We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Bradford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Never looking back. When I left the corporate world, I promised myself I would never go back. I would take all of my experiences up until that moment to get me through the hard times, because as a entrepreneur/business owner/herbalist you know there will be hard times.
I put my faith 100% in myself, my ancestors, and mother universe. We have all gotten me to this point and herbalist, published author, and a store owner. Its amazing and Im so thankful for all the support from my family, friends, clients, and my communities.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Asé Illuminations Herbal Apothecary was created through a calling of the ancestors to continue on the family practice of ancestral spiritual herbalism. The times we live require more than ever a reconnection with plant medicine.
I am so proud to be able to offer the community guidance in healing themselves through a healthy lifestyle and plant medicine and their natural healing practices.
Getting to where I am today as a business owner, published author, and herbal creator was not easy. It took many trial and errors, but most of all trust in myself and the guidance of my ancestors and mother source. It also took building a community of seasoned black herbalist and healers of color to assist in maneuvering through a white dominated industry.
I have learned it’s ok to ask for help and guidance. It was not meant for me to do all on my own and the help is out there. I just needed to be open to receiving it.
Black herbalist and Herbalist of color voices have been silenced through the stealing of our practices and teachings and it’s time for our voices to be heard. For our teachings and practices to come home. Representation matters. This is why I created an herbal journal that can catalog up to 100 herbs. The cover and resources available in it are reflections of us. My next goal is to carry herbal books created by herbalist of color in my store The Local Collective Market that I co own with Ariel Goode and Brittany Harkins. As doors open for me I will open and create doors for others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Claremont Village is a must visit. It’s a quaint little college town that has something always going on. From jazz in the park to wine tastings at the local wine shops. It is surrounded by 8 colleges which brings in such a diverse mix of people. Stop by the back abbey for an awesome burger or a fruit bowl at Pepo Melo. On Sundays you can always visit the farmers market and the Local Collective Market in the alley. There is always something new to see and explore in the village.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother definitely. She is my rock and #1 supporter. As my mother is my rock, my family is my soft place to land. My best friend Marie for always being there for me. All those Associated with our store The Local Collective Market in Claremont. My fellow co owners Ariel and Brittany. My Herbalist brother Alex. The Queer Mercado community.
My ancestors for their teachings and guidance.
My circle is small but my community is large, both have influenced and supported me so much. I am so blessed to have them all. Everyone doesn’t have this, so I try my best to be that support for others. Whether it be time, ideas, motivation, etc. I want other small business owners to know they have someone in their corner as well.