We all know what it means to have a dream. Some of us dream of immigrating to another country, or pursuing a higher education, or finding the means to feed and house our family. Some of us dream of creating works of art that transcend audiences, or engineering environmental initiatives that reverse the effects of climate change, or eliminating global poverty; some of us dream of simply making it through the day. Whether revolutionary or humble, our dreams weave the fabric of the world we live in and set the stage for future generations. They may challenge us beyond all reason, drive us to sweat and tears, and take a lifetime to achieve, but our dreams hold the power to create what we can imagine. For one small-town girl who imagined supporting her community through ethically harvested, natural healing products, her dream started in the kitchen.
After carefully tucking her children into bed for the night, Kiley(Now, founder and owner of Back to Earth. Then, mother with a dream.) would race downstairs in eager anticipation. The passion to create burned within her and she would spend hours experimenting with different ingredients and plants, drawing on her training in the alchemy of herbology and aromatherapy, before heading back to the drawing board of intensive research and, ultimately, trying again. As recipes came together, and names were excitedly chosen, Kiley’s dream was ready for the local farmer’s market. It was there that her passion was met with honest feedback, and the loyalty and trust of her beloved community.
From these humble beginnings, and with a little luck from angels above, Kiley’s dream of opening a modern-day apothecary grew out of her kitchen and into her garage. Then, when the moment was just right and the stars were perfectly aligned, her dream found the ideal location to settle; a property in her community that offered a production facility, storefront, and rental suites to help with the mortgage. It was here that Back to Earth became a true cornerstone of the local community and where the small business received the rare blessing of being able to incorporate the natural healing powers of BC’s Kisolite™ Glacial Clay into its product line. Kiley’s dream had officially come true.
Today, as we all navigate the current reality of a global pandemic, while combatting the effects of social isolation and economic uncertainty, local businesses, just like Back to Earth, are struggling with us. Tired but hopeful, Kiley and her team are learning to adapt by offering a delivery service, and personally delivering products to customers’ homes, as well as allowing customers to phone in their order before driving by the storefront for pick-up. Kiley is also investing in the promotion of online sales, and the Back to Earth family has faced, and overcome, many challenges in meeting the needs of staff members as they face their own struggles. Although Back to Earth is continuing to persevere, supported by loyal customers and amazing staff, many other local, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat or have been forced to close their doors.
Imagine what it might feel like if you had spent the past ten years dreaming of, exhaustively planning for, and finally opening a local Bed and Breakfast. For the past two years, you purchased all your ingredients from local farmers, you hired local university students to help with maintenance and cleaning, and you made your living solely from hosting and feeding tourists and local residents. Last month, you had eighty percent of your summer reservations cancel due to the pandemic. Now what?
Now, we come together. We choose to unite in our decision to support local dreams. To help our neighbors put food on the table, or pay for their child’s post-secondary education, or their young daughter’s dance lessons. Together, we support those local, small businesses that buy ingredients from our local farmers, donate time and money into our local non-profits and fundraisers, and offer employment to local residents and students. As a community, we make the decision to pause before finalizing our next online purchase and we research, and connect, to see if the product is sold locally. We support those small businesses that strive to minimize their environmental impact, and whose owners understand the importance of accountability. Together, we support each other so that we, and future generations, can live in a sustainable world where imagination can flow and dreams can still come true.
Written By: Zoë Tomichich
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Many people have benefited from the natural healing powers contained within Back to Earth’s product line. Tracy’s story is one such account, of an Okanagan man’s journey toward healing using natural ingredients.