I grew up on a farm, situated in the woods, in a small town called Washburn, WI. Our quaint little town overlooked Lake Superior. I grew up climbing trees, running through rows of corn stalks, and laying in fields of wheat. If I close my eyes, I am instantly taken back to that place. To me, this is what freedom tangibly feels like: gazing up at the vast blue sky, the smell of earth below me, the cool breeze against my skin. The beauty of simplicity. Taking in every breath.
Then I graduated high school, moved to Minneapolis, MN, and went to school at the Aveda Institute. This dream of being in the fashion industry was instilled from a young age. What drew me to it was the ability to make people look and feel their absolute best. If anyone didn’t feel beautiful, I wanted to lift the veil from their eyes and allow them to gaze at who they were created to be. I love it! I started out doing hair, and quickly realized I wanted to learn all of the modalities. Simultaneously, I went through training at M.A.C and worked in the makeup world. I learned quickly and had a goal of doing hair and makeup for NYC Fashion Week. I trained with the best of the best. From Nick Arrojo to photoshoots for winners of Project Runway.
Shortly after this time, I was introduced to yoga. I loved the way I felt after practicing yoga, and I wanted to learn everything I could. I signed up for yoga teacher training through Corepower Yoga and began teaching. At the same time, I became the Spa Director at Corepower Yoga and worked as an Esthetician. The skincare industry fascinated me. I enjoyed helping people with their skincare concerns and making their skin feel refreshed and rejuvenated. After working in the skincare industry for a few years, I started paying attention to ingredients and strong chemicals that majority of skincare companies were using and how it was affecting people’s skin and livelihood.
I met an amazing guy, named Armin Assadi, that I told my friends I was going to marry after our first date. He was Persian, and he taught this farm girl from WI to be cultured. I instantly fell in love with him and his culture from the food, to the traditions, to his family. We ended up getting married and that was the best decision I ever made. He makes me better every day and I’m so grateful he chose me.
Three years after getting married and two miscarriages later, I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). I had a hormonal imbalance and was working tirelessly through various diets to try and balance it so I could get pregnant. (Little did I realize at the time, but many of the skincare and body care products I was using contained hormone disrupting chemicals.)
Finally, I ended up getting pregnant, and in 2015, a beautiful miracle baby girl with dark curly hair and bright eyes entered our world. She still lights up a room whenever she walks into it. She rocked our world and introduced me to Motherhood. A year and a half after she was born, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby girl. We were over the moon excited and felt so blessed and honored to raise two beautiful girls.
Three weeks after our second baby girl was born, I was awake early one morning and decided to meditate and pray as my baby slept next to me. As I started praying that morning, a simple thought popped into my mind. I felt the urge to look up how essential oils were made and that I was supposed to pay attention to the waste product they left behind.
Needless to say, I quickly googled the process and shortly thereafter figured out that the waste product was called “Hydrosol.” Hydrosol is usually a discarded byproduct of essential oils. I absorbed every bit of knowledge I could find about Hydrosols, and ended up taking an online course through the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies with Cathy Skipper. I felt this instant connection to my childhood as soon as I started studying Hydrosols and plant material. It felt familiar, grounding, and energetic.
With the realization and vastness of Hydrosols, this dream developed in my heart. I visualized creating an organic skincare, haircare, bodycare, baby line, and so much more. A line that was for everyone, a line that moms didn’t have to worry about reading the label to know if it was safe for their children or not. A line that women trying to get pregnant or struggling with infertility and hormonal imbalance could trust wasn’t putting harmful chemicals in their systems. I literally feel like I’m watching all of my 15 years in the hair, skincare, makeup, and fashion industry come together in this moment. It helps that my stepfather is a forester and works for the DNR, my mother is in the fashion industry and owns a salon, I have two brothers that are chemical engineers, and another that is a biologist, and my husband is a serial-entrepreneur. After sharing this dream with my family, they quickly jumped on board with helping me. My brother, Luke, built a still on our parents land and we started distilling. These first moments, I will never forget. I had just birthed a baby, but I had also birthed a business and a dream. I watched my life experiences coming together like the finest tapestry that I couldn’t have planned on my own. Santosha Co. was born. A dream was birthed. Join me on this journey...