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Meet Traci Donat of Simples

Today we’d like to introduce you to Traci Donat.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Traci. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I began my journey with herbs and plant medicine as a teenager when I was introduced to an herbalist, and began exploring herbal remedies. I responded immediately and powerfully to the herbs she gave me and my health quickly transformed.

This was the beginning of a lifelong passion for studying plants, herbalism, the body, health, and wellness. I continue to take in every workshop, class, conference, and a course that I can, as there is so much to learn, and every teacher and herbalist brings a special gift, perspective, and wisdom that I always find of value. I am an eternal student, and my passion is learning, experimenting and then sharing knowledge.

Simples is the culmination of my life’s work with plants. I have been dreaming of the shop for over ten years, and I finally took the leap and brought it into being. The tonics are my way of sharing the incredible gift that the plants have given to me and my family.

Herbal infusions are the foundation of my personal herbal practice, and it has been my dream to make them available to a wider group of people. Many people have never heard of the plants we use, or they may even spray pesticides on them not knowing their value. So at Simples we celebrate the wild plants and share the amazing healing and nutritive gift that these weeds bring into our lives through our delicious tonics.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? LOL! As any founder will tell you the road is never smooth and that is what makes it both frustrating and wildly fulfilling. For me, there were and continue to be, business challenges, like trying to figure out logistics, building out a space, wearing a million hats, at once, waking up in a cold sweat at night because the new shipment of bottles is late and I’m running dangerously low. And on and on.

And then, of course, are the real challenges, the personal ones. For me, the most challenging part of Simples has been putting myself out there, the vulnerability of being visible, the exposure of living my dream and my vision in the world. But, like giving birth to anything, it can be a bloody and painful process and yet it’s magical and divine and rewarding at the same time. And you very well may be creating the greatest love of your life.

As dark as some nights have been for me challenged by fear or insecurity, I stand in the shop, and I look at those magical jewel-toned bottles, and my heart is full. Having a creative idea and then actually bringing it down to earth is a miracle and I am so grateful that I didn’t quit, even when I wanted to.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Simples – what should we know?
Simples is a line of plant-based tonics; they are highly nourishing herbal infusions that come bottled and ready to drink. They are organic, do not contain sugar, caffeine, gluten or calories, and you just feel great and alive when you drink them. They are the centerpiece of Simples.

These water-based tonics utilizing wild plants have been the mainstay of my herbal journey, and it is my passion and mission to bring them to a larger audience. Simples also has a line of herbal tinctures and vinegars and other herbal products, utilizing fresh plant material from our Malibu garden. The shop also consists of a carefully curated herbal apothecary highlighting what we think are the best products as far as uniqueness and efficacy from herbalists all over the country.

Discovering herbalists who are creating amazing medicine, and supporting them by featuring them in the shop is my other passion. I’ve seen such a rise in interest in herbalism in the past several years, there are so many people diving in, learning and creating some very magical medicines, and hand in hand with that is the amazing interest of the people who come in shop excited to learn, and experiment with our tonics and herbal offerings. It’s an exciting time for the plants.

Also integral to Simples are our values, sustainability, being at the forefront. As I mentioned we have a garden where we grow most of what is in our apothecary products, that garden is fed with compost that is created with the excess plant material as well as the biodegradable sample cups from the shop. It’s a full circle. We not only reduce waste, we alchemize our byproduct into something useful and magical. I am very proud of that, and the way we do things.

I think integrity and authenticity are the cornerstones of our success. You can feel it when you walk in the shop, I, and everyone who works at Simples, loves what we do, we love plants, we love healing, and we love helping people. When someone tastes a tonic, feels it in their body, and happily goes out the door with a bottle it is truly the most rewarding feeling, because I know they’re beginning an amazing healing journey.

This is our mission, to make herbal medicine, and for us in the form of tonics, available and affordable to all people.


  • 16oz Tonics range from $7.50 – $8.50
  • 32oz Tonics range from $14 – $15

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