Interview with Andrea from Herb and Lunar Botanics
I had the honour to interview the founder and creator of Herb and Lunar Botanics, an all natural, handmade skincare and cosmetic brand. Today Andrea shares with us a little about her personal story, her philosophy and vision for Herb and Lunar, and her desire to inspire and help others to bring more awareness and ritual into their own lives.
Can you please tell us about your personal background? Where are you from, where did you grow up and who are you?
I was born in the Philippines, and when i was seven years old my family and I moved to Australia. My grandparents/great grandparents are Spanish and Chinese, and so I am a mixture of different cultures. It was a big change for me moving to Australia, and feel I was easily influenced to the western culture, which then redefined my experiences, beliefs etc.
I had to learn english quickly, change my accent to fit in, learn to be comfortable with my brown skin, fit in to the culture and make new friends. Only as I grew older did I realise how much it actually affected me moving to a completely different country. However, I am extremely grateful my parents brought my brothers and I here, as the opportunities are endless and Australia has so much abundance.
Whats your educational background? And what have you done for work since you finished school?
I studied fashion and photography after I finished year twelve. I left fashion quickly, as I didn’t feel like I fit in. I’ve worked a lot of different jobs; from being a florist and a yoga teacher to working in hospitality. I always made sure to save enough money for travelling, which I did repeatedly for four years. I learnt a lot during the time of traveling, but this year I made the decision to settle down some roots. I am studying western herbalism at the moment, and soon permaculture up in the north.
What does your life look like today?
Life is so beautiful! I feel grateful every single day. Continuously observing and expanding; both my heart and consciousness, yet challenged by the realms of the mind. Feeling the love and support of nature and people and setting goals for myself. Now that I’ve chosen to put down some roots I plan to move up to the northern rivers and see what life that will bring me.
What inspired you to start Herb and Lunar Botanics?
It came from realising that we have become very disconnected with the process of how we choose to heal and take care of ourselves. Closing our eyes to what nature provides for us. We’re choosing quicker options, rather than respecting the process. There’s over-consumption, and a lot of what we use on skin or take orally is made with with the help of machines and/or with horrible chemicals- no longer using our hands. Our ancestors used what they had in order to heal, because they knew that nature works with us providing exactly what we need. They would go out in nature, gather plants, crush them with their hands or hand made tools. A process that could take hours or days, but still that’s how they did it. And they did it lovingly and with respect. I think it’s important to create with our hands. To feel what you’re making, give energy to whatever it is that you’re creating. To set intentions and to be present in the process. The ritual. Right now I am focusing on self-care rituals from herbal face oils, herbal moisturisers, incense, herbal salts baths etc. It’s during these self-care rituals we take the time to slow down and focus on ourselves. To choose natural herbs over chemical-loaded products are after all to respect your body.
And where/what do you seek to for inspiration?
I seek inspiration from nature, my ancestors, in rituals, through books and people.
How important is your work to you?
It’s very important! Everything has a specific process, and it’s all made by hand. Making the actual product itself doesn’t always take that long, but when you’re present and set intentions, as well as a certain ritual for every batch created it can take that extra bit longer which I enjoy so much. Sometimes my mind goes like “oh don’t worry about it. Just make it and sell it”, but deep down I know I just can’t do that. That is not the kind of energy I want to put in what I am making. I feel that creating only for the sake of producing something is to not respect neither the process or the plants and herbs.
Do you express yourself through other forms of art?
Dancing gets me onto a different realm! I also like to play around with instruments like harmonica, mouth harp, asalato and Djembe. I am a very crafty person so sometimes I’ll make sage sticks, macrame hangings or necklaces too.
What is your main goal/intention that you wish to achieve through Herb and Lunar?
I wish to inspire people to include herbs/plants as a part of their daily ritual. To empower and teach others in being sustainable, and to create ritual around what products they use on themselves. It’s a beautiful thing when you know that you’re involved in the process, and rewarding when you know exactly what is in the products you use. Teaching workshops has always been a way for me to spread this awareness, and is something I hope to do more.
What are the benefits of using natural skin care products, and why would you say they are better for us (people) and the planet than say other commercial brands?
From my experience I noticed a massive difference in using natural skin care products when I started making them myself. At first it took a little time for my skin to get used to it, as my skin had to adjust from using chemical based products as a teenager. The more I used natural products my skin, the less irritated and dry it became. Conventional products uses a lot of harsh chemicals and I can even feel the difference energetically when it’s commercial.
What is your favourite thing about doing what you do?
Working with nature and sharing my knowledge with others. I love teaching workshops as it is such a beautiful process to see other people create what will eventually become part of their own personal ritual.
What makes you excited about life and being alive?
Being here on this beautiful earth, being a woman, families, the abundance of nature, love, music, connections, the lessons, my human body, evolving, going through ‘downs’ and then returning ‘up’, internal and external reflections, observations, consciousness. There’s much!
How would you define freedom?
Not being attached to or identifying with the constructs and concepts of the mind. When I act purely from my heart.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of trying some of Andreas creations, and I am head over heels in love with the Herb and Lunar Botanics products’. Check out @herbandlunarbotanics on Instagram, or send Andrea a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re wanting some goodies for your own skincare rituals.
I believe a Herb and Lunar website is coming our way soon too.. exciting!