The Sales Rep Who Became an Entrepreneur
Carrie Armstrong has a long and varied career history. For more than 15 years, Carrie wore the shoes of an esthetician and cosmetic sales representative in the beauty and retail industry. Then, she decided to take a turn by enrolling in a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Alberta.
After graduation, she joined Amiskwaciy Academy, an Indigenous high school. Carrie got interested in the traditional plant garden the school maintained to create hands-on learning opportunities for her students. The students received the learning with a positive review, and Carrie decided to use it further to connect the students to their culture and history.
These professional experiences gave Carrie the entrepreneurial concepts she needed to launch a collection of natural products focusing on health and beauty. In addition, a long occupational history led to the genesis of Mother Earth Essentials.
The Award-Winning Business Woman
Mother Earth Essentials was founded by Carrie Armstrong, a Metis woman and a dedicated mother of three incredible kids who comes from a long line of Cree Medicine Women.
Carrie was born and raised in Alberta. For her, the family has always been a priority, and her grandmother is the guiding hand in her life. She learnt about the Indigenous traditions from her grandmother and always showed interest and passion in sharing her Indigenous culture and the spiritual properties handed down to her.
Carrie had natural recipes and plant knowledge that was important to her, but her mother and aunt’s experience in residential school caused the generational teachings to be threatened. So she worked with her grandmother, the elders, and medicine people to create and grow the foundations for Mother Earth products.
In 2018, Mother Earth Essentials began working with Manitobah Mukluks, and since then, they have helped Mother Earth Essentials grow.
Holistic And Balanced Way Of Living
Mother Earth Essentials was created to share the nature-inspired teachings rooted in the plants of the Medicine Wheel.
According to Indigenous traditions, the medicine wheel symbolizes a holistic and balanced way of living and healing. It is a powerful teaching tool that consists of many layers of wisdom and knowledge.
It is a metaphor for life’s circle, which has no beginning or end. It is employed in a clockwise motion, in four equal pieces, and follows the sun’s course as it rises and sets.
According to the medicine wheel, tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass are four sacred herbs. These have medicinal values and beliefs connected to them.
Sweetgrass represents the northern direction of the medicine wheel, sometimes called the hair of Mother Earth and considered a gift. The grass is carefully braided after being harvested, and the three sections symbolize the mind, body, and spirit.
Tobacco represents the eastern direction of the medicine wheel. Smoke from tobacco is thought to be a doorway to the spirit world and is regarded as a sacred medicine. Additionally, it is used to express gratitude or to make a request to nature, a knowledge keeper, or an elder.
Sage represents the southern direction of the medicine wheel. It has a strong herbal and spicy aroma and is widely found in drier areas of North America. It is utilized in rituals for smudging to rid oneself and the spaces of negativity.
Cedar represents the Western Direction of the Medicine Wheel. It is nature’s purifier and boasts a distinctly resinous fragrance. Leaves are cleaned for making tea, bathing and ceremony and represent grounding, maturity, purification and balance.
Sharing the Indigenous knowledge
Mother Earth Essential’s mission is to educate Canadians on the beauty of Indigenous culture and the contributions made by Indigenous people. Through her company, Carrie educates and raises awareness of a high-quality line of retail products produced from traditional plants and recipes.
Carrie conducts workshops on numerous topics of Indigenous knowledge to impart her rich heritage. She is a hands-on teacher who provides more than just new information and offers new experiences that can be applied to many aspects of your life.
Some topics she handles include essential oils, beauty, and traditional plant workshops, traditional tea workshops; and mineral bath soak workshops.
In late 2020, Carrie published her book and Red Alberta Bestseller, Mother Earth Plants for Health & Beauty: Indigenous Plants, Traditions and Recipes, with Eschia Books. It features recipes for teas, soaps, bath products, balms, and lotions. The ingredients for all these products are wild edible and medicinal plants that can be collected from the prairies. The book became a finalist in the Trade Non-Fiction category for the Alberta Book Publishing Awards.
Mother Earth Essential uses the learning from grandmothers, elders, and medicinal people with Carrie Armstrong’s experience as a teacher to pass on Indigenous knowledge. To know more about their products and workshops, visit their website at https://motherearthessentials.ca/.
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