Getting to Know Jarah O'Brien [Jarah's Naturals]

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Tell me about your work: How did you get started?

I have always been drawn to amazing home fragrances and bath and body products. While I have enjoyed fragrances found in various major brands, I have not always liked the ingredients in them. I began to consider combining my passion for quality fragrance with my passion for nature and pure, natural ingredients. I began making natural bath and body items at home for personal use as a hobby. My family and friends encouraged me to consider making a business out of my creations, and slowly but surely, here I am! What is your favorite part of your work? As a mother, my time is very divided, and projects can easily be interrupted. While there never seems to be enough hours in a day, I like the flexibility of my schedule as an entrepreneur, so I can spend time doing what I love and being there for my family.

What has been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?

I can't do it all, and that is okay. I wish I could make every scent of every variation of every product, but it is just not possible while running a one-woman production. Also, wearing yourself thin can take the joy out of creating. Everything is made in small batches, and my time is often spent focused on my family's needs, so I realized I needed to cut back on the number of products I was offering. Once I cut back and began to focus on making fewer items with great care, my joy in creating began to return.

How do you rejuvenate?

I find making my products helps give me some balance in my life. Creating gives me some "me-time" that is just for me and a break from life's other duties. When I need a break from making, I rejuvenate by spending time with my family, spending time in nature, or just being alone reading. Where do you find inspiration? Nature is a huge source of inspiration for me, but I think there is more to it than that. Fragrance has the power to set a mood and even bring back a special memory of a time, place, or person. I strive to help my customers find that special connection with a fragrance in a product handmade with pure, quality ingredients they can trust.

What is your best advice to women pursuing their passion?

Keep going. It is going to be hard, and you are going to feel like giving up sometimes. There will be ups and downs, but when you have the ups, they make it so worth it! There is nothing like having someone tell you what you made with your very heart & soul means to them. The heartfelt words of encouragement and positive feedback... hearing and then knowing you are making a difference, makes it all worth it.

Where is your favorite place in Central Illinois?

Any and all nature parks. Just drop me off at a trail through the woods for an adventure. Allerton Park is a really beautiful place to explore, because it not only has trails, but it has this unique history behind the mansion, gardens, grounds, statues, etc. It is just such a neat place to have here in central Illinois.

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