What do you do?
Sisu Botanicals is an apothecary and a team of practitioners dedicated to find simple caring ways to support healing and wellbeing. The shop is filled with herbal medicine products, local artists works, ceramics and ritual products such as resins and self care items.
We love to educate and connect people back to nature and its medicinals, so we run workshops and cooking classes.
It's about putting your health in your hands, connecting to nature and your own healing power. I am a naturopath and herbalist with a special interest in working with people dealing with anxiety and stress through naturopathic consults and herbal massage.
What makes Sisu Botanicals special?
Our values of sustainability, connection and education are what make Sisu Botanicals special.
We love to meet our patients as equals, empower through education and connection to nature. We aim to source products as locally as possible. Everything we do has sustainability as part of core values, from our furniture to our packaging. I have started growing our own medicinal garden in order to aid that connection, so we can teach from here also.
Our clinic's core value is connecting people back to nature and is truly holistic and herbalist based. It's a celebration of plant medicine, nature, ritual and health. I was lucky enough to get taught about the power of plant medicine as a child and then went on to study both Naturopathy and Medical herbalism.
It's my dream to empower people through plant medicine the way I was as a child.
What did your business look like before COVID 19 and how has that changed?
We used to run face to face consults, workshops, cooking classes, massage and have other practitioners in our space. Obviously now we can't do the workshops, cooking classes, in person consults, massages, or have people in our shop.
Throughout the lockdown our business was mostly though our online shop and online consults.
I am so grateful for now being able to see people face to face again and excited to start up our classes and workshops in 2021.
What has been the most challenging aspect of this time?
Time management, trying to navigate the constant changes in restrictions and keep pivoting, coming up with new ways to run my business, trying to get financial help and constantly falling short.
All that side takes a lot of time and emotional strain, as does seeing friend's businesses close.
Have there been any 'silver lining' surprises?
Really Honest conversations and collaborations, like making candles with Tina. Darebin Council and their help with grants.
I have a great landlord. I’ve got some great friends. There have been some projects I have always wanted to do and never had the time that I'm now able to start on.
How do you see your business evolving in the future? Are there changes you've made that you will continue with if/when things go back to 'normal'?
Yes - I want to create online content.
I created a caffeine free latte that has a blend of herbs I created for myself to help ground my energy, enhance endurance and ease stress. It turns out a lot of people need the same thing, so I now sell that on my website. Also I see more and more collaborations.
I actually now see how much there is a real need in our community for what our clinic offers, and how important it is to come back to community and community based values.
It's made me even more excited about working with local makers and other herbalists and practitioners.
I actually now see how much there is a real need in our community for what our clinic offers
Have you received any lovely feedback from customers you would like to share?
Yes, especially in regards to care packages I've sent out, my candle collaborations with Tina, and my new adaptogenic latte.
The first week back after Melbourne's lock down when I could see people face to face, it was such a beautiful experience.
Holding space and witnessing what people had been through. So many tears of happiness and grief. It felt special to be able to help provide comfort.
Have there been any personal self care practices/tv shows/movies/foods that have helped to get you through the hard times?
I am lucky that supporting people going through and recovering from stress is at the heart of my practice so I follow the guides I’ve written for them.
I try to keep a routine, I speak kindly to myself, sleep well, burn home made resins, the adaptogenic tonic I mentioned, eat well and regularly, hug on my cat, let the emotions come ( I cry when overwhelmed) reach out to friends, exercise.
In this time I've learned that I’m adaptable, creative, and resilient. I know that even when things get tough for me, I’ll still be able to be there for others when they need me.
Are there any business decisions that you have made with sustainability in mind?
All my business decisions have sustainability in mind, from growing a garden so I can source my white sage and tea ingredients here or as local as possible, reaching out to local growers, supporting local artists, my packaging & branding (e.g. glass jars, paper labels, candles in reusable ceramics), teaching people how to grow and use their own plant medicine, absolutely everything is based in being sustainable.