I live in a big city, and my family and I don’t grow our own food. We do have a lone basil plant that lives in our NYC apartment window, and occasionally we do grow some mushrooms.
But beyond that, we are basically consumers of other people’s goods for our survival.
Since we are not growing or creating the products we use, I am conscious of the companies I purchase from.
I prefer to spend my money on companies who have integrity about what they are putting into the world.
My tendency leans toward small businesses, mom and pop shops, and wellness entrepreneurs that are creating products with pride, care, and love.
It seems the bigger a business gets, the more they may have to cut corners and outsource jobs.
Growth is not a bad thing, but the bigger a company gets, the greater the divide between the owners, the workers, and their connection to what they are producing.
Big companies are usually run like assembly lines with each person doing a different job, and they may not be invested in the final product… beyond a paycheck.
Oftentimes the “love” that was initially generated creating a product gets lost along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, I purchase products from behemoth companies like Whole Foods and Amazon, but I prefer shopping directly with small businesses, especially if I’m looking for the love factor.
I recently spoke at the Black Walnut Botanical conference in Pennsylvania. It was a gathering of herbalists, plant enthusiasts, foragers, and wellness seekers. In between classes, there was a small marketplace for vendors to share their goods.
As a consumer, I bought something from each of them.
First up was gettingback2nature.farm. It’s two acres of land consciously tended by two brothers, Irucka Ajani and Obiora Embry.
They are weekend food growers who do little to no watering even in times of drought. Their vision is to regenerate and heal neglected land, create a diverse and vibrant food ecosystem, develop unique value-added products, and inspire others to get back to Nature.
I think if we had more folks doing work like this in the world, we’d have a food supply that supports both people and the planet.
I purchased their Forager Wild Flora Jelly and Fire Cider.
My 18-year old nephew tasted the Foragers Wild Flora Jelly and said, “Wow! that’s delicious! It tastes like a honey spread.”
Irucka and Obiora’s products are wildcrafted and locally sourced from their farm in Kentucky. And, best of all, the list of ingredients on all of their products end with the words, “…and love.”
You certainly can’t find that ingredient listed on your average product purchased at Walmart.
And, speaking of LOVE… I bought the BEST tasting Rose Petal Jam from Erica Jo Shaffer (jam pictured below next to my happy mug).
She is the founder of Wildly Crafted Woman. Erica is a Shamanista, Reiki Master, wise woman, and gardener.
Her gorgeous garden is filled with a wide variety of beautiful plants and flowers, including 18 Rose Bushes that are NEVER sprayed with toxic chemicals! She creates this delicious Rose Petal jam from the roses she tends in her organic garden.
Have you ever tried Rose Petal Jam?
If not, you’re in for a treat, especially for your heart.
Read more about the healing properties of Rose here: Stop and smell the Roses
Erica also makes yummy immune-supporting Elderberry Jam. Which is the perfect medicine for flu, cold, and the never-ending coronavirus season that seems to be upon us.
Connect with Erica on her website Wildly Crafted Woman, or via email: email@example.com and get yourself a jar of her Rose jam. Especially, if you are looking to woo someone, or just want to love yourself a little bit more.
Next up was herbalist and registered nurse Linda Shanahan. She is the co-founder of Bluestem Botanicals and was selling herbal simple syrups.
The mission of her company is to connect people with plants for food, medicine, and for a more resilient collective future.
I use her herbal syrups to make fun mocktails and cocktails. Just mix a little syrup with your favorite sparkling mineral water. And, voila… totally delish!
I also shopped at the Lancastersoaps.com stand. It’s a small business run by the whole family. Maryanne and her husband Bob, plus her sister Tina, have been running this small business creating a variety of soaps and other natural products since 1992.
Supporting a small business that keeps a whole family employed and working together is a wise consumer choice.
I bought the Git Spritz herbal bug spray and a bar of Wise Woman soap, of course.
I used the Git Spritz bug spray before my hike and didn’t get eaten alive by the tiny flying vampires that can wreak havoc on a peaceful walk in the woods.
As fate would have it, I’ve been experiencing pain in my left knee. Ouch!
Thankfully, I was surrounded by herbalists that are creating great medicine.
I purchased a Joints and Sinews Balm from herbalist, April Coburn. This salve is formulated for pain associated with nerves, joints, and connective tissues.
Her website is Nettlejuice.com.
All of April’s products are handmade in small batches with great care. She grows many of the herbs herself without the use of chemicals. What she cannot grow, she sources from ethical and reputable companies, and always buys organic herbs.
My final purchase for the day was a bottle of White Lotus Elixir.
If you ever wondered what the white flower on the “Upcoming Events” section on the homepage of my website is, it’s a white lotus.
This flower signifies many things, including purity of mind, wealth, knowledge, fertility, and faith. The white lotus is often referred to as the “Womb of the World.”
It’s highly revered for it’s beauty and powerful ability to expand and transform your state of being.
When I saw the White Lotus Elixir from Dreamseed Apothecary, I wanted to try it. And, I bought it because I’m a conscious consumer.
Liz Henke, the founder of Dreamseed Apothecary, is a Spiritual herbalist who combines magic and medicine to create vibrant herbal goods and crafts in co-creation with spirit and divine feminine energy.
I’ll be using the White Lotus Elixir before my morning daily meditation to help me deepen my practice.
As I said, I LOVE supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and mom and pop shops. I believe they truly are the heart of America, and the heart of our world at large.
As a conscious collective, let’s purchase products that are made with love and created by people that care about what they are sharing, and how it impacts the world.
I think this would make for a much happier and healthier economy.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
And, please share any small business that you love.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker, Herbalist and best-selling author. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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