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Inspiring Conversations with Mary Modeer of Plant Serums

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Modeer.

Hi Mary, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
In the mid-1990’s, I struggled with chronic pain and other health issues. I was placed on a variety of medicines that didn’t work for me. In an effort to find something that worked for me, I turned to alternative medicine. I had a brief experience with aromatherapy and herbs while living in the mountains of Colorado. I decided I wanted to help others have alternatives in dealing with health issues also, but I knew I needed to learn more, so I pursued an education. I am a Certified Aromatherapist having received my certification from The School for Aromatic Studies. I have also received education from the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine, Aromahead Institute and American College of Healthcare Sciences. I also decided to start a company that produced products that were natural and pure, without all the harmful aromas and chemicals, so Plant Serums was born September of 2015.

Plant Serums LLC is a company that is all about products made with natural ingredients, plant-based resources, and integrity. Incorporating essential oils, unrefined oils, and butters, macerates, waxes, or hydrosols into our uniquely blended products. I also use a variety of wild-harvested salts and clay from around the world. I harvest many of my flowers and herbs from local farms.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road, it has definitely been a learning experience. Lawrence is a good city for natural products, but there are so many national stores that specialize in what I do. Thankfully, there are also loads of resources for small businesses in the area because of the University of Kansas.

The biggest struggle for me was I was somewhat of an introvert, so I started out giving samples to people I knew. Word of mouth spread my name, and once people try my products, they love them.

Financing was also a big struggle starting out, but I joined a local professional business group, and that was a game-changer. I met my current banker and business attorney at these meetings. I also got used to meeting new people and public speaking.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the owner, creator and formulator of a small natural products company. I received my aromatherapy Certification at the School for Aromatic Studies. I have also received education from the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine, Aromahead Institute and American College of Healthcare Sciences. I will create custom blends for a variety of issues, and wholesale is available. My company sells products geared for infants and maternity (Sproutlings), children (Saplings), and adults. I am proud that my education gave me the knowledge to blend accurately and safely for various age groups. So, when you purchase a Saplings product for says a seven years old, you don’t need to worry whether or not the essential oils used in the product are safe for kids or not. I have come up with Custom blends for people suffering from Rosacea, Cystic Acne, and Psoriasis. I make a low suds laundry detergent for a local woman who travels with Kansans to Kenya so that her clothes don’t attract the wildlife when she is in Africa. Being a small local company allows me to make things for people that a larger company wouldn’t be able to do.

My products are easy to use, many fit in your pocket, and I have people who test my products before they hit the market. I buy organic, wild harvested and Fair Trade whenever possible. When I harvest locally, my growers are either organic or non-sprayed. I know my wholesalers and growers on a first-name basis, and I know where they harvest their plants and where they get their seeds from. I also have many well-known colleagues in the aromatherapy trade and herbal medicine from around the world. When I run into a stumbling block, I can pull on these colleagues for insight and knowledge. To me that speaks volumes, I am not just selling essential oil products, I am selling knowledge and integrity. I stand behind my products, all of them.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
For a good portion of my life, I have lived close to Kansas City, it has greatly changed over the years, but I still think Kansas City is one of the prettier large city’s. It is easy to get around and the people are generally friendly. There is always something to do in the greater metro area, and a couple of my wholesalers are in the metro area.

What I like least about Kansas City is the crime, but it isn’t unique to just KC all bigger cities have crime.

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Image Credits
Moriah Ruth Photography

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