Jennie Pinkhart; Eve & Keel

Welcome to the third interview in my Wholehearted Living Series where I talk to some inspiring people about living a more authentic, creative and connected life inspired by nature, the seasons and what they’re most passionate about.

Let me introduce you to the wonderful Jennie Pinkhart. Jennie is an aromatherapist based in Cambridge and founder of stress-busting aromatherapy brand Eve and Keel.

I first discovered Eve & Keel’s products via Instagram and was drawn to the ethos behind the company, and beautiful packaging of the products. I love the brand name, so apt when the term ‘even keel’ is described as “when a person’s emotions are under control, balanced and steady. Keel is nautical for the underneath of a watercraft that floats on water, like a ship that’s going with the flow. And, even can mean smooth, so even keeled means the person is like floating through life in a smooth and even manner.”

After trying some of Eve and Keel’s products (the Reset Mist being a favourite), I then booked a Stress Session with Jennie. I was feeling the strain of lockdown plus the challenges of juggling parenthood and work and this sounded like just the tonic. The session was an opportunity to talk through my issues with stress one-on-one with Jennie (on the phone) and receive some personalised wisdom with a bespoke relaxation handbook to take away to address the areas of stress in my life. In addition, I received one of Jennie’s custom blended rollers. I would recommend this to anyone!

Jennie’s products are not only of the highest quality, but made with passion and integrity. This post is not sponsored in any way, I just love the work that Jennie is doing to support others, and I wanted to share this with you. So, over to you Jennie…

What inspired you to start Eve & Keel?

I became interested in aromatherapy to help my own anxiety after trying years on medication. Medication was good at the time and I needed it at that point in my life, but I knew long-term I wanted to find other ways to manage it.  Aromatherapy was one of the things I started using alongside other practices like yoga, spending time in nature, journaling, self-development etc.  I then went on to train as an aromatherapist, and as well as seeing clients, I began making blends for myself to use, and found that some blends were particularly effective for me. I started using these with clients and created a small range that I found were making a big difference; I wanted to share these with more people.

Where did the name for your business come from?

I wanted something that represented balance. The idea of balance can be quite unhelpful in terms of it being seen as the ultimate goal of achieving a perfect work/life balance that doesn’t exist.  But, I think we’re always on a continuum.  Aromatherapy helped me find a sense of balance and that felt like the right approach for the brand I wanted to create.  My partner actually came up with the name Eve & Keel when I was brainstorming with my him and friends in a cocktail bar some years ago!

Can you tell me a bit about your background and the inspiration behind Eve & Keel?

Before training as an aromatherapist, I had trained in psychology and criminology and then went back to university to study sustainability. These two aspects of the human psyche, alongside the planet, what we can gain and learn from the earth and how we can use it to help us have influenced my work.  That’s what really excites me and why aromatherapy is perfect as it does combine a therapeutic element using what nature has to offer.

What services do you offer?

I offer a range of naturally calming wellbeing products that are vegan, cruelty free and organic. These are products that allow you to build your own self-care toolkit.

I also run stress sessions which are an opportunity to work with me one-to-one.  They are a chance to dive a bit deeper into how stress is affecting you, your lifestyle and then look at steps that will introduce more calm into your life. Additionally, we look at how you can integrate aromatherapy in a way that’s going to make a difference to how you’re living.  The aim is to create moments of relaxation everyday and feel more in control of stress and anxiety rather than it controlling your life.

Your branding is beautiful, where do you get your creative inspiration from?

Thank you!  When I was putting the visuals together for Eve and Keel, I felt like I had always wanted it to represent how I want someone to feel which is a sense of space and calm.  That’s why I like the white, to keep things relatively simple.  I’m also personally drawn to illustration and particularly illustrative female figures.  I think that helps get the message across; a sense of strength and empowerment that is really important to the brand and myself.  I have found from my own personal experience of anxiety, that it can eat away at your confidence and self-worth. Aromatherapy oils have given me a sense of empowerment and have allowed me to take back control of my mental wellbeing and that’s what I want to get across in the branding. 

What advice do you have for living a more connected and grounded life?

I believe we can learn so much from nature and being outdoors as much as possible.  We can’t get away from the growing connection to technologies and our reliance on them but a way to help us stay sane and help counteract some of that is to be in nature and really be present.  So, say you go for a walk, rather than instinctively always listening to a podcast or music or whatever it is, maybe just try going with a mindful intention and just be present.  That does take a lot of practice and is definitely still something I’m working on.  But being more connected to the earth is really powerful because it weaves its way into your being.  The more we can spend time out in nature and connect with the plants and of course use aromatherapy oils (that are derived from nature), it gives us a connection to the elements and nature.  That’s a really good place to start.

Does nature influence your work?  If so, in what way?

Yes, definitely.  I feel like it’s part of who I am.  Working with the aromatherapy oils is, in a way, working with nature, because they come from plants.  It’s important to me that I source good quality oils, and treat them with respect. When blending, I try and let the oils speak for themselves. I work intuitively and try and turn off my thinking brain and really go into a space of almost meditation and let the oils lead the way.  It’s a hard one to explain, but I hope that gives you an idea of what I mean.

What do you think nature can teach us?

The cyclical living side of nature is really important. Society today feels very linear, it has a masculine quality, whereas as humans, and especially women, our nature is more cyclical.  Not only do we have the seasons we also have our monthly cycles.  We have those moments, such as in Winter, when we can let everything fall away, when we can be still and not particularly productive. This is an important lesson, as it allows us to have fresh energy and enthusiasm ready for the growth stage of Spring or whatever that may be in our lives.  Also, connected to that, it teaches us to slow down and be more present.  I think we can learn a lot from immersing ourselves in nature and just looking at animals, birds, trees…it’s really calming.

Do you have a favourite season?  If so, why?

It used to be Summer, but now, as I’m getting older, I definitely prefer Spring.  I love March/April time when the days are getting longer, all the leaves are coming into bloom and everything is sprouting, and you’ve got that hope of the year ahead still.  I really love the energy of Spring.

What advice would you give for making the most of the current season?

We’re currently in that in-between stage, where we’re emerging out of Winter.  It feels like Spring is teasing us, the daffodils are coming up, tulips are sprouting, things are starting to come alive.  It feels like the birds are singing a lot more and the days are getting slightly longer.  On those brighter sunny days, it’s a good time to get out in the garden.  Or if you don’t have a garden, but have a balcony or a small outside space, plant up a little Spring pot or similar to remind you of life and the hope that comes with that fresh growth.  It’s an opportunity to begin again and I know for me, I instinctively have that urge to cleanse, to have a ‘Spring detox’. I don’t mean a physical cleanse as such, but a re-evaluation of your environment; decluttering physical objects in your life or decluttering in general.  Are there any beliefs that aren’t serving you that you don’t want to take into Spring as things start moving again? 

A lot of people do their new year’s resolutions and goals for the year in January but actually I feel that this time of year is perfect for that, especially this year, because January felt like we were just surviving.  But, now, as we ease through February towards March that energy is rising again and now is a really good time to sit and reflect and think about what you want for the year ahead.  What do you want to release and declutter?  And what would you like to call in?

My Intuition roller blend is great for helping feel attuned to this energy of looking ahead and setting your intentions for the year , tuning into what really matters to you.  You can use that as a rollerball, but it is also really lovely in a diffuser.  It’s a combination of lime, basil and rosemary oils.

What is your favourite ‘little piece of wonder’ in life?

It’s my daughter Audrey.  She is pure magic; she constantly surprises me with her innocence and energy. Being around her is simultaneously exhausting yet completely uplifting and energising!

Thank you to Jennie for this wonderful interview.

If you’d like to find out more about Jennie’s work, check out her stunning products or book a Stress Session click here.

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