Well Woman Series. Jolene Antle of Garden City Essentials
with Jolene Antle, the beauty behind Garden City Essentials
I will never forget when I first discovered Garden City Essentials. I didn’t know Jolene at the time, but had been told by so many people that I HAVE to check out this new natural skincare line. That was made locally, here in Niagara, by a woman. Speaking my language.
I went to one of her stockists at the time, and bought the entire line. I was so burnt out, I didn’t really have any rituals in place, and this was all showing up in my skin. We were learning, at the time in school, about the hidden ingredients in a lot of big department store skincare brands, the exact ones I was using at the time. I had become obsessed with living a more natural lifestyle and was slowly making the necessary adjustments in all of my products.
When Jolene opened up her shop on James St. in downtown St. Catharines, I couldn’t wait to get in. When walking into the space, it’s such a breath of fresh air. You feel this instant calm come over you, and Jolene is always so, so kind in helping you find whatever it is you need.
I am so honored to be working within this beautiful space as a naturopath alongside Jolene starting this September following her big 2nd year anniversary at 35 James St.
So, without further gushing! I’m so excited that Jolene is our featured Well Woman.
What made you pursue creating an all natural line?
I never really set out to create a natural skincare line, it happened organically after I began making products for myself, for fun, and wellness. I’ve always been a very sensory person, and someone who really dives all the way into what I’m doing. I’d gotten really interested in essential oils and herbal remedies and began making soaps and body butters. I became obsessed with researching and formulating with all these gorgeous ingredients, and my skin loved it.
At one point I had about 20 different soaps I’d made stacked up in the shower and no desire to slow down with making them, so I decided to try selling my products at a local farmers market. Folks were buying, and coming back for more! They were telling me how the products were helping them too, and that was all the encouragement I needed. Since the early market days, I created tons of products that didn’t make it beyond the studio, but my holistic skincare line has become my pride and joy and has been so well received. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve been shown and for the privilege to have been able to create this path for myself.
“..so I decided to try selling my products at a local farmers market. Folks were buying, and coming back for more! They were telling me how the products were helping them too, and that was all the encouragement I needed”
When did your personal journey with natural living really start?
My personal journey with natural living began in the early 2000s, after feeling unwell for a very long time. I had finally gotten a Hashimotos Thyroiditis diagnosis and prescribed synthroid (a synthetic thyroid hormone). This helped initially with the acute symptoms, but I continued to feel really poorly overall. I started to take control and overhaul my health in terms of cleaning up my environment, lifestyle and diet. I did a lot of research and realized that I had to get to the root cause of my autoimmune disease. I made lots of changes along the way, including medication changes and nutritional supplementation, but the biggest leap was to quit my 15-year long career and go back to school to study Holistic Nutrition and take GCE on full-time.
GCE has really become a hub for the zero waste movement, can you tell us more about this process?
This is something I’ve personally become extremely passionate about. Some of my most important acts of self-care, include my efforts to live more sustainably and lower my footprint at home and at work. Of course I’m not alone with my eco-anxiety and am so inspired by this movement and the folks in my community who want to do better for the environment. I want to be a trusted source for natural and sustainable alternatives. I’ve always tried to be the shop I wanted and needed in my own life, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve.
What’s your non negotiable self-care ritual that you can’t live without?
Sleep and down time. Early to bed for me, and I need my 8+ hours a night! I’ve also been super fortunate this last year to be able to take some extended stays at my cabin in Newfoundland. Connecting with family and nature and being able to work remotely has been so therapeutic and restorative for me. I get a renewed energy and some critical distance from the day to day and always come back so inspired. Writing that makes me need to express my gratitude and acknowledge my privilege.
I actually have a lot of non-negotiables when it comes to self-care, and I think struggling with and working my way through a chronic illness and finding wellness is the reason for that. Nutrition is huge (obviously), I buy mostly organic and buy in season from local farmers who grow organically. The Saturday Farmer’s Market here in St. Catharines is a favourite excursion and place I love. (I started out selling my skincare products there.)
My morning and night time skin care rituals are completely non-negotiable…the things I do are different each day, depending on what my skin needs, but will always include the combo of my Rose Geranium Facial Toner and Sea Buckthorn and Camellia Facial Serum.
I feel I may already know the answer to this one, but what’s your favourite Living Apothecary tea?
That’s not fair! I love them all! If I had to pick 3 though…Well Woman, Bye Bloat and the new girl, Vitalize (completely obsessed). I absolutely love these blends! But don’t make me pick just 3, Ok!