Mindful Muse is a series featuring amazing people who live life with authenticity and passion, and inspire others to lead more fulfilling lives as well!
Jennifer Lee Segale has spent the last fifteen years professionally speaking the language of plants and channeling her deep passion and love for them through her organic design landscape & consulting company with a special interest in coastal plantings, vertical gardens and unique plant sourcing.
In 2008 she launched her Garden Apothecary line of handcrafted, botanical organic bath + beauty products. Through these products she demonstrates her beliefs in the healing power of mother nature. As a professional horticulturist and lover of plants, flowers and fresh soil, Jenn is neither shy, nor afraid to get her hands dirty. In fact, spending time in nature, preferably barefoot in her garden, is when she feels the most comfortable in her skin.
Her adventure seeking spirit and innate love for growing, harvesting, and exploring the mesmerizing ecosystem of plants has led her to exciting experiences such as her plants research project with the Mayan and Garifuna cultures in Belize.
When this self-proclaimed botanist is not working with the indigenous people in the family farms of Belize, embarking on jungle hiking trips, communicating with the plants in her own backyard, or taking her dogs for a walk on the beach, she is busy tending to her Garden Apothecary blog and e-book series and is a garden writer for publications such as HMB Review, Common Ground and People magazine.
Her handmade, organic Bath + Body products are not only amazing for your skin, but they will transform any bathroom into a zen spa!
1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Jenn – I’m a SF Bay Area native who lives and works in Half Moon Bay, CA. I own two companies working with plants, including my shop in Half Moon Bay, Garden Apothecary. I’m married, have a lot of dogs and drink Bourbon.
2. What led you to start your business?
I started my first business (Wildflower Farms) when I was 18 years old, the day after I graduated from high school. I was working for a dysfunctional nursery at the time in Half Moon Bay, and simply thought, "I can do better then this." I have loved doing landscape design and plant propagation for the past 14 years – it keeps me sane! My second company, Garden Apothecary, came from the same concept; wanting to create organic beauty products that were more authentic from what I was finding in the market at the time.
3. What do you enjoy most about what you do? What is your biggest challenge?
My most favorite thing about my companies is working with plants and flowers. I love growing, harvesting and tending to plants and their unique ecosystems.
My biggest challenge is everything outside of digging in the dirt!
4. What inspires you to keep going when you are afraid?
Hmm, I’m not really afraid in business. I rarely question what I create or which direction I want to go in – and fear is never a deterrent for me. Not because I never get scared – but because it’s just not a huge motivator for me. I also still have a bit of dumb youth on my side – so I tend to jump in quickly and think of consequences later!
5. What does balance mean to you and how does that manifest in your daily life?
Balance is something I always strive for in my daily life. It means stopping when I’m tired, drinking water, eating lunch on time, walking my dogs, etc. I do yoga weekly, go for jogs, and drink a ton of tea! To stay balanced, I also reach out to practitioners who help me stay “even” – acupuncture, therapy, meditation, etc. I definitely have a little team of people who I rely on each month.
6. Who do you look up to in your personal life and/or your business?
I admire historic and current women feminists and environmentalists, like Lena Dunham, Sarah Sophia Flicker, Sheryl Sandburg, Julia Butterfly Hill and Oprah Winfrey. They have and do pave the way for us to better our lives and the communities around us.
7. How do you incorporate a holistic lifestyle into your daily life?
I always try to tune in with nature every day. This helps me apply a holistic lifestyle in a way that is authentic to me. I pick flowers and thank them for growing. I meditate under old-growth redwoods trees. I go to the beach and say hello. Some days, all I can do is stand barefoot in my garden – it feels great a ground me.
8. What are the tools in your holistic toolbox?
Tea. Plants. Water. Epsom salts. Herbs. Crystals.
What is on your nightstand?
Organic Lavender oil. My iPad full of great books (and great reality TV). A stack of real books. A glass of water from the night before.
If you could have one special power, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to talk with plants more.
Do you have a favorite plant or garden?
No. I love them all!
For more information on Jennifer, Garden Apothecary or her organic Bath + Body products and gardening services, visit her HERE.