Hi Jenn, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with natural products? Well, hello! I am a mother of two little boys and I currently live in Austin, Texas. Let's see: I think my introduction to natural products was when I worked in the juice bar at a little organic grocery store in college, where I studied business finance. I think being in the business school at a large university was what really made me begin to recognize the mentality of the corporate world, and I realized how little care for people's health and wellbeing went into the products that stocked the shelves of most grocery stores. It was pretty shocking to learn about and that's when I began to embrace a natural lifestyle. I was inspired and took some classes at The Florida School of Holistic Living on herbalism and flower essences. And then, once I got pregnant with my first baby, I decided to have a home birth with a midwife. That experience, of course, increased my understanding of how to use products from nature to soothe and help us through life's transformations.
We've seen some pictures of your wonderful floral designs. Are you still doing this? What attracted you to it? I adore flowers everywhere I go, from the blooming rose gardens to the dandelion weeds growing through the cracks in the sidewalk. My floral design business was inspired by my love for the Floridian terrain I grew up in and the beautiful gardens I visited in France and Italy. I stopped running the business after having my first baby, but I plan to start a new project involving the medicinal aspect of flowers with herbal teas and bouquets once my babies get bigger.
You wrote on the Ambassador Page that you are giving away WishGarden samples at your monthly New Moon circle. Has that proved to a be a good venue for the sampling of our tinctures? Yes. I have sampled tinctures at our little community space where various events are hosted, and at my sons' preschool. The feedback has been that people are really appreciative to try different formulations before buying a large bottle of it.
Which channels (including social) do you find most effective for spreading "herbal news"? I think nothing beats face-to-face interaction, so live classes offered to the community, workshops, and consultations are ideal. Of course with the technology we have, using Facebook and Instagram to reach out to an unlimited number of people is a great tool. In these cases, I think beautiful images go a long way in captivating your audience.
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 hope so! Living in Austin there is definitely an increased awareness on our lifestyle's impact on the planet and our health. I'm starting to see organic herbal teas on the menu at restaurants and little apothecary sections in boutiques downtown. Hopefully this trend will grow exponentially and we'll see herb shops replacing fast food chains and organic gardens instead of lawns. I have high hopes:)
What is your favorite herb and why? I would have to say elder, both the flowers and berries! I fell in love with this plant before I even knew about herbalism. The flowers are so delicate and heavenly. As a mother to young children, I use the berries as a syrup during upper respiratory infections, and we make an herbal steam with elder flowers and mullein to ease little coughs and congestion.
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