Special Feature A Tinderbox product is born IT MIGHT BE interesting to talk about how a Tinderbox product comes into being, from subtle idea to its unique, aromatic and useful material form on the shelf. First of all, preceding the ‘birth’; there has been much observation of the current zeitgeist to ascertain what is desired, what is needed and what could make someone feel a whole lot better from the plant world for this age in time. We visualise a relevant ideal; a completely natural product that offers something distinct to what is currently available; something original, efficacious and wholesome. Then comes the investigation into what plants could be of service and how they will affect the multi-layered holistic human organism. This is not a chore; rather it is quite satisfying to put all those 35 years of herbal experience to good work; knowing the plants themselves makes it very real. This launches a period of experimentation, trialling formulas and ‘testing on willing humans’ to observe how they react and respond with mindful deliberation over the choice of plant extracts for their efficacy, texture and smell. A product might sit on the desk percolating in our consciousness for some time before it realises completion. Meanwhile, amongst a small creative design group, the feeling tone of the product is sensed and it is considered how we might convey the underlying message - the raison d’être for the product through visuals and packaging, to highlight the integrity of the pure plant product itself.
Art and Artisans How blessed we are to have a gifted artist doing our drawing and excellent graphic artisans bringing it all life on the labels. Then comes the challenging task of sourcing the best quality raw materials and the tedious but necessary costing; it doesn’t work without this foundational attention. When it all comes together; a blend and scent that has met everyone’s approval, an attractive, functional container, a compelling yet compliant label with imagery and message that tells a singular story of humans interconnected with Nature; it is quite exciting. Production happens next in our wonderful lab, with lovely people blending, filling, packing and storing so that eventually the new and complete products will lie in wait to be brought to the greater community on the shelves of our own Tinderbox shop in Balingup, then amongst other select small businesses who sell our products. Even after all these years, to see the new product displayed in the shop to greet everybody always brings a fresh thrill, especially knowing that the original spiritual intention has been encapsulated in each product.
Abundant Spirit On the walls of each Tinderbox work area, written in Sanskrit, is our mantra: “Lokha samasta, sukhino bhavantu” (may all beings be free from suffering) which reminds our small Tinderbox community why we do what we do and to do it in this very spirit. The abundant wholesomeness of the Tinderbox environment is not taken for granted. Bins, vats and jars brim with riches from the plant world, pungent with healing potency; that is our wealth for which we have gratitude. It is still a delight to see a large pot filled with real plant materials, all coalescing and transforming into something helpful and meaningful. It is just as gratifying to see little piles of certain chosen products being carefully packed into boxes to be sent out into the big world, each carrying implicit scented blessings to bring a little joy and inspiration into the home where it will eventually land. The business itself is a distillation of 35 wonderful years: hunting and gathering, study, herb growing, concocting, smelling, liaising, listening, helping people, travel and design. This is infused with years of spiritual practice, study, dance, yoga, teaching and unerring passion. Tinderbox has attracted some extraordinary people over the years, who have contributed to its eclectic, distinct and ever-evolving personality, one that will not be pigeonholed. To step into the Tinderbox is to discover an unusual juncture, an ambient pulse point that intersects old-world charm and new-world mood. In our curious little shop that is nestled amidst a quirky garden, you will find artworks and old treasured artefacts surrounding a bevy of exotically scented products that are entirely made from plants. Here is a different world in which to relax, explore and imbibe; an aromatic atmosphere that embraces you, beckoning you into a multi-faceted, sensual experience of smelling, learning, revelling and feeling to your heart’s content.
Feast for the senses Kind help is on hand, yet without any feeling of being overseen or hindered. The shop appears ‘tended to’ and carefully cultivated by thoughtful people who ensure that when someone walks through the door they will experience a veritable feast for the senses and want to linger and explore this enigmatic grimoire of philtres, elixirs, oils, incense and herbal formulae for the spiritual human being aspiring to evolve. Kindred spirits feel at home resonating with an omnipresent reminder of the intrinsic, irrevocable relationship that we humans share with the plants.
Lucious libations That is our success, people’s enjoyment and feeling that they have found something especially for them, something eminently life-affirming that will serve them well to take home and savour. Tinderbox is a fertile environment for learning and creativity; it produces poetic philtres, potent potions and luscious libations that effectively offer people a fragrant way to make their world more pleasurable, motivating and transformative. Products that respect and honour the human body as a sacred vessel that must carry around the precious soul for the duration of a lifetime; a lifetime that will inevitability be punctuated with suffering, loss and disappointment. Lives that will sweetly benefit from the small, subtle and significant support that pure plant products made with the special intent to enhance, comfort, inspire, uplift, bolster and nurture spiritual beings being human in a chaotic world.