Cathy Hope has been learning about aromatherapy and essential oil quality and chemistry since 1978. She took one of the first home study courses available in 1984 with Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D. In 1986 she began teaching aromatherapy for massage therapists. Cathy also taught curriculum courses at the Scherer Institute of Healing (now called the Santa Fe School of Massage) in Taos, NM and in Santa Fe, NM beginning in 1997, where she continued teaching for the next 19 years. The last several years at the Santa Fe School of Massage she taught yearly Continuing Education courses in aromatherapy approved by the NM State Massage Licensing Board.
Her apothecary business, Iris Herbal Products, began in 1982 with a line of handmade herbal salves. She continues to passionately pursue her research into aromatherapy, traditional herbal therapies, and nutrition.
Sarah Schildknecht was raised on a small farm in Missouri where she learned a love for gardening and animal husbandry. While necessity lead her in the direction of accounting and finance, the call to return to the “simple life” was just too strong. Sarah began working with Iris Herbal Products in September of 2018 as the Office Manager. That position quickly evolved into an apprenticeship with Cathy, learning to make salves and tinctures, and about herbal medicine.
While Sarah maintains the financial aspect of both ventures, she is inspired by Cathy to learn and experience the vital art of herbal therapies.