When Pittsford native Mindy MacLaren was introduced to essential oils in the mid 1990’s, they were still a relatively novel concept in the western world. However, the multitudes of health benefits they had to offer were enough to intrigue her, and even prompt her to obtain certification as an aromatherapist.
Although MacLaren had a longtime passion for all things out-of-doors, she became especially invested in natural ingredients upon discovering she was pregnant with twin girls; she was eager to promote holistic health for her family, and sought to find alternatives to the harmful synthetic chemicals found in many household cleaning, medicinal, and hygienic products. In 2008, MacLaren attended the Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oils Studies in Sarasota, FL, and was under the careful instruction of celebrated LMT and Clinical Aromatherapist Andrea Butje, among others. The following year, NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) recognized MacLaren as a nationally certified aromatherapist.
“Aromatherapy helps on both a physical and emotional level,” says MacLaren. “It can help with stress, immune support and emotional balance; essential oils have some bactericidal properties so they’re good for cleaning without chemicals.”
When MacLaren’s daughters were just a few months old, she decided to launch her own line of essential oil-based products out of her Penfield home. “I knew if I didn’t start then, I would never get started,” says MacLaren, “It was kind of nice because I could be in my own home, I could work on my own time—it was easy to manage and sort of an escape in the day. It also fulfilled my desire to be outside.”
Apart from showcasing her products on her successful Facebook page, “Sweet and Woodsy Aromatherapy,” she also manages an easy-to-navigate website www.SweetandWoodsy.com where consumers can view and purchase each of her products, read MacLaren’s blog, and make note of upcoming events in which she will be appearing. Aside from her website, you can find MacLaren and her line at locations such as the Fairport Farmer’s Market, and the Green Market in Rochester on East Main Street. Those who seek to support environmental well-being, holistic health, and local small business owners might be especially interested in paying each of these locations a visit.
Mindy MacLaren is passionate about educating the community on how to, as she describes it, “make the switch” from commercial cleaners to alternative methods. She provides a variety of classes and gives professional advice to help individuals get started in their pursuit to go green. MacLaren also offers in-home essential oil parties where hosts and attendees are sure to be informed of the myriad of advantages there are to using natural ingredients, all while having fun.
MacLaren says that a storefront may be a possibility in the future, but for now, she is content to be running the operation in the comfort of her own home-providing her the freedom and flexibility to chase after her twin daughters, now three years old. She says of her business, “While I would like it to be a household name and be more successful, I don’t want to become so successful that it’s no longer my baby. I don’t want it to be so huge that it’s out of my control.”
“I really love it when people tell me that the products help them,” says MacLaren, “If I make a blend for someone that’s having a real problem with a particular thing and it gives them relief, that’s really rewarding.” MacLaren says that her Lavender Baby Bottom Balm, her “Naturosporin” Natural Wound Healer, and her vanilla and citrus lip balms are best-sellers.
When MacLaren is not blending essential oil-based goodies for all to enjoy or spending time with her husband and children, she can be found shopping at Wegmans, going on nature walks, doing yoga, or engaging in her favored hobby of photography.