Tell us how you all met? How did the idea of Women’s Heritage come to life?
We met at our children’s preschool. We went on a family trip to the mountains together and began talking about how we wanted to learn one another’s skills and from there Women’s Heritage was born. We held our first class on sourdough bread baking and it sold out within minutes of posting it! The day was so magical, we knew we were onto something. From there we began a blog to share our how to’s, recipes and inspirations. We are also so excited to announce we are opening a homesteading supply store this fall in Carpinteria, California.
Define homestead and what it means in relation to Women’s Heritage?
Homesteading has different meanings to different people. To us in this modern age, homesteading means self-sufficiency, and learning how to make things from scratch like generations before us did. Connecting to the land, food, animals, community and learning where things come from is empowering for ourselves and for our families. We strive to bring women together to resurrect the traditions and crafts of the past while encouraging a feeling of sisterhood and support.
What was the moment when you realised that this was something worth sharing, that there was a growing need for this type of support and circle of learning for women?
We ourselves wished to have more time to be with other women and learn from one another. Each class leaves us with a feeling of fulfillment and knowledge. We’ve created traditions within our classes to connect and learn more about each person. There is no feeling better than learning something among supportive women and everyone leaves with something they created in their hands.
Perhaps there might have been a time say in the 80’s and 90’s were these skills were socially given little value, and if anything, dismissed as being “domestic”. Why is it now you think women are gravitating back to these more traditional skills and giving them the respect and platform they deserve?
It’s a pushback! We feel that over the decades, modern conveniences have been helpful, but because of them we’ve forgotten we can actually hand make much of what we need if we so choose. There is a big movement of wanting to reconnect to the natural world around us and the things we are putting in and on our bodies, possibly because we are becoming more aware of the impact food and preservatives in skincare have on our health and well being. The skills we teach are part of our heritage, and were passed down for generations until relatively recently. We want to reestablish that connection, bring women together in learning, and empower people through independence and interdependence.
I know I cannot survive as a healthy human, a generous partner or sane mother without my immediate community of women. How important is community is to WH?
Community is at the heart of Women’s Heritage! Teaching and learning, sharing and growing in friendship are all pillars of why we started our business. We together are more than the sum of our parts!
Have you been surprised by the response and interest to what you are all doing?
We have been very pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic response! We have made so many good friends and learned so much, having lots of fun along the way.
What role has motherhood played, if any, in the decision to seek out and nurture these forgotten skills and crafts?
Motherhood has ignited a passion for learning new skills that we can bring home and use to create a wholesome and fun environment for our families. Baking bread, planting the garden, making herbal medicines – these things are even more enjoyable when shared with our children! Becoming mothers encouraged each of us to really start living healthy lifestyles.
I feel definitely that I have made no room in my life at present to discover new passions, new skills outside of my career and this makes me sad. What would you say to the sisterhood out there who feel overwhelmed or intimated by making such changes in their everyday life or might not feel so confident seeking out such a community?
It takes much less time than you might think! One afternoon of learning can offer years of inspiration. And even if you don’t continue a newly learned skill right away, it is made forever accessible and you can include the aspects that work for you in your home.
What do you look for when deciding on a skill share workshop?
We hold workshops on subjects we are passionate about, or new skills that we are dying to learn ourselves.
What does the future hold for WH?
We are really excited to announce the opening of a retail store – “Heritage Goods & Supply” in Carpinteria, CA, coming this August. Our store will feature a curated assortment of apparel, goods, and supplies for the urban homesteader – man, woman and child, and we will also have a teaching and learning space where we will host workshops.
Ashley Moore | FOLK HERBALIST
Describe the difference between a straight up herbalist and a folk herbalist?
There are so many different types of herbalists – folk herbalists, clinical herbalists, community herbalists, professional herbalists, wise-woman herbalists… I like the title “folk herbalist” for what I do. I do not have a practice, and I rarely sell my medicines. It feels good to me to be able to offer healing help as a gift, to share what I’ve learned and to learn from others through classes or meeting for tea, and to keep myself and my family feeling healthy and happy with the earth’s medicine.