Friday, March 28, 2014

Meet Featured Artists Jeanie Roberts-Wyatt and Kim Ivey-Bourne of Jade Rabbit Apothecary!

What is your business’ name? Jade Rabbit Apothecary and we are Jeanie Roberts-Wyatt and Kim Ivey-Bourne!

What sort of items do you make? We are a small local herbal business operating in Greensboro, North Carolina. We offer therapeutic skin care products, teas and other herbal products with consulting services. We maintain an inventory of Western herbs available for purchase and are available to teach classes in soap and salve making as well as other topics.

When and how did you learn your craft? A combination of formal and informal training as well as many years of self-study and practice – there is not a “standard” approach to the practice of herbalism in the U.S. Herbalism is an ongoing “practice” of participating in a wide variety of activities and forums that allow practitioners to teach and be taught and to be exposed to both formal and informal types of information about plants and their applications in health and diet. There is a tremendous need for all of us to reduce our exposure both internally and externally to chemicals and pharmaceuticals and herbal plant use offers easy, safe and approachable alternatives – this drove our early interest in herbals. Our mid-Atlantic region in the eastern U.S. has a rich and diverse amount of some of the world’s most powerful plants.

Where do you get your inspiration from? From the plants themselves! Even the most cursory journey into medicinal plants and the global history of herbalism will excite and educate readers. Plants were our first food and medicine and continue those primary roles today. Basic knowledge of herbs and their uses can greatly and safely enhance our personal and family health and nutrition. There has been tremendous interest in alternative medical approaches as more knowledge and research becomes available and consumers become more educated in health choices. It’s a very exciting time to see Eastern and Western medical communities move closer together in a more holistic approach to medicine and health.  It’s hard not to be inspired!

How did you get started doing this as a business? After spending many years working in a variety of settings with people, animals and herbs we decided to formalize this by establishing the business.  We wanted to professionalize the practice as we have established customers and growing interest in the community.  As we continue to grow our skills, products, and practice, we have found this creates more opportunities to share our passion for these magic plants that are all around us.

Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Start with the plants themselves. Learn about just a few native botanicals and what their uses are and then have fun! Pick an area of interest and concentrate your efforts and study in that area.  Always remain governed by your passion and integrity to represent these wonderful allies well, find wonderful teachers and create opportunities to use herbals in all areas of your own life. From every day health support for yourself and your family to a rigorous clinical practice, there is a place for every role in the practice and use of herbals. All of us from the most novice to the most experienced practitioner need to teach, share and communicate our knowledge and learning in our respective communities. Know your limits and never stop learning about the magic that is all around our feet in our gardens – the weeds!

Jade Rabbit Apothecary will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on April 4, 2014.  The market is located on the corner of MKL and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9pm. 

Want to see more of Jade Rabbit Apothecary?  Check out Jeanie and Kim's Facebook page at

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