Star Khechara is co-teacher for our Diploma in Organic Essential oils that we run at The Mill Retreat in France.
As a self-confessed ‘Potion Geek’ Star is passionate about utilising the seemingly magical properties in pure essential oils for her work in the cosmetic industry. Here she gives you an insight into the fragrant path that led her to work with NHR Organic oils.
I’ve been fascinated by the healing properties of plants for as long as I can remember; from that first time at aged 8 when I saw someone drying Chamomile to make tea, to the exciting discovery of an old-fashioned cosmetic book on my mum’s bookshelf. I read everything I could about the oils and all of my spare money (which wasn’t a lot when I was 16) went on buying essential oils so I could ‘play’ with them. I was just as in love with the fragrance as with the medicinal properties that the books I read informed me of. Making incense and scented oils became a beloved pastime and I was desperate to learn more.
At age 18 I persuaded my family to pay for me to train in Aromatherapy and had dreams of having my own treatment room where I tended to the ills of the world with my aromatic medicine. Sadly, very quickly into the course I discovered that I hated touching people physically during the massage training and unfortunately – for some unknown reason – in the UK you have to practise massage to become an Aromatherapist. Downhearted but not defeated I continued with my studies in private and spent the next decade fervently creating skincare products and cataloguing my formulations. It wasn’t long before others starting noticing my skills and I was asked to write for a couple of niche magazines: Funky Raw and The Mother. I also overcame my nerves enough to start teaching workshops in DIY natural skincare and I discovered that I really got a kick out of seeing everyone’s faces light up when they successfully created their own products, teaching gave me a joy that aromatherapist training hadn’t and I realised I had found my ‘thing’.
Via a series of contacts, while in Spain, I happened to meet someone who was friends with the MD of a publishing house, and with all those great ‘coincidences’ I found myself with a publishing contract to write The Holistic Beauty Book (Green Books, 2008). Within a few years of publication, and due to email demand from my readers, I went on to create the School of Holistic Cosmetology, teaching the science and art of advanced skincare formulation.
I’ve always had very strong ideals and wanted my skincare concoctions to be as pure and as ethical as possible, I always sourced organic wherever possible and refused to use any ingredients that harmed the planet or animals. I was so happy to find NHR oils; Kolinka’s ethical philosophy totally mirrored my own and you can just tell by the oils themselves that you’re using something really special. I never once thought we’d meet and that I would be helping to create and teach the diploma course – as usual a series of coincidences was involved…
A friend forwarded a copy of the NHR newsletter where Kolinka had asked for a teaching assistant for the diploma course at The Mill; strangely for the last few months previous I’d been looking at the postcard of The Mill that arrives in my organic oil orders and thinking ‘I’m sure I should be involved in this’. Kolinka was asking for an Aromatherapist and I am not one, but being a proactive type I sent my CV off anyway and it was obviously meant to be as I am now co-teacher of the fantastic Diploma in Organic Essential Oils and I love it. I teach the cooking with essential oils, base oils blending, essential oil chemistry and organic standards of horticulture modules. The last 2 courses have been wonderful and I even gave an impromptu wild herb walk to pass on more of my plant knowledge.
I love teaching and empowering others with knowledge and new skills so they in turn empower and inspire others. Seeing the joy in the eyes of our students on the course is the best thing in the world when you are passionate about these precious gifts from nature.
I never thought that my childhood love for medicinal plants and essential oils would lead me through such an exciting career path, no matter what else happened in my life the oils were always playing their part – guiding me on, never letting me give up on my dream.
There is something quite intoxicating and magical about essential oils, every day they delight my senses and I feel blessed to have been brought to NHR to help deliver their training to others.
I hope to meet some of you on the next course!
Places are still available for 2013 courses so for more details or if you would like to book please CLICK HERE>
Star is the author of The Holistic Beauty Book and has developed world-class skincare formulation diplomas for School of Holistic Cosmetology www.SchoolofHolisticCosmetology.com. You can also chat to Star on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarKhecharaAuthor and on Twitter: @PotionGeek