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Amy Thorton: The Woman Behind Birchstone Apothecary

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand.

Birchstone is a hydrosol distillery bringing fresh + local plants to your skincare cabinet. Hydrosols are aromatic waters extracted from fresh plant material. We hand-harvest plants from local farms + forests around the Massachusetts Southcoast then slowly steam distill our harvest until a gentle aroma-therapeutic water results.

lemon verbena hydrosol

These waters contain micro-particles of essential oils and are a gentle form of aromatherapy for children, pets, and those with sensitivities. Because of the slightly acidic pH, hydrosols make the most wonderful facial mist.

What inspired you to start your brand or craft?

I wanted to personally connect to plants that supported my healing journey. From there, it expanded to become a business where I can share plant-based gifts with others.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

I agonized over a business name for the better part of a year. It was not an easy process- naming is a challenge for me still to this day. One morning, I was about to write an email and ‘Birchstone’ just popped into my head. To me, it is a lovely reminder of the birch trees and mountainous/rocky regions I grew up exploring in New Hampshire.

What does an average day look like?

Though no day is the same as the one before, distillation days are a good representation of my overall work. I’ll wake up early, get myself grounded for the day, and head out to harvest. As soon as harvesting is done, I head home to get the plants into the still ASAP. The afternoon + evening are spent tending to the still, working in the garden, and enjoying the outdoors.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Distilling a new plant and smelling its hydrosol for the first time!

When you’re creating do you have a person in mind?

My higher self :)

When was your business founded and how has it evolved over time?

Birchstone was officially founded in 2018, though I had worked on it for the year prior. I have always had a small range of skin and body products that feature local plants but the hydrosols have really become our core offering.

Are there any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?

There is rarely a day without challenges. Some notable challenges for me, however, include embracing challenges as a beneficial thing necessary for growth, and learning to balance scheduling + going with the flow.

What is one piece of advice you have for a female entrepreneur just starting out?

Start today. Do one thing that sets your project in motion even if you’re not 100% clear on what your project is. The momentum from taking one small step, then another, and another, will bring you clarity way faster than planning, strategizing, and goal-setting ever will! Start doing

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