We had the good fortune of connecting with Madison D’Arezzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madison, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
The essential oil and cannabis industries are arguably some of the most heavily marketed products of our recent times. Interestingly enough, both of these industries are also famous for using misleading information, and confusing terminology to navigate the grey area marketplace with sub par products. Starting with essential oils- pure, authentic plant essence typically extracted through steam distillation. Pure essential oils express the essence and vitality of the botanical which it was extracted from, keeping an ancient practice of botanical alchemy alive, of course when done properly. You can also purchase many essential oils in box retail stores, and can end up with a very “lifeless” product, to say the least. Synthetic, factory made blends of isolated constituents such as the ones that appear in essential oils, can be finely formulated to represent (in smell, and chemical composition) the essential oil which they are trying to replicate. Many people mindlessly, or consciously purchase these oils to use at home or within their business, and are completely unaware of the lack of life force in those products, and the addition of harmful chemicals and synthetic materials.
The cannabis industry is quite similar- for one the industries overlap, (cannabis produces include many botanical ingredients as well, of which the quality is not always concerned). Cannabis itself a botanical, it also must be treated with respect and care throughout the process of growing, harvesting, and processing in order to deliver the most effective plant medicine. For example, if a hemp plant is sowed in an area with poor soil quality and high heavy metal content, it will suck those heavy metals up through its roots to use as food, which results in a metal contaminated cannabis flower. Farmers may also spray the plant material with pesticides, or feed them non-organic nutrients. These products as well, will end up in the cannabis plant, and will then be concentrated in the extraction process before ending up in a final product.
All in all, it is most important to source cannabis, and all botanical ingredients with absolute care and thought for the planet, the plants, and the people involved in this process. Fair trade is a concern with many globally sourced oils, although not much of a problem when concerning the USA cannabis industry. We live in a time where it is quite easy to manipulate the marketing field, and use fancy images and fonts to create an appealing health and wellness product for clients, which may be laced with harmful chemical pesticides, toxins, and unauthentic plant materials.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a Certified Aromatherapist, much of my work consists of custom blends and product development for massage therapists and holistic practitioners. Every person has their own unique makeup, which includes a variety of different preferences, health conditions, spiritual practices, emotional triggers and memories. Scent has an undeniable reputation for its ability to trigger memories (for example, you smell something at the store which immediately makes you think of a loved family member). When using essential oils for emotional or spiritual purposes, having a connection to the scent and actually enjoying it is a key factor for clients to want to use their product.
When it comes to massage therapy and transdermal application for physical & pain relief purposes, essential oils have a variety of mechanisms and therapeutic properties from which we can benefit; including their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and skin regenerating properties. Choosing the right essential oil blend for the physical condition is important when facilitating healing- for example, if looking to apply oils for healing a scar, one might use a variety of herbal infused oils in addition to essential oils like rosemary, lavender, frankincense, or helichrysum- all which have an affinity to the skin, and promote tissue regeneration. If using the topical for a sprained and inflamed ankle, however, one might choose different anti-inflammatory and pain relieving oils such as copaiba balsam, peppermint, clove, yarrow, or spike lavender.
The ability to formulate custom blends and offer clients a way to have a choice and influence on the development of their own product sets me aside from brands with general products offered on the shelves, and I have my education to thank for this ability. Through taking several courses through the Aromatic Studies Institute, LabCannamist, and NW School of Aromatic medicine, I have developed a keen sense for oils, and understand their chemical makeup and individual physical and spiritual properties. This took years of practices, studying online, in person, reading books, and most importantly working hands on with plants and essential oils for me to feel comfortable and confident in working with these amazing botanical materials. I’ve learned that the world of marketing and holistic therapies is often ridden with misguided information, and being transparent and honest is the only way to attract the right clients and customers for you- ones that understand and respect your process, respect the plant world, and are willing to make their own lifestyle changes which will play the biggest role in their own healing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In Arizona, it’s a pleasure to visit Sedona! A bit of a drive from Phoenix, this place has the ability to feel like home away from home for many people. It offers incredible hikes, views, and outdoor experience you cant find elsewhere.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many different teachers, workshops, and mentors have led me to the point where I am at today, and allowed me room to grow. I would specifically like to thank the CWE (Center for Women Enterprises), an organization that women like myself have access in Rhode Island. The CWE offers programs for women entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or growing their business, and offers mentor services, workshops, financial planning and grant access.
Right before the COVID shutdown began in 2020, I took a Business Plan development course with the CWE. I had already been in business for two years, but had never written a business plan for myself, and did not really know what it entailed. Developing a business plan gave me the opportunity to express my goals on paper, and even helped me really understand what I wanted for my business and to plan for the future (which, of course juristically changed before my eyes after the course). This program also gave me access to mentors I still talk with today, who give me their honest feedback and professional opinion which I deeply respect.
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