The exuberant herbalist behind Mountain Mel’s, dedicated to connecting people to the power of plants to enhance everyday life.
Mel has always believed in doing what you love for a living, and for her, that means being surrounded by nature. During the years she spent volunteering and working as a hiking guide, Mel noticed that hikers often brought harsh toxic chemicals with them in backpacks and first aid kits. They were heading out to nature to soothe their souls, but had no idea how the plants surrounding them were able to heal them physically. It was this realization that inspired Mountain Mel’s Essential Goods. Mel wanted to create products that people would feel good about putting on their bodies as they went out and explored nature’s splendor. Passionate about nature, sustainability and herbal medicine, Mel’s mission is to share the abundant power of plants and respectfully preserve them for generations to come.
Regardless of where she has been, Mel’s love for the outdoors has been a constant theme in her life. She was born in Germany and lived all over the U.S. before setting her sights on the Pacific Northwest. Mel first visited Oregon at the age of 18, fell in love and knew she would be back. After years of adventure and exploration, she finally found home in the foothills of Mount Hood where she and her partner are raising their 3-year-old daughter, 3 dogs, garden and chickens.
In the early 2000’s Mel studied Environmental and Experiential Education. Determined to be outside and connected to nature, she spent her time on the trails and dreamed up Mountain Mel’s Essential Goods. She bought stacks of books, took online courses and became obsessed with learning about herbal remedies, skin care and natural medicine. Mel made her own salves with handwritten labels and tested them out on friends and family. The success of the essential goods led to requests for herbal teas to promote wellness. Mel eagerly developed unique tea blends for a variety of ailments and delivered them all around her sweet mountain community. A friend suggested that Mel sell her teas at Farmer’s Markets and she hasn’t looked back since!
“I knew if I was going to start formulating herbal teas to actually sell to people, I could only do it if I was formulating the best herbal teas I possibly could.”
Selling her products pushed Mel to expand her education in natural medicine. She studied at the Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine in Portland Oregon and went on to train as a clinical herbalist at the Portland School of Traditional Western Herbalism. During her extensive training, Mel become intimately aware of the plants around her, their unique healing powers, and the best methods to make incredible herbal medicines that truly heal people.
After giving birth to her beautiful baby girl in 2013, Mel’s passion grew and she knew she had to continue doing great things for herself, her daughter and the planet. She pursued her budding business with rigor, making salves and tea blends in her kitchen and hustling them to farmer’s markets and events all over the northwest. Mel made her big break when she landed a spot on the wellness department shelves of New Season’s Market. For the first time, a powerful force in the industry recognized the importance of the herbal products she was creating. Mel has since opened Green Canyon Apothecary, Mountain Mel’s first brick and mortar store, and is constantly looking ahead for new opportunities to grow the brand and message of natural medicine.