100%

funded

Total loan: $7,000

Rachel

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Joelton, TN, United States / Retail

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A loan helped us grow our small woman-owned business making organic skincare with herbs from our farm!


Rachel's story

I was born and raised in Nashville, TN. I always had a connection to the land, but being in the suburbs I had to find the dirt in between cracks in the sidewalk and patches of grass poised amongst lawns.  It wasn't until a visit from Jane Goodall to my university that my connection to the earth and passion for environmentalism was really ignited. I devoured her books on environmentalism, which really opened my eyes to the connected nature of all living things across the planet. I was suddenly struck with the idea that everything I do has an impact on others I've never met; that what we do truly matters for the health of humans and the environment. I was really drawn to the food system and how what we eat greatly affects us and the earth. I then pursued a career in environmental education, moving to Wisconsin to work at an environmental camp, then to pursue my Masters of Science in Natural Resources, then to teach sustainability education at an environmental boarding school, with stints working on organic farms between and amongst all these roles.  It was during my time interning on an organic farm in Wisconsin just before I started grad school in 2009 that I developed an interest in herbs and began studying herbalism. I found my way into experimenting with making herbal skincare at home - salves, lip balms, deodorants - loving the process and the end result. I saw the amazing power plants have to provide exactly what we need - from helping settle a stomach and easing anxiety to healing a cut on the skin and alleviating eczema. I really began doing this out of a desire to not only lighten my footprint on the earth, but also, to fill a void in the personal care product industry that is laden with questionable ingredients & packaging. I've learned that what we put onto our bodies is just as important as what we put in them and have a passion for bringing the amazing benefits of plants to people in a tangible way.  Skincare might seem...topical, but I see providing this product to others as a very hands-on way of inviting them into a practice of caring for themselves, for the earth, and in turn for others. Amazing things happen when we take care of ourselves! I love connecting with customers and hearing their stories about how an herbal salve provided healing support to a cut, or our deodorant "actually works!"