Joan and Tiffany are the mother-daughter team that created Juniperseed Mercantile. We are passionate about using earth-friendly ingredients, responsible packaging, and ship all of our orders using reclaimed materials, and paper tape. Many of our ingredients are organic, and we source our palm oil from Brazil, to do our part to protect the Orangutan habitat in Indonesia. All of our ingredients are fully disclosed because we believe consumers deserve to be informed and empowered to take good care of themselves, naturally whenever possible. It is, after all, each person’s right and responsibility to understand their own bodies, and the impact their options have on the environment, and to then make carefully weighed choices.
How did we get started on this adventure? Well, Tiffany’s Oma (Joan’s mom) is really the inspiration behind all of what we do. As a child in World War II Germany, she learned early on how to survive by being thrifty, tidy, and a tirelessly hard worker. She came here to the US as an adult, and didn’t speak much English. She had 4 kids to raise on her own, and yet managed to make a modest and comfortable life for herself and her family. Her way of living the saying “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was environmentally (and financially) sustainable and resource-smart before green was even a thing.
Joan and Tiffany both remember how she started each day’s cleaning routine by making a fresh bucket of homemade cleaning solution and gathering a stack of neatly folded cleaning rags cut from old T-shirts and diapers. We all grew up knowing that very good cleaning products can be made out of things you probably already have on hand in the kitchen – lemons, white vinegar, olive oil, baking soda, a little liquid soap, and cream of tartar. Why would we ever pay money for overpriced chemical concoctions or single-use disposables? It just never made any sense to us.
Oma was just as smart and thrifty when we were unwell as she was when we were unclean! She always knew just what to brew up to help us feel better. To this day, the smell of chamomile and lavender conjure memories of her herbal remedies and loving touch. Many of our herbal remedies are versions of our family’s old traditions. Oma also had a special trick of turning a wash cloth into a little bunny rabbit to hold an ice cube when we had bumps and bruises. When the youngest members of our family (Tiffany’s children) receive their own bumps and bruises, there is always a stash of cloth napkins on hand to whip up a quick boo-boo bunny, just like Oma used to do.
From an early age, whatever the need at hand was, we learned to look to what we already had to work with, before buying something new – whether it was cleaning products, first aid remedies, clothing, or bath and beauty items. Growing up thrifty has meant that our family was raised thinking Green. It’s not second nature to us – it IS our nature, and we are very proud.
About me (Tiffany): I am the proud mother of two beautiful little boys. I have a B.A. from the University of Colorado in Environmental, Populational and Organismic Biology, with a minor in Biochemistry, and 18 years of experience as a biology, physical science, chemistry and math teacher. I moonlight as an inventor and crafter of useful, beautiful, and yummy items that help minimize our impact on this wonderful world, while being gentler on our own bodies as well. I do all of the research and product development, formulations, marketing and graphic design.
About Joan: My best friend, mentor, mother and partner… She was an inspiration and copilot my entire life! She left a high-speed corporate life to run a mostly-volunteer hospice in rural Grand County, Colorado. In June of 2016, she passed away, but her legacy carries on!