Born and bred in Daylesford, Victoria, naturopath Bree Melotte grew up surrounded by hippies and farmers. Those strong roots can be seen in her work, in her connection to the land and her drive to reach out and help others. I love Bree’s inspiration to use her training as a naturopath to create products that are shared far and wide, and help so many more people than she could ever have seen as a practitioner alone. We are thrilled to stock Bree’s most popular pampering and healing bath soaks here alongside our handmade gifts and candles.
Q | What is your creative background?
I have always been creative. When I was young, I used to go missing quite often – mum, in a panic, would rush out to look for me, and there I would be walking up the road with our dog and talking to my imaginary friends. As a little girl I made magic potions under the staircase, my sacred and special space where no time existed, in the motel I grew up in. I still have vivid memories of mixing wild violets with water in a bottle. Looking back, this was a pertinent time, as it was Dad who I most wanted to drink my potions, and he passed away when I was eight. I guess in my own way I knew he was sick and wanted to help or heal him.
Q | Did you study your art? Are you self taught?
I studied naturopathy which has given me a sound knowledge of herbs and their amazing abilities to assist the human mind & body to heal and resist ailments. Being my passion since I was a little girl, I have in a sense been studying the craft for as long as I can remember, so a little self tuition would definitely be the case. I have been dreaming of Iris Practice for the past 15 years and now the time is right.
Q | Where do you work from? Do you have a shed/studio/craft room or perhaps the kitchen table?
We work from our ‘potion room’ at home…although the time is near to move into a larger space but we are holding off just a little longer as it’s a wonderful environment to create our magical and medicinal products from. When the time and place presents itself we will move onto the next phase in terms of the production process.
Q | What inspires your work?
The ability to help as many people as I can with my knowledge. I believe that everyone deserves health and wellness no matter what stage of their lives they’re at. As a practicing naturopath, I work with young children right through to retirees looking for an alternative to traditional healing practices, and I love seeing the changes in people’s lives.
Q | What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about looking after the planet and making products that are in line with this. I am passionate about making products that are whole in nature, consciously chosen and ethically sourced. By sourcing our ingredients and packaging from smaller business operators (in the Central Highlands where possible) we not only support our local economy, but hopefully enable more young girls and boys to perhaps one day fulfill their childhood dreams, just like me, in their native surrounds.
Q | How do your beliefs find their way into your work?
Again, my belief that we all deserve the ability to feel well and be healthy, constantly brings me in touch with people from all walks of life as they seek the help of a naturopath. Whilst I endeavour to help them through my knowledge, I have so much to learn from them and their unique life experiences.
Q | Is this your full time job? What are your aspirations for your work?
Running your own business becomes more than full time, as you spend every waking hour thinking, creating, developing, manufacturing, distributing, marketing and somehow finding time to breathe in between! However, being lucky enough to create products for others that are so close to my heart and what I dreamed of doing as a little girl certainly makes it enjoyable. I am aspiring to bring health & wellness to all using the magical and medicinal qualities of the nature around us in my products, with the intention of continually developing my knowledge in the field of naturopathy.
Q | Can you share any important lessons you’ve learned from running your own business?
If running your own business was easy everyone would be doing it. It has been a daunting and challenging experience to date. There’s a lot of hard work for a sustained period of time, and as many will attest, little if any financial reward for a long period as most money earned is put straight back into the business. Find something you love to do and it will definitely make it a lot easier and fun too.
Q | What sets handmade objects apart from those mass produced, and why is this important to you?
In terms of Iris Practice, each of our products has their own unique purpose and intention. From development through to production they carry their own identity that evolves as their ingredients do through the seasons. For example, the Eyebright herbs coming through at the minute are a little bluer than usual, giving some of our Bath Soaks an even more entrancing allure. Being able to have total control of each element going into our products gives me fantastic control over the quality of each batch I mix. If something isn’t to my satisfaction we simply start again to get the mix just right, something I believe would be a lot harder to keep tabs on in a mass produced scenario.
If you would like to find out more about Bree’s story and her beautiful range of products, just visit her website Iris Practice.
You can also find her most popular pampering and healing bath soaks here alongside our handmade gifts and candles.