Creator And Founder Jayne E Bennett
Here is a little bit of my personal history and my creative purpose.
For me, this is not some Artisan fad or Indie Trend. It is , simply put,
the way I grew up and how I’ve been living my whole life.
I was born and raised in Tacoma Washington, and currently reside in Carnegie Pennsylvania.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest was, for me, a magical experience largely due to my mothers exhuberant love of nature. She and my father had a wonderful vegetable garden, as well as many types of herbs and berries (boysenberries, loganberries, and raspberries as big as a giants thumb!) Every September the family would trek up to Mt Adams, right next to the mile high Pinto rock to pick huckleberries (Much larger and more flavorful than blueberries).
Other times of the year, she would have us trapesing through the woods to pick moss off the trees for floral arrangements, or hunting a variety of seedpods and cones for her masterful cone wreaths.
The Sequoia cone was always my favorite because it resembles a rosebud, very pretty and elegant. My mother could tell you the common and botanical name of every single plant in the entire state, and she did, quite often. Needless to say, my education in the magical world of the plant kingdom began at a very early age.
I also remember wandering , one time, onto some old abandoned estate. As we broke through the scraggly overgrowth, there appeared, all of a sudden, a few shabby and yet still so beautiful, old fountains and cement sculptures amongst the huge overgrown Rhodedendron in full bloom, as well as many other unique trees and flowers.
Obviously, a garden like this one used to be, held some very unusual plants not commonly found elsewhere. My mother would take ‘cuttings’ and turn what seemed to be, almost dead sticks, into new life. It was exciting to watch them sprout, grow, and become beautiful again.
Not to worry, I’m quite certain that she had permission from any prospective landlords for all of our adventures.
If we weren’t climbing up a mountain side, or trapesing through the woods, then we would be wandering down the gulch.
We lived up on a hill looking out over the Bay and it was so beautiful.
On a typical Summer day, my friends and I would each find a large walking stick and climb down the Gulch (deep wet forest) surrounding our yard, making our way through the ferns and nettles, across the railroad tracks to the Beach. At the beach we would find hermit crabs, sand dollars, and pretty little stones washed smooth by the ocean waves.
If it was a particularly warm day, we would inch our way, little by little, (The Pacific Ocean is very cold! ) into the saltwater where we found other treasures, such as, giant sea kelp and tiny clear jellyfish.
I love every bit of nature and connecting to the Earth. I Always have. I love creating and giving gifts derived from the Earth itself, to those humble souls that truely comprehend and appreciate it!
My Personal Hobbies would have to be
first and foremost, formulating natural remedies.
I also love reading and researching (which comes in handy with my first love as mentioned above.)
I have been officially partaking in this hobby since 1994, however, I’d have to say that I had an early start at around three or four years old. I would mixup ‘healing potions’ in the bathroom sink for my teddy bear ‘Boo boo’ and his friends. I would apply the ‘poultices’ of toothpaste, comet, and merthyolate etc. on my menagerie of stuffed animal friends and bandage them up. Where on earth was my mother?! …
Years later, … one of the first products that I ever made, was an antibacterial healing salve with cell regenerative properties in a soothing anti-itch balm made with shae butter and calendula.
My parents came out to Pittsburgh for a visit one time shortly thereafter. As soon as my mother saw and smelled the salve she stated “thats just like aunt Mary’s salve” My response; “who’s aunt Mary?” As it turns out, mom had a great aunt Mary whom I had never even heard of. An old scottish woman, long since passed, who made a healing salve, known of, and used by the entire family.
Making natural formulations is like breathing to me. I simply can’t not do it. Perhaps it’s just in the genes. no clue as to where these ideas came from at such a young age.
How it all began? Well, … the next logical step in concert with what i had already been doing went like this…
In 1994, my best friend Casey and I each had a few herbs in our gardens and were looking for something fun to do with them. we: I say we, as we both had small children and spent much of our time, essentially raising them together. It really helps to have help during those early years, and since neither of us had family in the area ( we were both imports; myself from Washington state, and she from Iowa) we sort of adopted each other as surrogate sisters.
Anyway… we bought a beautiful book and poured over it together. It contained gorgeous pictures, wonderful information, and recipes for soaps and the like.
And so it began. Upon finding other reference materials, I became obsessed. Creatively, Casey became my partner and best assistant of all time.
Business-wise, Casey was the queen bee, and I merely followed her instructions. ( I’ll admit it. I really hate the business of business) She had me speaking at a few womens groups, doing home shows, and craft shows that she had coordinated.
She even set up a radio interview for us, and snagged a newspaper article written about us in the Beaver County Times by Kimberley K. Barlow somewhere around 1995. I taught several aromatherapy workshops at the Health Hut in Chippewa. Jodi, the manager there, and a co-worker, was always instrumental and a great inspiration, with her compassion for everyone that walked through the door.
At that time, nobody, and I mean nobody, had any idea what an essential oil was. I, on the other hand, had been studying each and every one obsessively, and had a knack for putting them together in the most effective ways. ( like choosing the best players for a special team, or notes for a song ) When I felt that I had learned as much as I could on my own, it was Casey who found Pat Betty, a Jamaican woman from New York that offered certification in aromatherapy. She traveled to Pittsburgh once a year to teach. We attended her classes each year for two years.
I was pleased to find out that all I had taught myself so far was completely accurate, and that also, I had learned quite a lot on my own. Pat Betty’s degree’s in botany and chemistry proved to be the very next step that we were looking for, and I absorbed it like a sponge!
Somewhere around this time, my hairstylist Sophia, asked me why I didn’t go to school for esthetics and work for her doing skincare, as I could make all my own products. I admit, I had never heard of esthetics before. once she explained it, I was in.
I went to school in 1998 at the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy downtown, studied under Mr. Timigy, and was liscensed in April 1999. Along the way I took classes in reflexology and lymphatic drainage at the Pittsburgh school of massage. In 2007 I went to DCI school for massage, passed the national certification, and was liscensed in 2008.
What I loved about working in the health food store years earlier was working with people of like mind, whom all had a nurturing and caring nature, with a passion for helping others.
That is at the core of each step that I have taken along the way. whether it’s natural remedies that bring relief, or massage that soothes a tired soul, or even advanced skin technologies that make people feel good about their skin.
If I can bring even a small measure of health and happiness to someone, well… that is the prize.