When Aromahead graduate Olivia McNish MacMillan was vacationing on the eastern shore of Maryland with her husband, she found a small aromatherapy shop that peaked her interest.
“I had been struggling, trying to find my creative vision as a woman, and so I asked the owner if she had anything to help with that,” Olivia says. “She gave me a bath salt, but couldn’t explain why it would help, but it did. I left Maryland wanting to know more about aromatherapy, essential oils, and why and how they worked.”
Today, Olivia has a successful business, Sweet Earth Essentials Aromatherapy, with many different components to it: she has a product line, she does healing consultations, she teaches classes, she writes aromatherapy articles and has a blog, and she recently was offered to do consulting work with a skincare company on their natural product line.
Read on to learn more about Olivia’s passion for aromatherapy, where she sees her business in five years, and the moment she realized she was truly an aromatherapist.
What do you love about the aromatherapy profession?
I can’t just cop-out here and say everything, can I? I suppose what I love best is that I’m helping people. My entire life, I have only been happy at work when I have been helping, serving others. Time and aromatherapy has helped guide my feet onto my life’s path as a healer.
What are you most proud of with your business?
Oh, I am proud of a lot of things. I’m proud of how my intuitive healing ability enhances the solid aromatherapy training I received from you, Andrea. I’m proud of how innovative I’ve become with my classes and I’m proud of the quality of my organic product line. I am also a consultant for a local skin care company, reformulating all their aromatherapy blends.
What was your favorite part about studying at Aromahead Institute?
I would have to say my favorite part of the whole Aromahead experience is Andrea’s teaching style. I’m the kind of student who always worries, unless I know every little detail in advance. I love how Aromahead’s classes have taught me patience with the process of learning and life. Every video and every arrangement of the lessons and worksheets were perfectly thought out and placed to lead me to complete understanding of the material. Learning by watching Andrea has made me a much better teacher. I’d also like to take a moment to mention how clear and easy to understand Meridian Massage Institute’s anatomy and physiology course material is. Biology in general used to be difficult for me, but not anymore.
What recommendations do you have for anyone interested in becoming an aromatherapist?
I would tell them to study with Andrea Butje at The Aromahead Institute first. Then I would tell them to spend a good year assimilating that information into their daily life. Use aromatherapy, talk to others, do consultations for practice, and spend every day getting to really know a new oil. I found that I truly became an aromatherapist the day that someone mentioned something about lavender in passing, and without even looking up from playing Words With Friends on my phone, I spouted off exactly how she should be using the lavender, in conjunction with which oils, and why it was going to work.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Oh I have such glorious dreams for my business. In five years, I could see myself being a mogul of my own skin care company, or maybe I might focus on being a teacher with a school and an in-person aromatherapy certification program of my own, or have a famous blog, or perhaps I will have clinic hours five days a week at several local holistic health centers. I might even open up a holistic health center of my own. I have always felt that we should have medical doctors for diagnostics and serious health problems and utilize aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and other therapies for preventative care and general well being.
How do you use oils to maintain your own health and well-being?
I wrote a blog entry on this in March, actually so great question! I usually use peppermint and rosemary in the shower in the morning to get me going. I bathe with my own castile soap body wash with grapefruit and patchouli in it, and then I rub in some of my vanilla rose and geranium body frosting. I use my margarita lip balm every day instead of lipstick. I often need to de-stress at my other job—aromatherapy is my true calling, so I consider my other full time job to be my “other job”— so I use an inhaler with lavender and frankincense. At night, I diffuse some bergamot and lavender by my bedside.
What inspires you about your work?
The most inspiring thing about my work is that I get to heal others. I get to bring them relief, peace, calmness, and wellness. I’m a Reiki practitioner too, so I infuse Reiki into the products I make for clients. I cannot think of anything better than spending my life seeing the positive changes in others.
What do you wish everyone knew about essential oils?
I wish everyone knew about essential oil quality and GC/MS testing. So many people know that essential oils and aromatherapy are meant for healing, but they don’t know about essential oil quality. When they purchase an oil from, say, a little gift shop where all bottles of oils go for ten bucks and they don’t receive powerful healing from its usage or the oil smells bad or irritates their skin, they might begin to think aromatherapy doesn’t work. I also wish everyone knew that dilution of essential oils is important and I wish they knew how to dilute essential oils properly.
Interested in learning more about Olivia’s practice and business? Visit her website and social media pages!