Q&A: Moon Nectar Apothecary's Allison Kaylor
Here's the story: Girl goes on travels. Girl gets inspired by local cultures. Girl learns about plant medicine and natural remedies. Girls starts experimenting in her kitchen -- and just like that, girl creates a line of body and home products inspired by ancient practices. She names it Moon Nectar Apothecary.
When Moon Nectar Apothecary crossed my path, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Astrology, crystals, tarot and aromatherapy are topics about which I know virtually nothing.
When I spoke to the line's creator, Allison Kaylor, she gave me the rundown on how she wanted her products to be safe, all natural, effective and healing. Allison answered all of my questions and generously sent me samples of every item I wanted to test out...and because I was so out of my comfort zone, I asked for a lot.
At their core, these are simply products you can use and trust because of their natural ingredients. It wasn't hocus pocus, pseudo-hollistic nonsense. They work. I tried them all. The cleanser removed all my makeup without stripping my skin. The lotions were so moisturizing. The body scrub left my skin silky smooth and those incense might just convince me to pick up an astrology book or a crystal or two. This was a super underground find and I am excited to share Moon Nectar Apothecary's divine products with you.
So without further ado, here is Moon Nectar Apothecary in Allison's own words.
How did you decide to start Moon Nectar Apothecary?
I was inspired to start my company after all my traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Central America where I learned about Thai herbal remedies, and going to mud baths in Vietnam. In Belize, I explored Mayan Culture and local plant species used for healing and ceremonial rituals with Copal. I have always had a vast fascination with aromatherapy and plant medicine as well as using natural chemical-free products. I started making incense one day, and then after diving through book after book learning more, I started making lotions, and tinctures, and salves and found my love for apothecary.
How did you come up with a name for the company?
Nectar by definition is a sugary fluid secreted by plants, especially within flowers to encourage pollination by insects and other animals. The moon effects plants and how they grow. For example, during the full moon, it is a favorable time to plant root crops because of the amount of light and the strong gravitational pull, whereas a fourth quarter moon is waning and transitioning into a new moon, so there is a weak gravitational pull and it is a good time for pruning, cultivating and harvesting. It is all part of the cycle of these plants that I use in my product, and it is all connected.
What is the story behind your line of products?
I have always been into crystal healing, astrology, and tarot. Every herb I use relates to a planetary association and zodiac sign. For example, Sagittarius rules the lungs, and Cancer rules fluid retention in the body with its association to the moon. Certain herbs pertain to the planets in astrology, and mean different things. Venus being love, friendship, beauty, and Jupiter being the planet of good fortune, gifts and luck. Each of my products corresponds and is given a deeper understanding with these associations. Different crystals help ground you, and unblock energy or attract certain things, which is why I include a crystal prescription.
You make all the products yourself. What kind of research goes into creating a line like this?
I make everything by hand, I make my own labels, tags, and everything that goes along with it. I have a large library of herbal medicine, some old, some new - I love collecting books. It does take a lot of research, I have notebooks full of notes on plants, and recipes I've tried, etc.
How would you describe your personal style?
Vintage car club jackets, dirty overalls and 60s dresses and sunglasses, lots of turquoise jewelry and thick bracelets and Dries Van Noten or Alexander Wang shoes. My style is somewhat fluid and I think it constantly changes but these are things I really like and tend to always buy.
Do you have a place in LA that you go to for inspiration?
Joshua Tree always inspires me, climbing up rocks and perching high to watch the sun go down or El Capitan camping and making dinner over a fire. Trails Cafe in Griffith Park is my local inspiration as well as the observatory. Anywhere there is nature is very grounding and inspirational for me.
What is your favorite place in LA?
The Figueroa Hotel Downtown is one of my favorite places for drink in the evening. They have a gorgeous cactus garden outside by the pool and it is all Moroccan decor.