The Joy of Seaweed
In 2008 I got a phone call that my dad had had a stroke. I immediately went to the hospital and spent the first three nights in the ICU with him. The very first night they made a mistake, so whenever they came in to give him a shot, I questioned what it was for. One time I knew that he wasn’t due for anything. It ended up that the person next to him was the one who was supposed to get the shot. I immediately thought, they need me here; I don’t know what would’ve happened that night if I hadn’t been there. So I decided, okay, I’m going to sell my business and move to Florida to take care of my parents, who were in their mid-80s at the time.
Every time something was wrong with my dad they gave him another medication. I knew that wasn’t the best answer. My parent had been organic farmers in Ohio, so they were very resistant to medicines that did nothing but suppress symptoms. It was really hard to figure out what else to do to keep my parents comfortable and safe, and I felt really incapable. Somebody asked me if I had ever heard of Brian Clement, who was giving a speech at the Marriott on Okeechobee. I hadn’t, but I went and heard Brian speak about the Health Educator program. I thought it sounded exactly like what I needed.
So I saved and the next year I did the 9-week Health Ed program at Hippocrates, and I moved my parents right next door. The day I graduated, I was offered a position in guest services, which I did for the next year. I thought, okay, I guess I’m not in the beauty field any longer. I had worked in the beauty field since my 20s, training in Paris with my mentor, Jacques Dessange, the man who created the curling iron. He was so passionate about what he did! I had gotten more and more turned on to my field because of his passion.
So here I was with all these skills, and I wasn’t using them in guest services. I loved guest services because I got to meet all the beautiful people who came to Hippocrates, but I had more to offer than that. And I could see there was a missing piece at Hippocrates. People were healing on the inside, but they weren’t any different on the outside. I took a business plan to Anna, and the next day Brian wanted to talk about it right away. We opened this tiny little salon, and we do some amazing things here.
One of the first things I said was we need the cleanest shampoo and conditioner. I ordered 12 different shampoos and conditioners and tried them all. But I didn’t want one for curly hair and one for straight hair and one for coarse hair and one for fine hair, and yet another for colored hair. I wanted something that worked for everyone. I couldn’t find one, so I went to Anna and said we really need to formulate this ourselves. Anna was all about making it nourishing, and I was all about making it work. It took us about 18 months to come up with the right formulation, which is made from vinegar and seaweed; the vinegar is very strengthening to hair, and the seaweed is very nourishing for the whole body. Putting those two things together was not easy, but it created a very beautiful product.
Right now I’m in France, learning more and more about seaweed—from gathering it to how it functions in the body and how the different types can be used. Here are some photos from the trip.