Growing up in the countryside in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, seeded my lifelong passion for botanic wisdom, healing and nature.
What followed was an international career that traversed the arts, corporate sector and conservation. But where ever possible I tried to bring my love of nature into my working world.
Along the way I was really lucky to have the opportunity to work at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew. These gardens aren’t just a beautiful place to visit, they are a treasure trove of over 350 years of plant data and history, a research and conservation facility and a great communicator for our natural world. While working at Kew I used the opportunity to spend time in the magnificent reference library losing myself in ethnobotanic texts relating to the use of plants in medicine and healing.
I was then invited to take on a role with the United Nations Environment Programme working on the influential TEEB study into The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (basically making an economic case for the conservation of nature). It was during this time that I got thinking about how I could build a 21st Century company from scratch – one that draws from, and gives back to, Nature. And I realised that I wanted to do that here, back in New Zealand.
Meanwhile over the years I have kept my private passions fuelled by taking studies in environmental science, massage therapy, herbalism, aromatherapy, reiki and naturopathy and somewhere deep inside personal interests and professional experience began to combine.
In 2011 I returned to New Zealand, continuing to work for the UN while living on the small farm I had grown up on. The farm, with its native bush and winding creek, became the canvas for creating my dreams. Archeus was born.
I set out to create something that could both provide, and celebrate, a deep connection to nature. For years I had been using my herbal studies to make skin care products so I figured ‘why not start there?’.
Working with natural ingredients and herbal wisdom on a daily basis has immersed me even deeper into the history of herbalism and the ways in which plants are used by different cultures to calm, soothe, heal and repair. Nature's medicine cabinet is a wondrous thing. Growing many of the plants myself, and getting to know them well, is giving me that deeper connection to Nature I had quietly longed for. In the beginning I tested my products on myself, but before long friends and family were also trying them out and coming back for more. Word spread.
Now in the Archeus Apothecary I handcraft skincare and well-being products. I run workshops to help share this knowledge with others. In addition I am a reiki practitioner and a licensed marriage celebrant (a.k.a Ritual Maker) and so I am creating a range of products that can be used in the rituals and ceremonies that connect us to people and places.
It is important to me to build a company that gives back to Nature. So I have built conservation into the company’s core business costs. Right from word go.
I hope you will join me on this journey.