Ever think “I would love to be able to make that myself, but I just don’t know how”? Here at Archeus I am getting such a kick out of being able to say “making your own natural skincare, perfume and home products is not out of reach….book a place on one of our workshops and then you too will be able to make these things”.
On the weekend I ran another introductory workshop to making your own natural skincare products. These workshops book out really quickly now and there are often waiting lists. Participants had traveled from various parts of the North Island and even Tonga to take part in the day. We spent from 10am - 3pm learning about natural ingredients used in skincare, making a few different products to take home, sharing food, knowledge and laughter, lots of laughter.
This morning a message from one of the fabulous women who came along pinged into my email inbox. Tracy summed up the “can I? Yes I can!" feeling when she wrote, “I used the cleanser we made last night and it’s so lovely, I can’t believe I made it, (with your great guidance and help of course!) Thank you.”
"...coming along to a workshop does what the internet can never do… it provides you with real human contact - Georgina, Archeus"
When I established Archeus a few years ago, I thought of all sorts of things I could do that would gather nicely underneath its banner and be upheld by values of working with nature, connecting people to nature and ultimately giving back to nature through plant conservation work. I must confess though, I hadn’t seen running workshops as part of that picture, but then I thought ‘why keep this knowledge to myself?’. The workshops began from there and having developed and run a number of them over the past few months, they are quickly finding themselves at the heart of the business and I absolutely love them.
Why do I love them? Well, it is fun to share knowledge. I love them because I am meeting some truly fabulous people and even better, it is neat to be able to empower people - to equip them with new skills and a sense of confidence to make things for themselves. I also think the location matters: Archeus workshops take place in a rural setting less than 15 minutes from the centre of Napier. They are held in a beautiful but simple building set in gardens. I do believe this adds to the experience and deepens the connection to nature and to each other.
Handing on knowledge is nothing new. Throughout time, knowledge about how to work with nature for beauty, health and well-being has been handed down across generations, passed on from healer to apprentice, from mother to daughter, friend to friend. I like to think of the Archeus workshops as sitting within that tradition. I love making the products I sell online, but I also feel that now more than ever it is important to help pass nature knowledge on. That’s why my workshops are all about learning how to use ingredients and materials from nature to create products for beauty, well-being or the home. They are also about learning the artisan skills associated with crafting something new from nature be it a soothing balm, beauty cream, distillation or exquisite perfume. They are about deepening our connections to nature and stepping away from the mass-produced.
Some may ask, why bother coming to a workshop? After all there is so much information available to us these days – a gazillion websites offering tips on how to make this, or do that, be this or become that. This abundance of information is both wonderful and overwhelming. I would say though that it is one thing to read all these tips and insights, but often it is something else entirely different to actually try to do things. When you dig down into it, that hesitation usually results from a lack of confidence and a great big ‘what if - ?’.
That’s why coming along to a workshop does what the internet can never do… it provides you with real human contact, a chance to interact with the teacher and others in the room. It means you can ask questions when you need to, you can seek help, feel reassured that if things go wrong, someone can help you make them come right. It helps create a sense of community and kindred spirit. It creates confidence.
Kindred spirit, shared experience, Archeus artisans creating with nature. If that sounds like something you would like to be a part of then head to our workshops page to see what is coming up. And, if you are coming from out of town then there are lots of lovely places to stay including B&Bs just a few minutes’ walk from here.
There is so much satisfaction in being able to say "I made that", so why not give it a go!
“Thank you so very much for sharing your wonderful knowledge with us and helping and encouraging us on our journeys of knowledge and exploration.” – Tracy
“The workshop was magic” - Kerrie