Hey! I’m Jana. I’m just a simple New York City girl driven by my passion. I yearned to live a more holistic and natural lifestyle that didn’t simply stop at the farmers market, and was inspired in a multifaceted way. As a student of botany and herbalism, it was this true love for plants that inspired me to curate simple yet effective botanical remedies. In a world filled with an abundant amount of products made with harmful synthetic ingredients, I pledged to do my best at avoiding them. I decided to become the solution to the problem I faced. Organic Concoctions is about honoring the healing and medicinal properties of plants and herbs.
Please tell me about yourself and your business…
Organic Concoctions is a handcrafted plant-based apothecary line. At the moment, our specialty is skincare made in small batches. Everything we concoct is non-toxic and made with wellness in mind. Our mission from the beginning has been to craft products that are not only effective but won’t inflict harm to the body by way of synthetic ingredients.
What was the light bulb moment that allowed you to see monetary value in your calling?
I can envision it now. Two years ago I reached my boiling point. I would sit in my cubicle staring into space. I wanted out… I wanted something different. I longed for a life where I felt “free”. One where I could answer and come and go as I pleased. Friends and family thought I was delusional, hell I did too at times. But I knew there was a dividing line between the risk takers and the “play-it-safers”, all that was needed was the courage to step out or maybe a bit of insanity. I had been inspired for some time by encouraging others around me on the importance of nutrition and a non-toxic lifestyle. The response was always great, which felt rewarding. As time grew I realized my passion was what I yearned to be able to give to others in a multitude of ways. Then one day I was laid off and It was like a weight had lifted off of my shoulders. My gut was telling me God wanted to propel me into a different direction. One that would be both fulfilling mentally and financially. It was my time to step out.
If you had one piece of advice that you could give to an individual looking to transform their life to a lifestyle of wellness, what would it be?
I would encourage that individual to start small. I’d also tell him or her to celebrate little victories and accomplishments. Usually I see people with extremely tall orders of change that sometimes don’t turn out how they imagined, which can sometimes be discouraging. Be gentle with yourself on your journey of change. Give yourself time to evolve.
Where do you pull inspiration from in order to provide others the motivation that they need to make lasting lifestyle changes?
I like to stay “holistically-stimulated.” I enjoy pulling inspiration from the content I surround myself with. Whether it be from books or even documentaries.
How has your ethnicity and/or sexual identity impacted your work? Provide insight on any challenges that you may have faced in your industry.
A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that an alarmingly high percentage of cosmetic products marketed to black women contain hazardous ingredients that contribute to a whole host of health concerns! Being a woman of color, it saddens me that my suspicions have finally been confirmed. However, it also gives me great pride to know I can be a catalyst for change within my community. It inspires me to continue to be apart of the solution to this problem.
How do you implement wellness into your personal life on a daily basis when you are not providing support to others?
I’m a plant and herb type of girl. I let my intuition and feelings of the moment tell me what herb I need in the day. I also take supplements every day. Vitamin D, K2, Magnesium and Probiotics are crucial.
What is one alternative remedy that you cannot live without?
Turmeric is my best friend. I use it and recommend it for everything!
What have you learned from mistakes made when first starting your wellness business?
I’ll answer the question by stating the question! That mistakes will essentially be made! Period. I have a hard time understanding that entrepreneurship can’t blossom without falling on your butt over and over and over again. I’m working on that.
What is one life memory you recall most that has affected your career path?
A conversation with my Grandmother who recently passed away a few months ago. I had a paper to write in college where I was assigned to document and record her life story. She shared with me the days of the depression and how the decisions she had to make in life weren’t necessarily what she yearned to do. She encouraged me to follow my heart and inspired me to be true to myself.
What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make with regard to wellness?
I remember feeling like giving up meat was a difficult decision at the time – two years ago. Now it seems like second nature. Everything always seems impossible until you just do it!
How do you navigate the Guru syndrome to empower clients to see that they are the masters of their destiny and to not look to you for ALL the answers to their skincare needs?
Whenever I share something with someone afterwards I like to say “….but don’t take my word for it. Research it for yourself!” I love to encourage people to be active participants in their lives.
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