Thursday, February 11, 2010

Getting to know... {An Interview & Tips}

I met Cory from Aquarian Bath (virtually) through a mutual Etsy/business team and after winning a giveaway on her blog last year. Drawn to her almost intense enthusiasm in creating natural handmade products as well as her knowledge as an herbalist, I wanted to introduce you, or at least get you reacquainted.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop?

My name is Cory and I'm an herbalist and homeschooler in Daytona Beach. I teach community herbal workshops and classes in the Central Florida area. I am originally from the Seattle area, but I have nearly adapted to Florida. I make natural bath and body products in my shop. In other words my body products include essential oils or mineral colorants, but not chemical fragrance oils or chemical colorants. I also have a number of specialty herbal and aromatherapy salves as well as organic microwavable neck pillows in my shop.

I immediately noticed your emphasis on natural & non-harmful products such as your "orangutan friendly soaps". How important is this emphasis & how does it benefit those that purchase them?

This is the most important ethical consideration to me with respect to my products. I don't want to contribute to rain forest destruction. The rain forests are important not only for orangutan habitat, but also for the general health and well being of the planet. The other ingredients that I have also completely ruled out from my product line are chemical fragrance oils. We already know that things like pharmaceuticals are showing up at low levels in ground water, why add un-nessessary chemical fragrances to our ground water as well? Despite common misconception, chemical fragrances have no aromatherapeutic value. I have a blog post where you can read more on this topic: Comparing Essential oils to Fragrance Oils, How and why to spot the differences.

What or who inspires and influences you and your work?

I'm inspired by the herbs that grow around me. I love to use home grown or wild harvested herbs in my products whenever possible. Some herbs that do well in Central Florida that I use often are Lemongrass, Goldenrod, and Yarrow. I love to experiment with natural colorants like alkanet or annota seed which I recently started using in my roll on perfumes.
(Above is a photo of Cory's daughter harvesting goldenrod for her Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon balm infused oil base).

Why do you do this and how did you get started in selling these products)?

I have training in herbalism as a profession. Herbs have been my primary interest for a number of years. Having a bath & body products business is just one of many ways for an herbalist to practice their training. Some of my other herbal friends and colleages have gone other routes with their traning, for example having a clinical practice, teaching herbs, wild crafting, creating tinctures. I started selling the bath and body products after my daughter was born and I needed to have work that I could do from home.

Do you have any preferred tools &/or tips for those that want to learn more about herbs for themselves or home use?

I have a lot of herbal recipes on my blog. You can use the google search tab to find my instructions for making cough syrup, herbal vinegars, infused herbal oils, etc. One of my favorite beginner herbal books is Juliette Levy's 'Common Herbs for Natural Health.' For those of us living in Florida, it is worth while to invest in the book 'Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens: How to Grow and Enjoy Florida Plants with Special Uses by Monica Moran Brandies.' Most herbal books you find in the US are written for Northerners and the seasonal planting and harvesting tips are way off for us. The Essential Herbal Magazine is also a great publication that I occasionally publish in. It is written by herb lovers for herb lovers and has lots of practical information.

What are your present and future goals for your shop?

Right now my primary goal at present is to maintain my current inventory while continuing to add a variety of new items each season. I have a baby due in the middle of May, so I spent all of January making and stockpiling soaps. I would also like to add some of my specialty massage oil blends to my line before the end of the year.

Thank you Cory. As someone currently living in Florida who wants to grow a mini-garden in her mini-balcony I plan to check out that book.

{Link's to Cory's Shop Aquarian Bath & blog here}.


  1. Great to get to know more about Cory. Great article!!!!

  2. Karyna,

    First of all, fantastic blog format! I love your buttons for your sites! Second, super article on Cory and her products! Bravo!

    Tammy Dishner, UWIB

  3. Thanks so much Karen. :)

    And Tammy I'm very glad you like the blog format and look! Constantly working to improve and glad you both enjoyed Cory's interview.

    -Karyna A.

  4. looks quite a great post, it's having good information for research analysis. great job

  5. Love this article about Cory. Her Mandarin Spice soap is to die for.... just fantastic! You're blog is just lovely Karyna!

  6. Thanks Kirsten! Cory has great things and I'm really so glad you are enjoying the blog! :)


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