How did you two meet?
S: Nitsa was my first friend when I moved to Santa Barbara. We met just after Sun Potion was created. She loved the Chlorella and Dulse, and we got together occasionally to sell her product. Over the following years, the friendship eventually evolved into a relationship. About six months after getting together, Nitsa began helping with some of the creative aspects of the brand. It has been wonderful to see life, love, and the business evolve together.
N: I became a customer of the first incarnation of Sun Potion. As an excited and grateful fellow health-food freaks, Scott and I connected easily and soon became good friends over the foods. I used to order everything in bulk and Scott would give me a super sweet deal, which, naturally I loved.
You not only have a thriving business together, but you’re also engaged. What’s the secret to your successful partnership?
S: Willingness to learn from mistakes and move forward quickly. The business and our relationship could both be characterized as one huge learning process of “figuring it out.” It’s not always easy, and may not be for the faint of heart, yet I have found our mix of relationship and business to be a huge positive. It’s very gratifying to share passions for food, beauty, and being of service. Sun Potion is a great vehicle for us to express these passions in a shared and positive way.
N: Staying open, loving, and at the same time intentional, focused and clear.
As a couple who runs a business together, how do you divide up responsibilities?
S: We each have our specific roles in the business. This is absolutely key. There was chaos while we were both trying to offer opinions on how the other ought to carry out their role. Now it’s much easier because I don’t question her decisions about photography, marketing, etc. Likewise, I get to own my responsibilities on the business and operations end of things. These roles exist in writing, and are as clear as possible. It is very freeing to be able to take ownership, as well as trust that the other will follow through on the pieces they have committed to.
N: While we tend to consult each other at least 20+ times a day, I am responsible for the creative and art direction, whereas Scott oversees all of the sourcing, management, wholesale and retail, finances, and beyond! At the end of the day, he is the boss. I run everything by him before takeoff… most of the time.
And how do you work it out if you don’t agree on how to handle something business related?
S: Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we have to remind each other of the roles that we each have. Sometimes we may even have to go back to our written agreement of the roles. Fortunately, we both love Sun Potion and each other a lot. We both hold extremely high standards of what we expect from ourselves, and the other. All of this carries over into our shared excitement and commitment to bringing best quality, transformational foods and experiences to as many people as possible.
N: Ummm… No comment?! Except. I recently took up boxing…. It helps.
Is it difficult working with someone all day then going home with them at night?
S: Spaciousness = Graciousness. It is very important we both have our own spaces to work, relax, and do our own things. We have offices in separate locations, and find ways to create space. We both have plenty to do for the business, and each of us places a high priority on taking care of ourselves. When we do come together, this makes it much easier to spend time together as a couple.
N: Not at all, it’s amazing.
How do you spend time separately?
S: I am pretty into the active car culture in Santa Barbara. I see car friends for a few hours on Sunday mornings, I participate in shows and charitable car rallies, and have a membership at a really nice car clubhouse called The Hangar. The weather and the roads in the area are conducive to beautiful drives. I have to admit that I also watch car videos in the evenings sometimes.
N: Open musing, photography, reading or writing poems, watercolor, going to the cinema, spending time with my amazing women friends, visiting museums … I love taking myself on little solo adventures to explore new gardens or galleries when we travel.
When did you get into wellness? What aspects drew you into it?
S: The main seduction into wellness has been ways to feel really, really good. There are so many ways to take care of one’s self, and nurture wellness–taking time for a walk, acknowledging a friend, or enjoying a wholesome meal. I have been fascinated with plants and nature since a young age. Having these herbs every day is a way of interacting with nature very directly. Plants and humans understand each other and go way back. I have found a lot of wellness through my connection with nature and plants. This is eventually where Sun Potion was started from.
N: I was raised by pretty holistic parents, my father is an acupuncturist and doctor of Oriental Medicine and my mother (and grandmother!) are totally into the organic, whole-foods diet and herbal medicine cabinet, so I feel grateful to have been brought into this world at a young age… however, working with my own nervous system imbalances (with anxiety and depression) sort of compelled and now inspire me to continue my commitment to holistic health and wellbeing… every day I am inspired by how effective intelligent nourishment and an awareness in consciousness can be!
You both seem like real seekers when it comes to wellbeing and spirituality, have you always been that way?
S: I am a spiritual being. My current practice is business. Previously, I explored many avenues of spiritual sight seeing. Most of that was for fun, and from a desire to be a well rounded human. If business becomes complicated or stressful, this background in spirituality allows me to drop into another space and know how to address a situation. It seems very subconscious. There’s a knowingness that everything will work out for the best.
N: Hmm…. when I was younger (in high school then college) I used to hang out at this Hindu monastery…. I would get super high off of meditation and yoga. and ayurvedic foods…. so I imagine that that could have been an indication of my life’s direction and deeply rooted preferences…. this being said, I have definitely experienced a few dark-night-of-the-soul moments if you will… which have also inspired and expanded my connection to Spirit, in their unique way. I had a major awakening while I was deeply committed to a very structured, spiritual path and one day, amidst the thick of it, I realized that what I really wanted was to be free as an artist, and that was my most sincere experience of joy on this planet… that single idea cracked open my whole world.
How has your mental and physical state changed since adopting the lifestyle you have now?
N: Much more relaxed, steady, grounded… albeit with moments of intensity and seeming neurosis, but I aim to channels those energies in a positive and productive way when they come.
Do you have any daily practices? How do you incorporate these practices into your everyday life?
S: I notice how I am breathing throughout the day. I eat Sun Potion herbs daily. I take a morning walk, even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes. I hope that everything in my life is a practice. In that sense, there hasn’t been much to incorporate. It’s all just there, doing it’s thing.
N: Tea. and… #APOTIONADAY
Can you tell us a little bit about your daily self care rituals?
S: I drink tea, eat Sun Potion herbs in liquid, have an afternoon snack and evening dinner. GMO status, Organic, and other basic standards of humane consumption are a given. I love spending time driving on a winding canyon road (with the top down and the exhaust loud). I love spending time alone at my office. I love moving inventory around with the forklift. It’s a really fun life. The secret is that when I’m feeling amazing, it’s always more about caring for others than it is about self-care.
N: Every morning when I wake up I open my palms to the sky (aka ceiling) and make my body wide and soft, and then, in this relaxed and halfway dreaming state, I like to articulate all my gratitudes to myself…. sometimes I use this time to process any remains from the dream state ….it feels like a magical and deeply nourishing way to come into the waking world and sets a tone of gratitude for the whole day.
Do you identify as someone who feels mystical? How does that relate to beauty for you?
S: Sun Potion is an expression of my mystical self. Beauty comes with attention to detail and quality. I want the best for myself and for others. It still amazes me that all of these mystical plants are available through the brand. It can be a real trip to notice the relationships that can be experienced with each of these plants. Things can get mystical quickly. If you’re open to it.
N: I am not certain how mystical I may be, though I do find myself attracted to mystical people.
What does a typical day look like for you?
S: I get up around 7 or 8, have tea and herbs, and enjoy being at home for an hour or two. Then I am working on my phone or computer. I move around a lot, and take time to drive on nice roads. I work from my office, and visit the nearby warehouse each day. I do a daily downtown loop to the mailbox, bank, etc. In the evening, I take a sauna, eat really nice food, and relax. I talk with my parents and a short list of business friends on an almost daily basis. Nitsa and I check in throughout the day, and make a point to have dinner together. It’s a very nice, often smooth, and always very productive schedule.
N: My schedule is full yet fluid. Generally something along the lines of: tea. potion. photos. emails. stretching. writing or more photos. meetings. tutting about the house. yoga / hike / some form of creativity or movement. sauna. shopping at the farmer’s market or local health food store to pick up vittles. making dinner. eating dinner with Scott. relaxing / reading / self-care. sleep. If I am traveling or on a deadline this all flies out the window. But I always drink tea and herbs. Every day. Everywhere I go.
Do you have a go-to tonic at the moment? Can you share the recipe?
S: My favorite these days is Reishi by the spoonful. Sometimes I just eat it. Other times, I’ll have it in warm tea. I love it.
N: Rhodiola in water — BRAIN ACTIVATION!!!
What does beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty mean to you?
S: Inside out. If we’re well inside, there’s no way to hide the beauty that shines through.
N: “A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever” – Keats
Top five picks from CAP?
S: 1.) Kerrilynn and Cindy (is that one or two?) 2.) Acupuncture sessions 3.) Seeing friends at the seasonal Sun Potion workshops 4.) Getting to hang with John, Kerrilynn’s husband 5.) CAP feeling super welcoming, clean, supportive, and next level. I love it when a group of people decide to be awesome together!
N: Impossible! Really, I am always thrilled / frankly surprised to see how Kerrilynn and Cindy have (almost psychically) manifested the entire contents of my purse and apothecary cabinet into one place… after years of diligent research and experimentation in the holistic wellness and beauty sphere, they have truly nailed it – and I am so grateful! this being said… and if absolutely hard pressed, I would have to pick 7 items: Reishi Mushroom CAP Matcha Shiva Rose Beauty Balm The Reishi Gheenache from ZenBunni Living Libations Maiden Fern Blushing Balm La Tierra Sagrada Hair Oil The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck OK… and the ROOT TREATMENT. I got this last fall. Hands-down the best spa/ facial experience ever. Crystal is pure magic!