The herbalist course gave me a format to further my lifelong interest in herbs and their many benefits as well as formal approval of my knowledge. At the same time I felt inspired this summer to come up with a line of handmade natural products using local herbs while finishing the course this autumn. We’d go out into nature, collect herbs, make oils, tinctures… and let them get stronger while sitting several weeks o our terrace in the potent Croatian sun. Our kitchen became our “herbal lab”. Initially I offered the cremes, tinctures and teas to family and friends without having things like a logo and professional packaging. I have since come up with all of that. “Vesna’s Naturals” was born. It was apparent that people know fairly little about herbs so I combined the products in many cases with advice on how to use them and how to help with a variety of conditions. The course had prepared me to give those herbal consultations. In addition I already had many years of professional experience in this field from being the Director of a Luxury Lodge & Health Spa in New Zealand and the first Wellness centre in Croatia as well as Manager of an Aparthotel & Spa in Opatija, Croatia, where we offered spa treatments based on herbs.
For now Vesna’s Naturals are available through a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VesnasNaturals/, at a natural products store in Croatia’s capital Zagreb and at selected beauty salons in Pula, Istria, where we reside. Here we have agricultural land where we intend to plant more herbs next year and, hopefully, also get an “eco” certification. Last weekend we exhibited at a local Christmas market. I am also preparing the first seminar which will be for German kids to learn how to make face creme which is beneficial for helping with skin impurities and acne.
With my husband being a German national who also studied and lived in the UK, we are planning to offer the products to foreign tourists in Croatia as souvenirs and, at some point, also on the German and English market as well as via webshops worldwide.
I would be very happy to see Vesna’s Naturals contributing to more and more people appreciating nature and herbs and benefitting from their healing properties.
My market research revealed that while there a many natural products on the market very few are actually handmade and pure. In addition, I am determined to not only sell products but to spend more time on offering consultations and seminars about herbs.