I was born and raised in a village in Indian Lake, Ohio, an hour west of the capital city of Columbus. As far back as I can remember, I always loved to sparkle. The little Leo in me was quite the thrill-seeking diva, one who climbed trees with lipstick in her pocket and collected spiders just to show them off. I recall a gift from a family member one year—a hot pink toolbox that made me cry out for the sheer fact it was a toolbox. I soon learned that I could turn that toolbox into anything I wanted, so instead, I let it hold a collection of all my hand-me-down makeups, nail polishes, and exquisite shimmering things that brought me joy.
As a young adult, I struggled with anxiety and insecurities that led me down a path of alcohol and drug abuse. My journey to healing and desire to be transmuted from the ugly landscape of personal trauma led me to the plants. I soon rooted under the star-painted Vermont skies for some experiential learning in the realm of herbalism and biodynamic farming. Here I joined the working hands of Meadows Bee Farm, to which I applied through an online WWOOFing (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program. I apprenticed here for the better part of a year, eventually being hired on full-time to run their herbal apothecary making farm-to-bottle medicines.
The work that I was doing by reconnecting to the earth just felt right, but I knew I was meant to originate my own line of work, so I dabbled in the creation of intuitive medicines in my free time. I was enthralled by the healing potential of plants, as I experienced firsthand, so I enriched my studies and attended a spiritual herbal school, Gaia School of Healing. It is in deep gratitude that I reflect on the circle that was created there, one that truly opened a creative portal for me to delve deeper into the work that felt vital to my wellbeing.
The first potions I ever sold were simple folk medicines made of mostly wild plants and included herbal soaps, tinctures, and topical salves that graced a makeshift table at the local farmers markets. My potions have since evolved as I further traversed on an exploration of my own authentic vision of what green, non-toxic beauty should be and ultimately created something I felt the industry was desperately lacking—originality without sacrificing integrity. A brand where the health of people and the planet always outweighs profits, and where those rare beauty goods mystically crafted with well intentions could more easily find their way into people’s lives.
My work has been built on a commitment to use the highest quality ingredients I can source, always looking locally first, to find the best alternatives to the laced synthetic stuff on the market. This has allowed me a hands-on experience in creating vibrant extracts and opulent formulas that are made in our very own apothecary.
For instance, instead of using hormonal-disrupting synthetic fragrances, we use whole plant infusions and blends of naturally extracted aromatics, including our own artisan-distilled essential oils and vibrational floral waters. Instead of neurotoxic and carcinogenic coal tar-derived colorants to tint our cosmetics, we use earthen mineral pigments and healing plants infused into cold-pressed carrier oils. Instead of bio accumulative micro-plastics and silicones created in labs, we use raw local beeswax from caring keepers and fair-trade butters procured straight from the earth.
The Earth laughs in Flowers
My method of working with plants has also broadened as my formulary knowledge has been shaped by divine archetypal inspiration, celestial body influences, and an obsessive knack for research. The meticulous workings of my mind paired with the expansive gifts of nature have created an outcome I feel bestows truly magical healing gifts to the skin.
Our process is one that goes far beyond traditional skincare formulation, one that is birthed from seed to sprout and procured from petal to bottle. Our thoughtfully chosen blends honor the plants we use in a merriment of medicinal infusions steeped under many moons, then transformed into empowering pots of color magic to not hide, but illuminate the beauty within us. Nestled inside each tiny glass jar, handmade vessel, or vial is an invitation brimming with wonder waiting to awaken the senses and enliven intuition.
Our process of production is a slow one that starts with sourcing the botanicals. We work with local organic herb farms and grow a lot in our back yard. We also gather plants that are in abundance from the wild. Once we have our herbs and come up with a creative formula, we slow-infuse everything—this is a folk method that uses a menstruum, or medium, to extract the medicinal benefits of the herbs.
We use organic carrier oils, like Olive, Jojoba, and Coconut, vegetable-derived glycerin and grain alcohol—depending on the final product that we are formulating and which medium is the best to extract the constituents within each plant. These are called infusions, and we let them set for at least six weeks to extract all the plant goodness. For example, our makeup uses a base of organic Jojoba oil that is steeped with different herbs that offer healing benefits to skin like Calendula, Rose, Chamomile, and many more. For a hairspray, we would use different extracts, like our artisan distilled Hydrosols with perhaps some aromatic alcohol extracts or essential oils and hair nourishing plants extracts, like Nettle, Horsetail, and Marshmallow.
When formulating a product and deciding on a specific herbal blend, I always ask how it will be used and what plants would be most beneficial to the final formula and its intended use. Different plants work synergistically together, and I like pairing plants with similar actions as well as their color theme.
For a lilac-colored makeup, I might infuse a blend of herbs that have soothing and calming properties with a blend of flowers that evoke the final shade of the formula, like Lilac, Lavender, or Borage.
For our skincare, it is important to research and know which herbs will help with specific skin concerns, as certain plants, resins, and cold pressed oils will offer unique constituents that can be used to address and heal an array of skin ailments.
“The Plants have enough Spirit to transform our limited vision.” —Rosemary Gladstar
The Business of Green Beauty
I’m grateful to be a part of a much-needed paradigm shift in the green beauty industry, regardless of how small my business is. One of many challenges being a business this size, in a saturated market shrouded in expensive advertisements, is visibility and finding those customers who would be impacted in a positive way by my products, if they only knew LunaRoots existed. I hope to continue inspiring folks everywhere to clean up their beauty routine, invoke more meaningful rituals and ask them to take a deeper look at what is on the inside. Educating the consumer is really important to this mission.
Handling Growth With A Small Business
One of my favorite aspects of having a small business is the creative process itself. I couldn’t begin to explain the jubilation that bringing new products into existence brings me. At times, it also feels like my gift and my curse, as I’m regularly flooded with ideas that seemingly take over my brain like a cosmic radio station. The truth is I struggle with the ability to say no and acknowledge what I’m capable of handling as a one-woman production show and with minimal stress. Prioritizing is paramount for a small business. I envision LunaRoots growing slow and steady, rooting into a developing niche market, and blooming into something bigger when it feels right.
I currently reside on my ever-growing homestead in Putney, Vermont, with my incredibly supportive, hardworking husband and dirt-loving toddler side kick, who is wilder than the moonlight. As we sink more deeply into the vital work of the Earth through land stewardship, plant medicine and more intentional living, our gardens grow with food and flowers and our hearts with gratitude for a chance to do the work that we love and be the change we want to see.