Marcia Reagan knows how she comes across.
Within minutes of meeting you, she’ll likely mention a dozen herbs you’ve never heard of, extol the benefits of various natural oils and talk in turns about her time spent as a healer, her experiences abroad in India and ways that homeopathic remedies can treat mental and physical ailments. She believes deeply in mind-body connection, the power of meditation and medicines derived from the earth — all passions she’s spent the last four years channeling into a business that makes teas, scrubs, butters, salves, lotions and balms.
“Making these products just became an addiction for me,” Reagan, a Rockland resident and owner of Healthy Home and Heart said. “I loved it and it felt right for me, so now I have these cabinets full of herbs and oils and it just exploded.”
Reagan started a career as a mental health therapist two decades ago and later began teaching yoga. She eventually opened Karuna Wellness Center in Norwood, which provided services like body-work healing, ear candling and yoga before it closed in 2015.
“Karuna means ‘the embodiment of compassionate activity,’ so it was amazing to be able to run a business with that in mind and I’m able to do that with Healthy Home and Heart too,” she said. “I am a business, but it’s not one based on competition. It’s based on the rule of abundance. There are enough customers and enough space for everyone.”
After her healing practice closed, Reagan said she was constantly fielding calls from clients who, often standing in the aisles of a Whole Foods Market, would ask her “What should I buy for my skin? What should I use for my pain?′ So, she started doing her own research into herbs, body treatments and homeopathic medicine.
Soon after, she made her first joint and muscle rub with arnica, a Siberian herb used for pain caused by arthritis, surgery recovery and other conditions.
“It flew off the shelf,” she said.
From there, she started experimenting in her Rockland kitchen, which has cabinets full of exotic oils like hemp seed and black castor; herbs like arnica and St. John’s wort; spices and essential oils like blue tansy and camomile.
“There were some pretty horrible mistakes,” she said, laughing. “It’s not rocket science to come up with a (shea) butter-to-oil-to-beeswax ratio, but I’m creative and the herbs are the fun part for me.”
The kitchen in which she makes her products also served as her first storefront. In the beginning, she just invited friends, family and former clients to shop her wares, but it was when a friend finally dragged her to a farmers market that she realized just how much her business could grow.
From her simple joint rub four years ago, her line of products now includes eye and face creams, sugar scrubs, body butters, CBD pain salves, poison ivy lotions, lip balms, bug spray and herbal healing teas. Reagan said she’s selling 300 jars of product each week, up significantly from 50 just two years ago.
“It has been absolutely wild,” she said. “But I don’t want to sell every product to every client. I want people to only buy and have what they need. I’ve lost sales because I’ve said ‘I just don’t think this is for you.’ That’s part of the abundance mindset, there is plenty to make it work for everyone.”
Reagan knows she could sell more of her creations if she had them made at an industrial facility, but she says she can’t ever see Healthy, Home and Heart products coming from anywhere but her kitchen.
“I always have to be making it myself because part of me goes into it,” she said. “It may sound a little hokey, but it’s something I really believe.”
Healthy Home and Heart products can be bought at farmers markets in Marshfield, Kingston, Braintree, Plymouth and Boston, and on Reagan’s Etsy shop, which has a local pickup option. Products range in price from $10 to $45.
Photos in this post were taken by the wonderfully talented Greg Derr. They were originally published in The Patriot Ledger.