At the age of 33, I had just moved back to the USA and was declared in “remission” of my ITP and my Lupus markers were almost completely gone! Without a second thought I decided to go back to school immediately. No spring chicken either when your classmates at 18 going on 12.
My first major was in Fire Science but that was ages ago and no longer applicable. There were a lot of sciences I had to retake because of the statute. No worries, it would give me chance to brush up on all my A&P’s, Bio & Chem classes, and help me get back into the swing of things.
After 12 months, I was accepted into 3 nursing programs and a dietary program. YAY!! Nursing didn’t feel right but it paid well and I could travel. I even made it to the first orientation before the big “heck no!” screamed at me. Tried the dietary program and after going through orientation and reading the curriculum that too was a “pass”.
I felt I had to choose between attending nursing school or an allopathic medical school. Chamberlain College of nursing offered a nearly full ride and I was seriously tempted but medical school held more appeal. I’d have more of a say in a patient’s care, but even that didn’t sit right.
It was at this point in time I found SCNM, Southwest College of Natural Medicine right here in Arizona. This fit the bill! Crazy expensive but that was OK. I turned down all options and in the spring of 2010 I got everything wrapped up and began the application process. I was going to be Doctor! A Naturopathic Doctor!
And then my mom sent me to this lady’s house to pick up her essential oils…..
This lady was no ordinary gypsy lol. She was a Naturopathic Doctor in 3 different countries but not here in the USA (way to much drama and red tape). She could speak 7 or 8 languages (I forget how many) and was a melting pot of creativity and wisdom.
She took one look at me, head to toe, held my mom’s bag of custom blended essential oils and in her heavy Russian accent said:
“You will make a terrible doctor”. All I could do was blink, blink again, and ask her to repeat the statement. She had just met me!
What she said pissed me off in no uncertain terms. I dang near lost my xyz since I was on my way to SCNM to sign over $250k! She simply smiled, reached out to touch my hand, and told me of another way. It took me a while to understand what she’d seen in me that day but over the course of almost a year I learned so much. She didn’t speak so much as watch and guide. I learned how to look past the “words” of a client and into the “heart” of the client.
I will never again be blessed to lay my eyes on her sweet face but in one sentence, she changed my life forever.…..
Thank you Helena <3
Stay tuned for the next chapter! OMG what was I thinking…
Loving you all,
This is a tale of girl who thought she could so she did!
My very first event was in October of 2012. I had just graduated with 2 Degrees, one in Western Herbal Medicine and the other in Holistic Nutrition.
“Season” was just opening so every Tuesday I’d take the Clinic downtown to the weekly Casa Grande Farmers Market. At the time I was working with more basic issues, such as the common cold & flu and skin irritations.
The clinic, and my scope of practice, grew by leaps and bounds. I started working more closely with all kinds of ailments, acute &chronic, and began to focus more so on auto-immunes and cancers. My clients needed more! Suddenly they needed a place to find their goodies and have their orders filled; Teas, Tinctures, Salves, Vitamins & Minerals, Herbal Supplements, and all things organic.
This is where the idea of opening a store came from. I met the most amazing people! Still do actually.
Over the course of 21 months, I had reached a point where I was getting a little tired of dragging that dang canopy around. If you’ve ever worked an event you know exactly what I’m talking about! Anyway, I digress…
In August 2014 I moved out of that 10 x 10 booth in the parking lot & into the building it sat on!
Suddenly my 10 x 10 space was now 5000 square feet! Please don’t ask me what I was thinking because I’m not really sure I know 🤣. So what started out as a hope and a dream of helping others help themselves, turned into what is now “Root 2 Route Botanicals & Natural Medicine”.
5 years later, in May of this year, we closed our store for a few different reasons…
🏰My castle is now online
My dungeon (the apothecary) is now www.Root2RouteBotanicals.com
and also available at the Promenade, once a month.
The Clinic is now available both online and in person!
And my Prince Charming? Well, he tends to cautiously approach whenever “I have an idea!”
Stay tuned for the next episode of R2R Botanicals!
Loving you all,
Why did I choose “Root 2 Route”?
If you recall from last week, I mentioned that I was going to begin the transition just as soon as I got back from vacation. If you don’t like emotional stories then you may want to stop reading now…
OK, here we go. This is where everything went sideways. We came home from that vacation completely different. I couldn’t think, couldn’t focus. I couldn’t even tell you my name half the time and what began as a simple vacation turned into a nightmare I would never wish on my worst enemy. Honestly I don’t even remember most of the month of October but I’m told I held up pretty well. Huh…. I’ll have to take everyone’s word for it.
Jerry and I spent the weekend at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. 3 days of Country Music!! We met so many people and had a blast singing 🎤🎼and dancing 💃🕺, mostly me of course, to all of our favorite artists. We walked the strip, played the slots 🎰 and people watched 🧐 . We ran around the downtown area and hit up most of the little souvenir shops. You can’t visit Vegas and not come home with something cheesy!!
What started out on as an amazing weekend turned deadly within seconds. At 10:05pm that Sunday night, October 1, 2017, one of my favorite country artists of all times was singing “Any Ol’ Barstool” and at 10:06pm he had just launched into his next song “When She Says Baby”. He never made it past the first verse before everything went to hell and the lights shut off.
Jerry and I were caught in the front of the Las Vegas Shooting. What we thought were fireworks were actually rounds being shot from a window on the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. We knew deep down that all hell was about to break lose all around us and we were packed in like sardines. Jerry covered me with his own body so that I wouldn’t get hit. We moved as one, helping people along the way. I didn’t get hit but on our 2nd run back into the mess he did. Shrapnel is a B@%$# both physically and mentally.
We stayed behind as first responders doing everything we could to help. He is a retired Navy Corpsman and at 6’2” they didn’t stop us from jumping in. We lost 58 angels that night but gained a family of 22,000. We physically left the scene at 4:30am but there are days I know we never truly left at all.
So what is in a name? Root 2 Route Botanicals & Natural Medicine?
“ROOT” is for the grounding and anchoring we all need in this life
“2” is for the 2 of us who went in together, and came out together, alive
“ROUTE” is for all the different paths our healing journeys take us on
The SHIELD - The media says we are survivors but we say we are warriors! It stands for everyone who has ever had a hard time physically, emotionally or mentally. It is a symbol of strength and of faith. It is also for our 58 angels.
“Botanicals” is for the Apothecary and “Natural Medicine” is for the clinic, two sides of the same coin.
So by February of 2018 I began the transition of a new name, new logo and a new outlook on life! Root 2 Route Botanicals & Natural Medicine was officially born on July 4th, 2018 and it has been an amazing journey!
THANK YOU to all those who helped me pick up the pieces and find the strength to go on ❤️ If you’ve made it this far into the story then you are one of the ones who is still helping push me forward!
Stay tuned for another, more cheerful episode
Loving you all,
When I decided to rebrand Herbalicious to Root 2 Route I knew it had to be a reflection of both what the business was and who I was. I started playing with the idea during the summer of 2017. SO many ideas came to mind!! Everything from my hippie dippie side to my country girl side, to my Latina side and to the fact that I was getting a little tired of people thinking “Herbalicious” was a marijuana dispensary. Those were some fun day’s...🤣🤣🤣
I spent months on it and decided to break down the important parts into bite sized pieces. Yikes!! By September 2017 I had everything organized and was so excited to start working on it! I just knew what I was going to do and was going to start the transition just as soon as I got back from vacation.
That vacation is where things went sideways for me but is a tale for another day!
So here is where I dive into what makes me different and why my logo is purple. I went back to work on my rebranding and took a different “Route” =)
The color PURPLE represents Lupus and ITP, the main auto-immune illnesses I’ve lived with for 20 years now. Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura and yes, you’re probably having fun trying to pronounce it too!! It’s not a fun one to have and I thank God every morning I wake up with no bruises, bleeding or nonsense!
My ITP & Lupus have been silent for years but Hashimoto’s has recently popped up to complete the trio. Gotta love those auto-immunes! I know what it’s like to be sick, very sick, and I got tired of living that way. I didn’t know what to do about it way back when but regular medicine was slowly killing me so I figured there had to be something better.
That my friend is a story for another day =)
Loving you all,
Story Time! Chapter 1
This weekend at the Promenade was one full of wonder and surprise!! And 1 question.... HOW ARE YOU DOING? Sounds like an odd question to ask me personally if you don’t know the story. Very few do!
But the time has come to tell the tale of not only why I closed the storefront and went online but also of how Root 2 Route Botanicals & Natural Medicine came to be. So let me start closer to the beginning!
R2R Botanicals was actually originally named Herbalicious of Arizona, LLC. She was legally born 12/01/12 in Casa Grande, Arizona but, as with any adventure, she was conceived many years before. By many years I mean all the way back to 1999. Now you’ve got that song from Prince stuck in your head don’t you!
Anyway, in 1999 I was 26, recently married and crazy full of energy! And just like any happy, crazy, workaholic in their 20’s I thought I could do anything. And I could! I was athletic, passionate about my dreams, and thought I had the world in my hand. My husband (RIP Dayle) and I loved to travel ✈️🚂🛳🚘and experience everything we could. It was awesome! Until the day I woke up black and blue from the waist down. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have listened to my body that day but I didn’t. We were curious, not concerned. I was high strung, still am actually, so we figured the bruises were from work or whatever. Over the course of 2 months they went away and so did my worries. But it was short lived...
That my friends, is the beginning…..
Stay tuned for the next chapter!
WHY IS MY LOGO PURPLE?
Where it all began...
This was taken in Panama city, Panama 2007. Sitting in that old plastic chair, looking around and thinking to myself "I think I found a little piece of heaven".
As I sat there having the cultural beaded wrap, an "uini" (more commonly referred to as chakira) tied around my left leg I began to truly understand what it was going to take if I was going to begin my own healing journey.
No idea where it was going to lead me but I knew the journey would be worth it. 12 + years later Root 2 Route Botanicals & Natural Medicine still has a little bit of that day in it!