A mutual interest and satisfaction in foraging and DIY culture led Dartmouth natives Najet Ghanai and Sarah-Jean Jones to experiment with herbal preparations like oil infusions, decoctions and tinctures. The line of remedies and self-care products now known as Goldfinch and Thistle began as a hobby—the pair made toxin-free, handmade healing salves, deodorants and body butters as gifts for family and friends.
"We loved the earthy fragrances and the satisfaction of learning how to make something for ourselves," says Ghanai, who reconnected with high school friend Jones after they had grown apart for a couple years. "We choose happy, healthy plants that have naturally grown in their preferred environments. We also collect in sustainable ways so as to make sure the plants will be able to survive and continue to grow."
After gifting the first run of products they made, they were left with a surplus of raw materials, which seemed an appropriate size for expansion into a more public brand.
"We decided to apply to the Halifax Crafters' market and give ourselves a name," says Ghanai. "We both contributed to the illustrations used in our logo and printed materials, and the branding sort of just happened."
With the intention of sparking the curiosity of customers to go explore the province of Nova Scotia, they handwrite their own labels, naming each product after the trails the ingredients were collected from. "It is proof that we work only in small, carefully crafted batches," says Ghanai.
After experimenting with their favourites from their first two years, Ghanai and Jones have plans to narrow the Goldfinch and Thistle product line, with customer favourites like the deodorants and natural whitening tooth powder sticking around.
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