Channeling Minerva

There are places from my childhood that I’ve been lucky enough to frequent in my adult years, but all good things must come to an end. Hey, that’s what memories are for. We all have the places that speak to us in either vivid imagery or the scent of baked goods, whether it be a Grandmother’s kitchen or a mossy path in the woods.

I have several of these tangible reminders of the past that sometimes revisit through a flash of color in my mind or via a fleeting scent in the air that never lingers for very long. But it’s the nostalgia-filled pockets of the past that come in the form of houses that have always resonated the most, at least for me. Houses speak to me, especially old ones. I have always imagined that I must have lived a past life where I cooked in a kettle hanging over a fire in a stone-walled kitchen with wooden beams (in England, of course). But I digress

One such wonderful, old house belonged to friends of my parents and was always on the horizon as the place I would buy when I was older, a structure that screamed history, dating back to the late nineteenth century, filled with stories of ghosts and the apple-scented Carolina Spice bushes tucked into garden nooks and, of course,wide-planked, creaky wooden floors. This was the house of my dreams. It defined comfort, soft luxury and old world charm to me. Someday it would be mine, or so I told myself.

Well, I may not have bought the house, but I did find a Carolina Spice bush to plant at my own house, and I have gone back to visit from time to time. This last time, however, was indeed the last time. It finally sold. The end of an era, another concrete indication of my age stamped in the form of a realtor’s sign.

And so, we went to have our last inhale of its charm…

As we were walking through the place one last time to take a few keepsakes, something funny happened. I started to tell the owner, a long-time family friend, of our new business venture. She’s entering into a new ‘life venture’ of her own, after all. She immediately led me down the hall to a built-in cabinet, and showed me this:

minerva1 minerva2

It turns out her Aunt, in the 40’s, started her own cosmetics company and did a little mail-order business out of her own shop in Philadelphia. Miss Minerva was quite popular, and she knew what she wanted in her products. She worked with a local chemist at the time to develop her formulas and that’s how Minerva Cosmetics was born.

Here I thought this do-it-yourself bath and body gig was a modern-day trend-of-sorts in a way, but I’m so glad to see that the roots run much deeper than that. More than that, I’m thrilled to learn about this woman who, in the 40’s, was brave and spirited enough to take on her dream.

I’m hoping to continue follow in Minerva’s footsteps and strive to be an innovative, creative, independent woman as we build our brand, bringing in not only our products, but perhaps some inspiration that will inspire other women to follow their own dreams. I’m not sure exactly what form that part will take yet, and I’m pretty sure a chemist is not the route we’ll need to take to get that part solidified, but I do know we’re on the right path.

I’ve been promised a peek at the ‘recipes’ if the old notebook of Minerva’s is located, so we’ll have to wait and see if it is recovered during the big move! How fun! Until then, I’ll try to channel my inner-Minerva and keep moving forward. Here’s to tapping into the past to unlock a few hints to the future!

Now go and get yourself a Carolina Spice–smells like apple pie!



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