We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Clemmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I really love when people ask me this question, because the answer has a somewhat fractal quality in that each aspect of the answer, when observed closely, contains an endless string of synchronicities, realizations and pivotal moments. The process can be outlined with a few key qualities. First, our family life transitioned, which opened me up to stepping into a new level of service to humanity. From there, we assessed some of the biggest issues facing the planet within our field of expertise, complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM), and set about creating solutions. We always kept in mind the idea that the bigger and more audacious your goal, the easier it is to accomplish. With foundational values rooted in a 360 degree view of the change we want to see in this world, we put ourselves to work. I graduated from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Medicine in 2002, which was an incredible program that really balanced clinical herbalism, wildcrafting, medicine making, nutrition…this school had it all. Since that time I have maintained a solid and consistent practice, always deepening my studies with continuing education and apprenticeships, and in recent years I have begun teaching at conferences including the American Herbalists Guild. However, when I had my children I felt strongly that my top priority was to be present for them and with my husband’s support I made mothering my primary occupation. The last ten years with my children has been such a powerful time of growth for me, as a clinician and as a human. I think we have only brought our children in for medical treatment a few times, in the most dire circumstances, and as an herbalist my ability to treat babies and children has become really excellent. I also learned to balance the need for a comprehensive team of practitioners, medical doctors, herbalists, acupuncturists, massage therapists—I got over a lot of the preconceptions I held as a young renegade. One of the deepest transformations and direct aspects that lead to my current work was spending those years looking into the mirror of my own soul through the eyes of my children. As I worked to model for them kindness, patience, compassion, intuition, how to manage difficult emotions, and how to recognize that the only limits they have in life are the ones they create for themselves, I found myself going through such an incredible transformation that I hardly recognize who I used to be. I dove deeper into women’s health through continuing education, sought out more certifications in evidence based medicine like Dr. Aviva Romm’s Women’s Functional and Integrative Medicine program, we took business classes, and perhaps most importantly my husband and I began really looking at ourselves to discern who it is that we have to become to accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves. Out of that inner work came a level of understanding, a recognition that everything truly is perfectly unfolding. In that we learned to trust and relax, allowing things to unfold in their innate perfection, and connect to a sense of understanding that is greater than any individualistic program. From this place, as things unfolded, our purpose became clear. While modern medicine has made unparalleled advances in technology and information, it is no secret that we are experiencing a health crisis in this country. The pandemic not withstanding, nearly half of our population is either type 2 diabetic or pre-diabetic, obesity rates are staggering. According to the CDC “about 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.” www.cdc.gov The universe began to shift around our intentions to create solutions to the staggering health issues we are experiencing, and seemingly from out of nowhere we received an opportunity to start an herbal apothecary. We said great, but that is not enough. We began applying this vision into our apothecary, watching the seed sprout and unfold. We looked at other things that really compliment the work. To be more specific, my clinical herbalism and functional medicine practice and my husband’s health coaching practice are great, but to create a thriving ecosystem we required greater diversity. It became clear that having a variety of practitioners all working in a supportive and complimentary serves many functions. It increases our ability to serve the public, creates a social and clinical support system for other practitioners and brings more people through the doors of the apothecary. Both my husband and I have been through the growing pains and struggles of growing our practices. We wanted to create a system that made it easy for practitioners to flourish without having to spend all of their free time posting on Facebook, and Instagram, learning how to market, how to run a business…all of these things diminish a healer’s ability to engage in their passion, which is being a practitioner. So we thought, what if we could create a system where practitioners could just plug into our system, without losing their autonomy. Basically we set up our business so that as practitioners become a part of our team, they can use our office software, including billing, scheduling, website creation and maintenance, advertising, tax management, and financial planning while still having their own LLC., if they want it. Basically, we figured out as many of the hang-ups for practitioners as possible, the things that they waste their time and energy doing to try and build a practice, and we are making it all a simple plug-in for them so they can spend their time working with clients, and enjoying their lives. Our foundational value is that all endeavors are primarily vehicles of personal growth, for ourselves, our employees and our clients. If we are not helping people to become better, healthier, happier versions of themselves, we are off course. We decided that our clients are twofold, our practitioners and our traditional clients, and we are consciously cultivating an atmosphere of health, support and awesomeness for both clinicians and clients. We are offering practitioners the opportunity for personal growth and continued education. We are creating an atmosphere where improving the health and spiritual, physical and psychological wellbeing of those who are part of the team is our principle objective, where the goal is to cultivate and grow happy, well-rounded practitioners. Clearly, our success with clients will naturally follow. Next, we are setting the standard of making the most advanced and cutting edge therapeutic technology in the industry available to the general public for affordable rates. Our goal, is to make our services affordable for everyone. We are currently building some hyperbaric chambers, we bought a float tank, some ear cleaning tools (this is a big hit), oxygen concentrators, infrared saunas, we are putting in a halo therapy room, introducing IV therapy, and we have special rates for veterans and geriatric communities, are creating membership deals, and doing everything we can to make our services available to everyone who needs them. Also, we have created multiple programs to empower people in groups over a period of weeks, months and even years to make the changes in their lives they have been struggling to make for so long. This is all still just the tip of the iceberg. We have audacious goals, and what I have been sharing so far is just what we are doing right now. Here is a glimpse where we are going. We aim to completely re-invent the face of healthcare in this country and the entire world by 2040. This means we aim to have health centers in every town and city in the union, and thousands of international locations as well. We aim to have an incredible online presence, and emerge as a leader with the growing necessity for clients and practitioners to connect remotely. We will offer tons of content, and partner with other organizations who share our vision. Furthermore, we aim to change the culture of healthcare in this country, to re-empower people around health. We will help the culture to pivot to preventative maintenance, educated choices, and support networks. Insurance companies are already moving in this direction, the climate is ready to make the transition but the inertia of the current system is so great, a new pathway needs to open lest we continue along the same course. Also, we aim to create a new dynamic of medical education and innovation. We envision that there will be schools around the world that house multiple disciplines and paradigms of medicine, all under one roof, informing each other, refining each other. The synergy of these brilliant minds coming together with the goal of cooperative growth will create the conditions for a new paradigm of human medicine. We are very excited about our little apothecary, Tendril Apothecary and Healing Center. We are open to receiving inspired individuals and other visionaries who want to join our cause, and we greatly appreciate your invitation to share our work with your readers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a certified herbalist and graduate of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, specializing in Wise Woman Traditions. With my education in Functional and Integrative healing, I develop restorative protocols with diet and nutrition at the core. I am always striving to create a space for my clients with a compassionate heart and an open mind. I want to hear what they have to say about their lives and their health. When developing my protocols I draw from traditional herbal medicine, Mayan healing techniques, Functional and Integrative modalities, and North American indigenous healing practices. I keep in mind that physical, psychological, and spiritual issues are at the root cause for disease, and that these systems are integrated and inseparable.
What sets me apart from other practitioners is that I am always listening to my heart, walking the beauty way to the best of my ability with integrity, finding the medicine within myself, and helping others do the same. It’s important to honor the very first healers and the way they learned how to use the environment to ease their own ailments. They did this with courage and a connection to everything, which can be a powerful complement to modern medicine. Like our ancestors, I believe the earth, the moon, and the plants teach me to live in this world as a healing friend and helping women. I celebrate the stories of so many medicine women and channel the songs of the plants. I use the old ways married with modern functional medicine tools to support my clients. Together, we create a path into balance.
I want people to feel that they have the ability and support to make a change in their own health and know they have choices. I want my clients to empower themselves with a plethora of practitioners, doctors, nutritionists, and therapists who aid as a partner in health. My clients can feel proactive, and have a platform to be heard, feeling safe to voice what they know to be true about their own bodies. I want people to feel like they are coming home when they step into the apothecary and healing center and rejoice in their ability to choose a health care provider who will support them on the path to healing. I want to help my clients hire a team of practitioners that will weave a web of connection and community navigating a comprehensive course to their ultimate health and well being. The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child and I think it also takes a village to continue that care of one another beyond childhood. It’s our responsibility, as members in our neighborhoods and communities, to take care of one another and support each other especially in times of suffering and illness. In my practice and in the Tendril Herbal Apothecary and Healing Center we don’t turn people away, we embody the idea for a health care system that has love and compassion as the principle directive.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love to hang out in Boulder when it was more available, pre Corona, going to the Southern Sun, or the Mountain Sun. They have the best beer and burgers. We would go hiking to any of the amazing trails in the foothills. Walking Pearl street and go to Nature’s Own to check out the stones and relics fun. I love visiting Lighthouse Book Store and then the ice cream shop upstairs. We would check out a talk at the Boulder Book Store, and the last stop would be an old favorite the Pearl Street Pub for the local nightlife.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out to all my herbal mentors, Miss Beatrice Waight, Ann Drucker for teaching me wise woman healing traditions. Thank you to my husband Henry for always supporting me on the ever changing path. To my parents and family for all your support. Love you all.
Yelp: Laura Clemmons