“Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
The journey into The Secret Garden began very early. I have always loved being surrounded by nature, and growing up in Hebden Bridge, this was never difficult. I have been lucky to live in a beautiful and dramatic landscape full of secret little streams and woodlands, but also glorious hills and rivers.
Now I am based in the city, I have found my own little piece of paradise... my allotment. There is something very calming about digging and planting. It is a very present and joyful experience, as many know.
Making the decision to set up The Secret Garden was inspired by my allotment. It had become a space to make time for myself and just reflect on the beauty and magic all around. I was finding myself down on the allotment more and more, and I began to use the herbs and flowers that I was growing to create all kinds of products for relaxation and healing. I started sharing what I was making with the people around me and that's how The Secret Garden really began.
The process of developing products is so creative and exciting, the smells, the colours, the textures. When you begin to look at products from across the world, it becomes even more exciting - the chocolate scent of unrefined organic cocoa butter, the vivid pink and red of himalayan salt, the infinite powers of essential oils... I love being able to use plants and oils just like food to heal and nourish mind, body and soul.
Self care is a very powerful and often neglected thing. Loving your body and looking after your heart and spirit is just as important as feeding your body good food and getting your five a day. Not always quite as easy of course... but important just the same. Working in a traumatic job taught me a lot about how necessary it is to love and look after ourselves.
So, once I began choosing which products I wanted to make and which ingredients I needed, I then had to really consider the ethics of all this. I made the decision that my ingredients would need to be fairly traded, sustainable and should not contribute to exploitation of land, communities or people. This is actually not as easy as it sounds but it is such an important part of what I am doing that I will continually monitor and research my sources and share the information to keep you informed. My products have all been tested on willing humans and also cosmetically tested by specially trained chemists, which is required by law for safety and accountability.
Please do get in touch if you want to know anything more - I would love to hear from you. I hope you enjoy the products as much as I've loved developing and making them.
Emily x x