Lifestyle talk with Sarah from Corner Alchemy Apothecary


Welcome Sarah, thank you for being here with us today. As the creator of Corner Alchemy Apothecary, can you tell us a little bit more about why you started your brand and what your philosophy is towards your business? 

I am a permaculture designer and a bioregional herbalist so my Corner Alchemy Apothecary grew out of my extensive wildcrafting habit. I joke that I have "plant problems." As friends asked for custom herbal elixir formulas I began offering the blends to others. At Corner Alchemy Apothecary we believe that in each of us the seeds of our own healing already exist. Through the connection to Nature, healing emerges. 


We had the pleasure to work with some of your elixirs, I’m especially crazy about the Mellow Midnight and To The Sunrise. I’ve noticed that although they do their work gently, they are super powerful. True Earth medicine! But today I want to hear from you. If you were left in the woods with only one of your products, which product would you pick and why? 

Thank you!! Hard question, but my favorite elixir is To the Sunrise. It supports and sustains energy over long periods of time with Turmeric, Ginger, Astragalus and Eleuthero. The woods already calm down the nervous system, so I'd want something that can help me stay alert. And, it doesn't hurt that To the Sunrise is just delicious. Assuming I was left alone with glamping materials in the forest, I'd be sure to make a mocktail of Mineral Water and To the Sunrise. 


Here at our Nabalo headquarters we are deeply connected to Nature, she is the source of our creativity, our muse! Could you share with us what keeps you motivated and inspired? 

Corner Alchemy Apothecary and my permaculture design career focus around the connections between humanism, landscape and ecology. I get inspiration from Nature herself, seeing people interact with and develop relationships with plants, and from the relief my customers experience from our herbal formulas. I'm driven by the innate curiosity I have with Nature, her systems, patterns and regenerative qualities. I hope the human species finds ways to mimic her, because after all, she has spent 400 billion years perfecting her methods.   


Our mornings are sacred to us, now that the temperatures are rising we are starting our days with  superfood elixirs in the sun and some barefoot walking in the yard. Can you describe what your favourite morning ritual looks like?

My mornings are really quick. I'm really a creative night owl. But once I wake up I lay still in bed for 15 minutes before I move about. This has been a great stabilizing ritual to start my day, and it allows me time to shift from the dream state to the waking world. Ritual hour for me is typically sunset. 


What are you giving the world through your creations? 

I am just a facilitator of relationships between people and plants. The real heroes are the plants. At Corner Alchemy Apothecary we believe that our presence in the world makes a difference and adheres to our complete interdependence within it. As we accept our role as cocreatorrs we must take responsibility for the system and its impact. The "cathedral of the wild" that we live in must be honored and preserved. Corner Alchemy Apothecary and its elixir formulas are just a way to start a conversation about these deeper connections by initiating meaningful personal relationships with plants. 


Thank you so much for giving us the chance to getting to know you and your products better, we are grateful that our paths have crossed. If you have to pick five little things that you are grateful for today, what would they be? 


Vernal pools. 

Delicious local foods. 

Constant states of learning. 

This connection of everything with lungs.


Are there new products or exciting news on the horizon?

In Spring 2017 we launched a new formula, "Adaptable Me," which helps you become more adaptable to stress. The formula helps to support a stronger personal center and repairs the damage in the nervous system that is caused by stress. The Adaptable Me blend is beautiful, filled with Ashwagandha Root, Holy Basil Leaf, Milky Oat Seed, Nettle Leaf, and Reishi mushroom. I have been pairing this elixir with the single plant tincture I take daily, Eleuthero.

We are also launching local courses in Pittsburgh around topics like herbs for stress and herbs for detox. In each class participants will learn herbal information and will also create custom tincture blends that can be strained out into a 1oz bottle six weeks later. By the end of the whole course series, participants will have created the basics for their own home apothecary or herbal medicine cabinet.


Any last things you want to share with our cyber tribe? 

Welcome to the wonderful world of herbs and plants. Start with a few herbs you recognize locally. Visit them where they grow, sit with them, and be willing to let them show you the way. And remember, we are all connected. 


Sarah Ashley Baxendell is a permaculture and ecological designer, land conservationist, herbalist, grant writer, activist and artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. 

She believes that our presence in the world makes a difference and adheres to our complete interdependence within it. As we accept our role as designers, we must take responsibility for the system and its impact. Sarah Ashley believes "we live in the cathedral of the wild" that must be preserved. 

She earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Delaware and is trained in Sustainable Design from the Fashion Institute of NYC and Permaculture Design from the Permaculture Center for BioRegional Living. She has worked in-house for W Magazine, JPMorganChase, and Macy's. Sarah teaches/has taught courses on permaculture design, permaculture finance and bioregional herbalism at the North American Permaculture Convergence, Firefly Gathering, the Florida Earth Skills Gathering, and Indiana University.

Sarah Ashley currently develops green space projects in South Pittsburgh's Hilltop neighborhoods, and concocts local herbal creations with Corner Alchemy Apothecary in Pittsburgh's Troy Hill neighborhood. She is available for opportunities with green space design, park planning, grassroots environmental organizing, and land conservation projects domestically and internationally. She welcomes opportunities to develop strategic plans for grassroots environmental organizations, projects, and campaigns. 

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