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Meet Ashley Walker of Penn + Olive

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Walker.

Ashley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started this company unintentionally. I was teaching yoga when I was introduced to essential oils. I used them all the time without any knowledge of how, like most of my fellow yoga teachers, on myself and on my students. After class one day a student asked me what “carrier oil” I used. I had no idea what a carrier oil was and she educated me on the importance of diluting essential oils before they touch skin.

Horrified and very apologetic, I ran home and did some research. Turns out if you don’t use a carrier oil with straight essential oils before they touch your skin, it can be taxing on the liver, over time. I learned the same way that pharmaceuticals can be a lot for your body to process, you need to treat essential oils with care, respect and attention.

I started making my own remedies in roller form with proper “carrier oil” dilution for a different ailment that I had. I started with a calming and a sleep oil. They worked so well for me that I started sharing it with friends and family. Very quickly there became this demand for my oil remedies and I had to start making more. That’s when Penn + Olive was born, two years ago July 2016.

Since then I’ve created an online shop, I sell at local stores, markets and events around LA/OC. Recently I exhibited at Beautycon LA which was incredible! I’m slowly growing which is very exciting, it’s so special to see the impact these remedies can have on people’s lives. It’s really important for me to share the importance of essential oil safety and create products that make using essential oils super easy and convenient.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggles for me have been trying to do everything alone. I never planned to start my own company, so there was never a business plan. When something comes up, I just take care of it. And as the business grows, naturally the to-do list grows as well. My biggest lesson has been to drop the ego and let others in. I’ve learned to take the help when it’s given and ask for help when I need it. The biggest impacts are made together, not alone.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Penn + Olive story. Tell us more about the business.
The most important thing for me is to make products that people understand how to use. I find that for most people using essential oils can be confusing and there isn’t a lot of education out there. I want to bring clarity on how to use essential oils. I have specific names like SLEEP – which you roll on before bed to help get you into a deep sleep – no-brainer. I make my products in roller form, which is what the company is known for. The rollers are really special because they were specially formulated to help you with something specific and of course they are properly diluted so you can roll right to your skin for quick and safe benefits. Every product I have is a blend.

A lot of other companies sell the individual oils like orange or lemon etc, which is great but doesn’t really tell the consumer what’s it’s for or how to use it. I want to make things simple. I also make my blends for the diffuser, some in spray form and skincare items. I’m very proud that every blend that I have made not only smells amazing but they actually work! There are some essential oils that work for certain things that smell kind of terrible, but it’s been my goal to formulate blends that people will actually enjoy wearing.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am very grateful for the life that I have. The timing of this company unfolding was definitely fateful. I would not have been able to start this business without finances coming in from my full-time job working for my dad. When I started I was buying a ridiculous amount of oils just to play around with for fun, which I would not have been able to do if I was unemployed.

The company started almost immediately after shifting out of a big relationship. I know I would not have started this business had I stayed in that relationship. I would have never even known about essential oils if I wouldn’t have decided to become a part-time yoga instructor in 2013.

And right now in 2018, essential oils are becoming more and more popular. It’s no longer a hippy-dippy thing only yoga teachers use, I have customers that range from a 15-year-old girl who needs help studying to a 75-year-old man who needs relief from his back pain. I’m very lucky to be in a time where people are opening their minds to alternative solutions.

Pricing:

  • 5ML Rollers $14-16 (depending on blend)
  • 10ML Rollers $25-30 (depending on blend)
  • 2oz Sprays $14-16 (depending on blend)
  • 5ML Diffuser Bend $20
  • 10ML Diffuser Blend $39
  • Skincare Trio Starts at $53
  • Cleanse $25
  • Toner $16
  • Face 1/2oz$21, 1oz $39
  • Hair $16

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Melissa Guadarrama

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Nimmo

    August 7, 2018 at 19:17

    This article is inspiring me to try Ashley’s oils…..
    Actually educTional too, and interesting. Continued success!!!

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