We are often asked how Moon Haven came about and what motivates us to do what we do. It all comes back to Leonie’s Story…my story..
Back in 1998 after many years of being unable to pinpoint the source of numerous symptoms including debilitating muscle pain and exhaustion I was finally diagnosed with the autoimmune condition called Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) . FMS can best be described as a cluster of symptoms from widespread muscle pain, insomnia and interrupted sleep cycles to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and very reactive, chemically sensitive skin!
Enough was enough
Needless to say I was in pretty poor shape. Some days I could not get out of bed and walking to the letterbox was beyond me physically. Sleeping was a nightmare – I could not sleep longer than two or three hours at a time then wake with all over body pain. Often I would fall asleep exhausted – sleep for 3 hours and then wake every hour for the rest of the night. After two years of absolute frustration and becoming a social recluse I had had enough.
Western medicine’s solutions were pretty mind altering and overwhelming – from muscle relaxants that made me feel like a zombie to low dose antidepressants and heavy duty pain killers – to the point that I refused to use them. So it was off to naturopaths and herbalists, iridologists and chiropractors for me. While each one of these marvelous practitioners helped in some way there was not magic cure.
Taking charge of my own health
So finally I looked to my own resources and started to take charge of my own health.
Since I was a child I had been interested in the natural world. My mother was an avid follower of wholistic medicine and the natural ways in life. Her vegetable and herb gardens were monumental and I was brought up to think along the same patterns. I also had a keen investigative mind including an interest in chemistry – my parents gave me my first chemistry set when I was 10 and I immediately took over the laundry as my laboratory.
So calling on all this background I began to investigate different herbs and essential oils that might help with the muscle pain I was experiencing.
I was generously helped in my quest by herbalists, aromatherapists and formulators I met online from around the globe.
After experimenting with different combinations and formulations I finally found my ‘miracle’ salve. Made with infused herbs including St John’s Wort and Calendula, along with amazing non- menthol essential oils and local, natural beeswax the salve was able to take away a lot of my muscle pain for hours at a time. It was immediately named Achy Breaky Rub (Inspired by the Billy Ray Cyrus 1992 single “Achy Breaky Heart”).
With the amazing results I received using the Achy Breaky Rub, my husband Eric and I began the journey towards finding other formulations that helped me with my skin conditions and sensitivities. The world of aromatherapy and herbal principles opened up before us,
birth of moon haven
We formulated soaps to that soothed my skin, lotions that moisturised my face and didn’t aggravate my rosacea, salves to calm and heal…word spread of the aromatic wonders coming from our kitchen … and so Moon Haven was born.
In 2001 we decided to take our simple moon haven soaps and products to our local markets. We set up the Moon Haven website and attracted Moon Haven devotees.
Everything was a hit – our customers loved what our products did for them. Achy Breaky was a hailed as revolutionary, our soaps flew off the shelves and our skin care was in high demand.
While people loved Moon Haven products, the markets were fantastic and the website was getting busier. Eric and I both found that it was getting difficult balancing both Moon Haven and our full time jobs. After a trip to a large long weekend festival in Pinjarra (just outside of Perth) in early 2002 where Moon Haven products were first offered to a wider audience Eric and I decided that Moon Haven would have to go full time.
the moon haven cottage
So Eric and I resigned from our jobs and in December 2002 we opened the Moon Haven retail cottage in Cowaramup, in the heart of the Margaret River Wine Region – south west Western Australia. The rest is history!!!