In my daily pursuit of eco-friendly products and research of eco-lifestyle topics, I have the amazing privilege of meeting other like-minded souls. It is thrilling to see the eco-community gain strength in numbers. There is inspiration in learning from each other and excitement in growing together. It is a true gift that we are able to lift each other up, not just locally, but worldwide.
I cannot help but share this goodness with you, for I find so much joy in this part of my journey. May you enjoy these stories and the missions of other eco-minded souls and organizations as much as I do.
Someone Who Knows Someone
The old saying, “It’s all about who you know” rings true as it perfectly describes my connection with Andrea Johnson Beck, founder and owner of The Rustic Apothecary.
Last month, my amazing hair dresser, Jenn Schultz, founder and owner of Blush Salon, snipped away at my dead ends while I chattered on and on about the highs and lows of my start up. About twenty minutes into my monologue, Jenn said, “You have to meet my neighbor. She would be perfect for your new box. She’s really into oils.” With a smile and a nod, I suggested she have her neighbor get in touch with me.
In all honesty though, a red flag popped up as soon as I heard the word “oils”. Don’t get me wrong, I love essential oils. In essence, they are at the core of my fragrance-free world. I’ve heard plenty about people who worked with oils or used oils, but all I could think about in that moment was another MLM. You might have heard of the popular ones, like Doterra or Young Living; I cannot and will not discredit them. It’s just that ECO CRATES of America works exclusively with small American eco-businesses, not multi-level marketing organizations.
I am happy to report that I was way off base.
It’s All In the Follow Up
My friend Jenn believed in her friend enough to email me the next day, asking for the best way to contact me. Later that same day, Andrea messaged me, just as Jenn said she would. It really is all in the follow up. I looked into her products, and I was amazed. This woman wasn’t just into oils; this woman made her own oils! Fresh, dried herbs; cold-pressed, distilled, pure essential oils, all lovingly crafted in her kitchen.
We messaged back and forth a few times, and chatted about how our businesses could work together. Andrea sent ECO CRATES some amazing sample oils to test. Not only did I love her samples, but the more we chatted, I found out we had something else in common – sass. I was in heaven. Her oils are amazing and her scents are divine. They were a delight to my senses. With our budding relationship, I just had to feature her and her business on our blog.
Andrea has an innate connection with plants and herbs. Her intuition about their healing powers has been with her since her younger years. As a child, she was easily fascinated with how the weather — and even the universe — had an affect on the human body and the energy within it. She grew up in the midwest, surrounded by nature and food. Her Scandinavian grandmothers created delicious dishes from their lush gardens —some recipes generational, others new. She was honored to be part of the prep process for family meals; it made her feel special and part of something great. She found a love that was infused within each recipe, and it became sacred.
Fast forward into her adult life as her only son, Logan, approached his high school graduation. She was ready to embark on a new journey. After years as a veteran homeschool mom, the idea of opening a small business excited her. It only felt natural to focus on Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy. As a hobby, she created soy-free recipes for her personal website, The Rustic Woman. An apothecary easily became an extension for that work.
One of the main reasons I opened The Rustic Apothecary was to develop products without all the unhealthy, artificial ingredients. I have a severe soy allergy, and soy derivatives are in almost everything, from candles to lotions to perfumes containing elements that are the catalyst for allergies, inflammation, and other health issues.
Companies are creative with their wording due to the FDA’s lax approach to soy allergies. Regulation is flimsy, which has resulted in an uptick in allergy-related emergencies. I am hypervigilant when a client expresses an allergy or sensitivity to a specific essential oil or herb.
-Andrea Johnson Beck
Andrea’s main goal in both The Rustic Apothecary and life is to help people. The needs of her clients vary from simple scents for aromatherapy to addressing health concerns. Her approach to healing is well rounded, incorporating physical, spiritual, and psychological elements. She has provided care and relief for individuals with MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia by using her knowledge, oils and the power of healthy nutrition.
Mother Nature has provided us with organic healing botanicals.
-Andrea Johnson Beck
Magic & Joy
I learned that some plants — deemed weeds, like Dandelions — have excellent medicinal components. According to Andrea, the process of steaming, distilling and infusing oils is therapeutic. She finds magic in the process.
I have had a glimpse of her magic and must agree. Not only does Andrea make her own oils, but they are made of freshly dried ingredients, responsibly sourced and pressed in her very own kitchen.
She finds pure joy in the responses of her clients when they share their success stories after using her creations. She is truly optimizing their health. In particular, her newest facial oil has been proven to clear teenage acne, with the an added bonus of a natural boost of confidence. Also, her blend, Comfort, is known to bring relief to nerve and muscle pain.
That is why I do what I do, to bring happiness, healing, and solace. I’m a natural-born teacher, and homeschooling Logan was a wonderful experience. I bring the same educational practices to my business. I’ve studied Integrative Therapies & Healing Practices, which included Clinical Aromatherapy at The University of Minnesota & Herbalism at The Herbal Academy. My continued education provides palliative care and natural wellness. I am fortunate to have incredible mentors who continue to provide guidance. Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy are spiritual for me. All three are intertwined, and when I’m filling orders, it’s more than just oil pouring into a bottle — it’s slivers of my soul. Each oil was created in love and gratitude, and I pray that every person feels that from me.
-Andrea Johnson Beck
Just like Andrea found her love for botanicals and their healing powers from her grandmothers, her son, Logan, is also carrying on the tradition. It must be hereditary. Logan is on the autism spectrum and suffers from anxiety. He has begun to create oils to help reduce stress, calm his mind, and encourage rest.
You can find Andrea and The Rustic Apothecary in the link below. Be sure to follow her for her natural gift of enlightenment delivered with a side of sass.
If you know of a small American business might be a great fit for ECO CRATES of America’s Subscription Box, please send them my way. We are always open to meeting new friends in the eco-community. And you never know, their products might just be what we are looking for.
If you enjoyed meeting The Rustic Apothecary today, be sure to check out other friends we have met and introduced our readers to in our Friendship Friday’s series: The Plastic Yeeters, Herb Garden, B3yond Trash & Rejewel.
Written by: Jaime Snell
Edited by: Sharmarra Rose