Andrea Butje - LMT, Aromatherapy Educator
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who is changing the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching + creating community online.
Andrea spent the first decade of her career working in private practice as a massage therapist and studying plants and natural medicine. She and Cindy Black joined together in 1994 and founded the acclaimed Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, New York.
It was during this time in Andrea’s career that her lifelong interest in plant medicine really began to take shape, as she began incorporating herbal and essential oils into the school’s curriculum.
During the course of Andrea’s studies, she discovered the book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. So inspired by its teachings, Andrea contacted the author Gabriel Mojay who encouraged her to visit Rhiannon Lewis in France, and to experience the essential oil distillation process firsthand.
During a trip with Rhiannon in the south of France in 1995, Andrea witnessed the craftsmanship involved in the distilling process. This ignited her passion and commitment to source all of her essential oils directly from distillers, to ensure quality and purity. She formed the popular essential oil website Aromatics International in 2006 to bring these high-quality oils to people all over the world.
Andrea continued to gain knowledge and a practical hands-on understanding of essential oils with every trip she took to visit distillers (in more than 15 countries to-date!). As she learned about how the plants were grown, distilled, and used in different cultures, her passion for Aromatherapy deepened. Over time, she realized there was a need for an Aromatherapy training that would take people beyond what they could learn by searching online or reading an Aromatherapy book. She wanted to help students really understand the art + science of essential oils – as well as how to apply them in their everyday life and careers.
That’s how Aromahead Institute was born…
Andrea taught her first Aromatherapy Certification Program in 1998, and began teaching online courses in 2008. In line with the Institute’s mission to make the study of therapeutic and essential oils globally accessible, Aromahead Institute became an entirely virtual school in the fall of 2013.
Andrea’s first book Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home was published in 2012. Her second book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, was published in January, 2017. She is a contributing writer for several aromatherapy journals, and writes her own blog, newsletter and eBooks.
In 2013, Andrea won the Alliance of International Aromatherapists' Lifetime Achievement Award for her heartfelt work in educating and connecting people involved in all aspects of the Aromatherapy industry – from renowned authors and distillers to those who are brand new to essential oils.
Andrea continues to travel the world working with independent essential oil distillers and regularly serves as a guest lecturer at Aromatherapy conferences.
When she isn’t sharing her love of Aromatherapy with others, you’ll usually find Andrea in her kitchen – cooking, baking and playing with new recipes!
Community is a big part of Andrea’s message. You can connect with her on:
- The Aromahead Blog
- Aromahead's Facebook page
- Aromahead's Youtube Video Channel
- Aromahead's Instagram
Cindy Black - L.Ac., LMT, NCCAOM Diplomate Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture
Cindy Black pioneered the innovative Meridian Massage method and is the founder and lead instructor at Big Tree School of Natural Healing. Her work is focused on teaching Massage Therapists how to incorporate Traditional Chinese Medicine into their practices, as well as teaching acupuncturists to incorporate massage into their practices.
Cindy spent several years working as a counselor before acting on encouragement to study massage therapy. Leaving New York to study massage in Gainesville, Florida changed the trajectory of Cindy’s career.
It was there that she realized she had finally discovered the avenue of health education that she had been searching for. Cindy especially appreciated the curriculum’s emphasis on personal awareness, and its application to her bodywork and daily life.
She then met Andrea Butje, LMT, and Aromatherapy Educator and joined her in founding the Finger Lakes School of Massage in 1994, where Cindy served as the lead anatomy instructor. She quickly developed a reputation for her ability to easily navigate students through even the most complicated subjects.
Cindy's love of teaching is only matched by her love of learning. She went on to study acupuncture, earning her master's degree in Chinese Medicine in 2007. She continues her study and practice of Chi Nei Tsang, Qi Gong, the I Ching and Yoga.
In addition to the classes she offers through Big Tree School of Natural Healing, Cindy teaches the Aromahead Institute's Anatomy and Physiology course. Andrea and Cindy also co-teach two of Aromahead's online classes: Aromatherapy for Massage Therapists and Viruses and the Immune System.
You can connect with Cindy on her blog: Big Tree School of Natural Healing Blog.
Jenny Williams - M.Ed., Certified Aromatherapist and Educator
Jenny has always had a passion for learning and teaching. She spent years as a high school English teacher, helping people learn new skills, and developing a classroom culture built on trust and collaboration. On a trip to a distillery in Provence, France, Jenny decided to devote herself to aromatherapy after watching distillers transform pink roses into stunning essential oil and hydrosol; and being moved by their passion. She earned her aromatherapy certification at the Aromahead Institute and joined the team at Aromatics International as a co-owner, content creator, and educator. Jenny has done extensive traveling with Karen sourcing vibrant essential oils and has done much writing and research on essential oils and the plants they come from.
In 2019, Jenny and her family become co-owners of Aromahead Institute freeing up Andrea to concentrate on education and is the Co-Director of Education at Aromahead Institute, where she works closely with students to guide them in using essential oils safely and effectively in their daily lives, and helps them earn aromatherapy certification, and graduate level certification.
In her free time, Jenny can be found hiking with her adorable black lab, Buckley, curled up with a good book, or catching up with friends.
Karen Williams - R.N., Certified Aromatherapist and Educator
Karen Williams became an RN in 1983 and worked in healthcare for years. During this time, she took up the hobby of making soap in her basement. It quickly blossomed into more than a hobby—Karen fell in love with essential oils!
Impressed by the oils’ natural abilities to support health, Karen became determined to learn all she could about using them to help others. When Karen deepened her studies at Aromahead Institute, she and Andrea Butje (founder of Aromahead Institute and Aromatics International) became fast friends. After becoming a certified aromatherapist Karen studied specialty topics including the internal use of essential oil, distilling essential oils and hydrosols and using essential oils for animals.
In 2010, Karen took over ownership of Aromatics International from Andrea—marking a huge turning point in her life. As co-owner of Aromatics, Karen is devoted to sourcing and importing the highest quality aromatherapy products directly from small-scale farmers, distillers, and producers located all around the world. She is an advocate for sustainable and organic practices and works to support the farmers and local communities who produce the essential oils and carriers.
In 2019, Karen and her family become co-owners of Aromahead Institute freeing up Andrea to concentrate on education and is the Co-Director of Education at Aromahead Institute, where she works closely with students to guide them in using essential oils safely and effectively in their daily lives, and helps them earn aromatherapy certification, and graduate level certification.
Karen loves sharing her knowledge of essential oils and how they can enhance the beauty of ones’ journey through life and has authored numerous articles and guides on the safe and effective therapeutic uses of essential oils. Her strong values for healthcare and education have guided her entire career and remain the principles that shape her daily activities at both Aromatics and Aromahead.
In Karen’s free time, she can be found hiking amongst nature, reading, and enjoying her family.