Enjoy our interview together and check out her website at www.joyefullynatural.com or connect with her on Instagram @joyefullynatural.
You can also catch her class, “A Community Discussion on Natural Products” at the upcoming Virtual Herbstalk on Aug. 29th.
Thank you for sharing with us, Joye!
Can you tell us a little bit about how your herbal work began, Joye? How did you first get interested in plants or herbalism?
At this time in my life, I was going through a particularly hard time with new and significant experiences, and my eczema went out of control, with large burning welts of the itchy rash. I knew that the depression I felt made my mind anxious and my body inflamed. I decided to turn to nature. I made creams, oils, teas and tinctures, trying to support my mind, emotions, and skin. When my eczema healed and didn’t come back for over year I felt affirmed in the belief that using natural ingredients was for me. So I started making all my everyday products with natural, organic ingredients — toothpaste, deodorant, culinary spices, soaps. And I never looked back.
What challenges did you face when you first started your business?
Some of the challenges I’ve faced when I first started my journey were navigating where I could get these natural ingredients in my area, and making sure that they were pure and ethically sourced. I also struggled with being a Black woman in this field, where I experienced that there was not a lot of cultural representation that I could find at the time. I also fought with feelings of inadequacy regarding how I was self-taught and didn’t get a certificate from some herbal education system which I couldn’t pay for. I doubted my abilities, my instincts, and felt out of place. I also faced challenges being consistent. Understanding that natural preventative medicine isn’t a quick fix and absolutely requires patience and consistency was tough, being so used to other store brought products.
My main focus is on providing affordable high quality, organic herbal remedies. I also strive to help amplify the diverse work from the cultures in which herbalism thrives, and build connections, resources, and support in my community. I am also focused on bringing a holistic approach to multiple industries, using natural ingredients with environmental protection at the forefront.
What advice would you give to budding herbalists?
There is no one way to be an herbalist. Let your process be wild and free. Test things, embrace your inner child, be silly, be messy, be adventurous! Nature is our biggest teacher, and if you listen the plants truly give you the answers when you need them.
Don’t fall into the trend that is becoming so apparent — don’t do this work because it’s popular. In nurturing your relationship with nature, being true to yourself, embracing your flaws, struggles, and fears unapologetically, and finding your own special way to heal is essential. Remember that your healing can look different and that’s perfect.
Always research how the herbs are sourced, and pay attention to the effects the harvest has on the environment, and support the environmental protection of the earth that provides this medicine for us. Check out United Plant Savers for the list of at-risk plants, and more information.
I love dancing — mostly in the comfort of my home — as well as interior decorating, taking pictures, thrift shopping, cooking and hosting dinner parties, luncheons, etc.
What’s one fun thing that most people don’t know about you?
I love using my imagination like I’m an adventurer, and exploring places like abandoned buildings, off-the-beaten path in the woods, mountains, and rock formations at the beaches.
What made you want to be a part of Herbstalk?
I wanted to be a part of Herbstalk because I wanted to be a part of the opportunity to represent my neighborhood, Dorchester, and my culture in my city. Herbstalk looked like an amazing event with so many herbal resources that I was excited to connect with, but I didn’t see a lot of diversity. And I wanted to represent that diversity and hopefully be a part of expanding diversity and inclusion at these wonderful events.