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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jacqueline Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Miller.

Hi Jacqueline, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Jacqueline Beaver. I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of NC. 

I have lived in Denver, CO for 10 years, since 2012. 

Where I grew up everyone uses plants for benefit in the body in so many different ways, harvesting wild roots and herbs is very common. My Uncle taught my how to use yellow root for mouth issues and sore throat but it was not until much later that I realized why. I began to understand more about the healing properties of plants as I engaged more with my sister and many of the other plant medicines of the area where I am from. When I moved to Colorado, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for work but restaurants were really not it anymore. I decided to start some classes at a school in the city. I found the program I am in at school looking for an Ayurveda class to take, and when I saw that I could learn that and even more about the medicinal properties of plants and how they interact with our bodies, I decided to sign up for the Undergraduate program at MSU Denver. 

I am in my fourth year and I will be graduating in 2023: 


– Bachelor of Science in Integrative Healthcare 

Double minor: 

– Pre-healthcare 

– One world one water studies program 

Additional Certifications: 

– Certified master reiki practitioner – Booking sessions will be available at the end of April 2022 

– After Graduation, I will be adding my Wellness Coaching Certification to better benefit my reiki sessions and client process. 

I started Ivy & Herbs last year (2021) with the knowledge I gained from my classes, along the motivation and suggestions from my sister, Jessica. She is the owner of a collective apothecary and witch shop in Austin Texas called Yarrow & Sage. She helped me decide on labels, designs, and offered support when I was unsure through the process of starting to make my business come to life. We hope to eventually (within a year or so) open a brick-and-mortar storefront here in Denver as a sister project to her business in Austin, TX. I deeply enjoyed learning how to make sugar scrubs, lotions, lip gloss, and so much more in my Herbal Medicine class in 2020 that I decided I wanted to start a business where I focused on creating aromatherapy products that would benefit people for relaxation and stress relief. I use the products I make in conjunction with my Reiki sessions and allow the scents to help us create relaxation and release during the process. 

My featured products are my Chakra Sugars. They are sugar scrubs that can be used in the shower or just on your arms and hands. There are seven and are based on each of our chakras. Each one comes with a crystal in the bottom of the jar that is beneficial to that chakra along with a card explaining how you can use the aromatherapy of the scent in meditation with a specific hand motion for that specific chakra, as well. Everyone who has tried them have found that the Chakra Sugars have been amazing for relaxing their minds and feeling the stress relief, which is our main goal at Ivy & Herbs. 

Additionally, I am making rollerball Chakra Scents that have crystals as rollerballs instead of metal. They can be used directly on the chakra for balance and relaxation for a scent that stays with you all day long. Along with this, I have hand sanitizers, crystals, pendulums, stickers, and lots of other goodies on the website. 

I will also be adding more products in the coming months like massage oils, herbal wax melts and energizing coffee scrubs. 

As I finish my degrees, I want to focus my water studies minor on environmental activism where I am determined to start a non-profit focused on land/water conservation and protection. Creating sustainability and conscious awareness of our effect on the world around us is one of my main takeaways from my four years at MSU Denver. 

After graduation, I intend to further my studies in grad school. 

I want to focus on a master’s in Integrative Health research while also pursuing a doctor of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine degree. 

I have been engaging with energy medicine, herbal medicine, botanical pharmacology, anatomy & physiology, and aromatherapy, among so many other incredible curriculums in my degree. 

I am excited to go forward into the world with my knowledge to assist others in finding balance and stress relief so that they may be able to progress forward. 

As far as in house-made products: 

Blends and combinations for my products are chosen based on knowledge gained through my bachelor of science degree program and on personal intuition as far as which scents will blend well together for my intention with the product. 

I ensure product ingredients are all organic, non-GMO verified, and fair trade certified. It is very important to me that everything I choose to have in my shop and everything I choose to make is fair trade and guaranteed to be the best quality for aromatherapy. Even the jewelry and incense I source are guaranteed fair trade, child labor free, and hand-curated by someone who is able to work from home and provide for their needs. I have many plans for the future and will be working to set up at some pop-ups and venues around Denver now that it is starting to get warmer. I will be advertising these on my social media pages before they will be occurring and I am excited to continue to grow my business even further here in the Denver area. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely been a bumpy road, to say the least. I am in school full time (6-7 classes per semester) and I work doing doordash and other delivery services in order to make my bills. Last year I used my stimulus money, along with tax return to fund the beginning stages of what would eventually be Ivy & Herbs. Getting my tax ID number and website address along with the jars and ingredients to begin my chakra sugars and rollerballs. I had one friend, James, who was able to help me occasionally throughout last year getting everything going and the first products made. I have curated and made every one of the aromatherapy products in my home-based office space, which is also my living room, and this is probably the biggest struggle I have faced. Finding the space to grow my business the way I need. As far as last year it took a while for me to really get going. I tried and failed at motivating myself to move and create the products but I think that the fear of it being successful was really in the way. I created the business in March but to be honest I did not set up at my first vending event until December. I have set up at one more market since then in January with my sister in Texas when I was visiting her but am just now getting to where I can start doing more events. She has really been a great motivation in this process. 

I have products in the storefront at her shop and where I am doing well but I hope to only continue to grow into this year now that I am finally progressing into getting the scents and name out there into the world. I struggled greatly with if I would be able to actually do this and if it would ultimately be successful if I did. I can honestly say that as of where I am now, I would consider it a success and that I will be only growing from here. I just finished building my own miniature sets so that I can take better, more professional, product photos for the website, and look forward to getting those updated in the coming weeks also. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My current/intended degrees and specialties are all listed in that paragraph. I am most proud of being able to establish this business and create the products so that part of me is being represented here. I am also proud of my school career and the direction that I want to go with that. I am a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success at my school, as well as having presented at the American Public Health Association annual conference last fall. I presented a paper another student and I prepared regarding Perceived unfair treatment relating to human rights in healthcare. We focused on LGBTQ+, homeless, minority, indigenous, and rural communities as the main points and it was received very well by the panel I presented to. I also have a paper that I am working with my botanical pharmacology professor to be published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. I wrote the paper during the time I was in Botanical Pharmacology and it was a research paper looking at the medicinal benefits of muscimol in possible clinical settings from epilepsy to ischemic brain injuries. I am really good at research and writing. I feel motivated and pulled to work in a field where we are researching plant medicines and how we can work to implement those into our current healthcare practices for a symbiotic and integrated approach to healing. 

I make my own sets to shoot product photos on and am really big on DIY. I love to create, paint, and leave the world better than I found it. 

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
My teachers have all been great mentors in the process of class sessions. I have a couple of teachers that have continued to grow with me after the class and are helping assist in my development through my degree. I have also found just engaging with others and talking to people has helped me to find the right place for me with people who are there to help me grow and be the best version of me. I think that in regard to finding the right mentor it is relative to the persons needs and the direction they want to go in. I know that it will be different and that as we grow and learn it may be that our mentors’ transition and change, as well. I think that the best mentor we can have is one who helps us learn adaptation to the changes that come with this life. The ability for them to recognize that we may have to move away from their guidance at some point in order to learn more is one of the biggest aspects in a good mentor, I think. Beyond that as far as long life I know my mom is always there for me through anything. 

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