems to be a huge shift to caring more about where products come from and how they impact the environment. It will be very interesting to see the change in the coming years. I hope it continues to pick up momentum.
What is your favorite herb and why? This is a hard one! At the moment I'm going to pick one that most people know: Elderberry. I made my first Elderberry syrup from fresh berries during the summer and I'm excited to have it on hand during the "ick" season.
Do you have a go-to WishGarden product? Years ago I would buy Kick-Ass Immune. And while it is still a favorite, I have come to love Daily Immune. I am very curious to see how I feel this respiratory season!
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