I’m so glad you found this letter! It's a compilation of different memories and experiences from my life that I believe played a significant role in my journey to starting my business. Read it all or read it in pieces!
From a very young age, I’ve always been a nerd about nature and environmental science. Growing up, there was a show I used to watch with this girl who would dress up in safari gear and go around teaching us about all the flora and fauna she encountered. After watching this show, I would play outside and forage for wild berries and flowers and make concoctions I would call “fairy food”. In 3rd grade, my father asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I said a “nature girl”. He noticed this interest and wanted to nurture it so he bought me a microscope -- I was so obsessed with that thing! In 5th grade, I applied to a middle school that had an ‘Environmental & Earth Space Science’ magnet program. I was hooked from there.
In 2015, I went back home for the first time since I immigrated to America. We had plenty of family come and visit us in America before but my parents, my sisters, and I had never taken a trip back down together. By this time, I had just finished my freshman year of college. We spent one week in Clarendon with my grandparents and another week at a resort. If you were to ask me which week was best I would scream CLARENDON! Clarendon is a rural part of Jamaica and about a 4 hour drive from MBJ airport. It’s filled with rocky roads, rolling hills, lush foliage, and trickling rivers. When we visited, only my parents phones had international cellular data turned on so I was completely disconnected from the world for a whole week. PURE BLISS. I felt so light, at peace, worry-free, and simple. Imagine barbecues with endless aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors paired with endless stew peas and rice, jerk chicken, curry goat, mannish water, plantain, oxtail, etc, YUMMM. Imagine going to bed seeing the deep midnight blue sky sprinkled with stars and being woken up naturally as the light floods your room and the rooster is starting his song. Imagine walking down a rocky path with your rag and bar soap to bathe in a sparkling and crisp flowing river to beat the heat. Imagine walking outside to pick fruits to eat and herbs to make tea to drink on the veranda while you wave to passerby’s who say good morning. Jamaica Sweet.
My family and I returned to Jamaica again in 2017 and I took a solo trip in 2019 where I spent a few days with my grandparents and most of my time in Portmore and Kingston with my aunt and cousins. Now that I’ve graduated from college, earned my master’s, and have a salaried job, I told myself I wouldn’t let more than 2 years pass before I go back home again.
PLAYING MY PART
When I turned 21, I had my first gynecologist appointment. She asked if I had any medical history in my family that she should know about. Unfortunately, I had no idea and I called my mom later that day to ask her. I learned that years ago my grandmother in Jamaica (Rose) was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a hysterectomy. She recovered fine and is doing well but it was in that moment that I became curious about our bodies and how what we do now works with or against them. I started to wonder, “what events, actions, and practices led up to the cancer forming? And is there a way it could have been prevented?”. There are plenty of holistic methods that can help to prevent, slow the growth of, or possibly cure illnesses such as cancer. I’m no doctor or scientist but I wanted to play my part. I just had to figure out what my role in all this looked like.
During my masters program, I did a lot of research on consumer product conglomerates such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and SC Johnson. These are big companies that own numerous brands that you’re probably familiar with. In my research, I came across the numerous lawsuits these companies have had over the years regarding the known/unknown use of toxic ingredients that led to infections, suppressed immune systems, and cancers.
The skin is the largest organ on the body. Although it helps to shield our fat and muscle tissues, it’s still very delicate. The skin is also very absorbent. Many of the products you use on your skin are absorbed into your body. It may not cause any health issues immediately but over time and with prolonged exposure it can lead to a bioaccumulation of these toxic ingredients in your cells and tissues.
I’ll never know if my grandmother’s cancer was a result of malfeasance from these companies and their products. What I do know is that I’ve made it Ashan Holistics’ mission to use simple, clean, natural, and safe ingredients in all of our products to ensure the safety and peace of mind of our customers.
I feel right at home creating these products for you all. I feel in-tune with nature and I feel peace within myself because I know this is my purpose on Mother Earth. I don’t just mix things up, bottle it, slap a label on it, and sell it. It takes me months to create just one product from start to finish. Not to mention the time needed to test the product on my lovely volunteers and yield superb results. By the time you receive the product, it’s already gone through 15-25 iterations and sometimes more. I’m a one woman show right now. Meaning that everything you see from the product creation in the kitchen, bottle selection and filling, label creation and placement, packaging and shipping, website creation, marketing, etc. - that’s all me and I do it for you without hesitation because you deserve it and so much more.
P.S. If you ever get to meet me in person, ask me about the 2 scars on my knee. It’s a funny story that sums up who I am perfectly.
LOVE + LIGHT + PEACE,