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Conversations with Jessica Parpart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Parpart. Them and their team share their story with us below:

A Thousand Leaves is an herbal company located at the base of the Beartooth mountains in Red Lodge, Montana. The creation of A Thousand Leaves was inspired by a passion for nature, an adoration for plants, and an interest in clean and natural herbal products. The owner, Jessica Parpart, was born and raised in Montana.

Jessica’s background is in education; she has an elementary education teaching degree as well as 10 years of various teaching experience. After spending a few years as a public school teacher, Jessica decided to shift gears and focus more on plants, specifically their medicinal uses. Pairing up with some local herbalists and connecting with plants in a new and exciting way encouraged the start of a different path – herbalism.

A Thousand Leaves (ATL) was created to educate others about plants and how they can support us in so many ways. A core belief of the company is, “knowledge is power” and the goal is to empower others to make informed decisions regarding their health. ATL focuses on utilizing medicinal plants to support the body’s natural processes in addition to elevating your self-care routine.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m not sure a “smooth road” is possible as an entrepreneur! One of my biggest struggles is growing my business while also helping others grow their businesses (I have a few part-time jobs in addition to ATL). There is a delicate balance!

As a business owner, you wear all the hats – owner, manager, forager, maker, packager, shipper, market vendor, website designer, social media manager, etc. It can be challenging to do all of the necessary things when you’re only one person. However, I have had support in various ways from loved ones and that makes the struggles less intense.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What I love to do is frolic in the forest! As a friend would say, I am a “forest fairy”. At A Thousand Leaves, I specialize in whole plant herbal infused body oils. These have a variety of benefits on the body such as increased circulation, encouraged lymph flow, supporting the skin and sore muscles/joints, and nourishment from the outside in.

These oils are made using herbs that are harvested in rhythm with the seasons and then are solar-infused for a full moon cycle. This process extracts all the plant constituents (chemicals that have a medicinal effect on the body) including the volatile oils of the plant, which make up a very small portion. ATL believes in the importance of using whole plants for whole people.

My herbal body oils are then used as a base ingredient in all our other offerings such as whipped body butter, support salves, lip balms, and scrubs. We also offer herbal products with the absence of herbal oils such as tub teas, smoke wands, and incense cones. One thing I believe sets me apart from others is the ingredients I use and the intention behind them.

Our base ingredients are organic, unrefined, and whenever possible, locally sourced. The herbs we use are ethically and sustainably foraged in the mountains, grown in our garden, or sourced as close to home as possible from people who respect and nurture the Earth. Each of our products is designed for a variety of purposes, not just one.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
If you are trying to learn something or grow in your craft, you must surround yourself with others who are doing the same. Attend events and classes that pertain to your interests and ask questions! Meet others who are on a similar path or who have the same interests.

In my journey to find a mentor and network with others, I’ve joined plant walks to connect with other herbalists in my area. Farmers’ markets, craft shows, and events like spirit fairs are all places I have been able to meet, connect, and learn from others in my field. I love to visit herb shops and markets in towns around the state and while traveling to new areas.

Some of the herbalists I consider a part of my lineage have opened up opportunities for me to meet and connect with others on a similar path. Finding individuals to mentor you or network with is not challenging if you put yourself out there and take risks. With great risks often come great rewards.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Vivid Northwest Media

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