From Kim, Owner and Creator of Three Sisters Herbals, LLC
"When I look back at how TSH started, there are 2 pivotal moments that came to mind. The first one was when I received a gift of a “make your own salve” kit. I remember opening it and it felt like the heaven’s opened up right there on my lap. Everything in the box was intriguing – dried herbs, beeswax, even the little glass jars (I have always collected old apothecary jars) they were like my new best friends. Really, as I would find out, they were the old friends I have found again, as I believe this gift has been with me for many lifetimes.
And the first time I made salve, I was totally hooked. The action of it soothed my body and mind; it invigorated my creative side and just felt right. The whole thing reminded me of when I was a little girl and my Dad gave me a tackle box that I used to organize my crayons. When I opened it to create art work, I would be instantly soothed and ignited by creative energy….creating my products is that same feeling, herbal medicine is an art form to me.
I began educating myself, experimenting with different recipes and formulas. I gave them away to my family and friends and used them on my own young kids. During this time, I was rediscovering my childhood roots in another way too. My mother had instilled me a love for all things natural, especially in the food you put in your body and the products you put on your skin. I was the only kid in our school eating carob instead of chocolate, and getting groceries from the natural food coop. Becoming a parent and having the realization that my oldest son had ADHD (later we would find out he has Asperger’s Syndrome as well), forced me to scrutinize everything that my kids came into contact with. I had happily become my mother—that hippy and crunchy in all it's glory.
Then the next pivotal moment came when someone said to me “You are really good at this, you should start a business” Duh…why hadn’t I thought of that??? I had left my corporate job a few years prior when I was 9 months pregnant with my first baby. Starting a business when you are pregnant with your third child is a good idea, right? Honesty, it didn’t even occur to me to think of it as a “good” or “bad” idea, because in my mind it was already a done deal.
TSH brought together my love for being creative artistically and with my love for all things natural and I had truly found my calling.
The name came almost immediately too and has two meanings. The first is dedicated to my mother, who passed away many ago after losing a long battle with cancer. Growing up, my mom and her two sisters were always constant friends, helpers, companions, comic relief…whatever a sister needed could be found among the three of them. I was taught the way relationships between women should be. This was an invaluable lesson for a girl with no biological sisters. And today, my Aunts are two of the steadiest people in my life, irreplaceable to me and my children.
The other side to the name is to inspire and cultivate a positive community of between women— It is putting out there, the hope that we can all treat each other with the same respect that those three sisters showed each other. A hope that we can leave behind the backstabbing, condescension and judgment that we inflict upon each other. And remember that we are all “sisters” here to support each other.
As TSH has grown in the last 7 years, so have my babies sprouted up. Being a work at home mom gives me the means to continues to parent my kids in an attached style. I am able to be there for them and still work. Some days this seems impossibly hard-when the kids are running wild and I have a deadline. Some days it is a dream come true-like when I have a sick kids nestled on the couch that I can see from my desk. In the end, it all balances itself out.
The lessons I teach my kids thru TSH are invaluable-hard work, dedication, self sufficiency and to follow your dreams. They see the sacrifices we have made along the way are, so far, paying off. But the most important lesson is one for my only daughter, Josie. She is seeing that a woman can have babies, love and nurture them and have a business too. She is seeing that you are not always going to be the perfect mother or business owner, but as long as your do your best everyday, then you are triumphant. What I strive everyday to show her is that you can be strong but gentle. That life is about balance…sometimes kids needs come first, sometimes the business comes first, as a woman, you can be successful at both.
We are a family run business---Josie attends fairs and events with me and wants to be “salver” when she gets older. Justin, my significant other, has made more deliveries to Rhinebeck Waddle n Swaddle then I have. He is assists me with production issues, loads and unloads the car endlessly, ties a pretty good bow…and is a constant sounding board for every idea I come up with.
It is with my little family in mind that that I design my products. I tried to make the products good mutli-taskers, just like a working mom. Meaning they have many different uses. This gives them more value for the money invested in them. The prices are kept fair with the family budget in mind, still using carefully selected quality ingredients. My goal is to make my herbal skin care products an attainable for a families on a budget.
I feel I have so much to be thankful for. I couldn’t have made it this far without of the women in my life—constantly supporting and encouraging me, labeling products, redesigning packaging, being product testers…you name it, they a have been there for me."
The Very Beginning...
Years ago, Kim had the honor of having the first of many spiritual awakenings. This experience gave her a jump start on her path. As she have walked down this path-sometimes under the shade of woods and other times with the sun on her face in the wide open field-she met many plants. They started to talk. "Touch me" or "Smell me" or sometimes the not so subtle "Hey, over here...Look at me now!!"
The Early Years...
Kim found herself turning towards nature to treat her family's aliments or to prevent sickness from coming on. She started seeking out products that contained natural ingredients. Craving more information, Kim started to study herbs eventually making herbal salves, tinctures, baths and syrups for her family & friends to use.
Kim is continually and always studying Herbal Medicine. Partnering with her knowledge of Herbalism, is a growing depth of knowledge of contemporary health issues and conventional treatments. Along with passions for environmentalism, breastfeeding & homebirth advocacy and awareness, Kim is always learning about conventional product ingredients and the toxins, additives and biohazards that lurk in the items we use in our home in everyday life. As a healer at heart, helping people to understand what is in the products they use and consume, and educating them as to why natural is always better is a very important part of her personal mission. All the while, still walking on the above-mentioned path of spiritual enlightenment, striving to listen to, learn from and be thankful for the world around her.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History from the State University of New York at New Patlz. She is the proud owner of Three Sisters Herbals LLC. She takes great pride in mixing and blending her herbal line. Each product made with the finest ingredients and a touch of love goes in every handcrafted batch. A former Le Leche League Leader where she served many women on their breastfeeding journeys. She is the mother of 3 children and step-mother to 2 more. Her middle child has become very involved in the business of being a “Salver” and spends her spare time helping with the family based business. She lives in the rural town of Hyde Park, NY, where she keeps chickens and enjoys gardening. She spends her spare time outside, and learning about natural living and homesteading.
About the Name
The name "Three Sisters Herbals" came into my mind to honor Kim’s mother. Her mother had two sisters and growing up she remember listening to stories about the three sisters-how they looked out for each other, stood up for each other, loved and valued each other. This respect continued into their adult lives and Kim was blessed to not only have a wonderful mother, but two aunts who loved her like she was their own. When her mother died, Kim’s aunts did not skip a beat and watched over her and her family, gracefully and lovingly filling the gap in her life. For these relationship, she will eternally be grateful.
The name is also to acknowledge and give positive energy to all the female relationships in our lives. Remembering that relationships built on respect and love for one another give your life an immeasurable value. These precious feminine bonds should be cultivated with care and grown without the all too common condescension and negativity.
Wishing you the best in life and health, naturally!
Kim, owner and creator of Three Sisters Herbals LLC
Hudson Valley Women in Business