Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? Article by Valerie White for the Mountain Bulletin
Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
By Valerie White written for the Mountain Bulletin in Boulder Creek
Jen is the owner of the wonderful herbal apothecary Aum Herbs. Aum in itself was a fantastic addition to our community, but Jen is always seeking ways to better Boulder Creek and she didn’t stop with opening her store. We now have a joyful music venue outside the store with Friday’s on Forest. After the evacuations were over, Jen got together with Karen Edwards, Barry Tanner, and others to find a way to bring aid to those who had suffered loss and to bring a semblance of community back. She wanted to help people forget about COVID and fires and bring some joy back to their lives. With careful adherence to guidelines, people are able to listen to some great live music and even dance (albeit six feet apart) every Friday night.
Aside from her own talents, Jen is a great networker. She really knows how to bring people together and help them utilize their talents. Even while the town was still evacuated, Jen got together with Alissa Maya and helped get Wellness Boxes together and distributed to people to help them cope with the anxiety and stress.
Alissa and Jen now share the space on Forest Street as Aum Herbs and Akasha Apothecary. The Renegade Apothecary Project is helping those who lost everything in the fires for the long term process. Every few months, under the guidance of Alissa, they put a new package together.
Jen also created the online page on Facebook, Boulder Creek Shop and Dine for the BCBA. She did it to help local businesses be able to post. In these crazy times, it really has been a great help to those who have not been able to carry on “business as usual.” Businesses can post their wares, new hours if needed, and be able to have an online presence. It’s a wonderful aid for the community.
Jen has always been a helper. She was the CEO for the Community Technology Alliance on homeless data and analysis. She worked long and hard connecting with over a hundred different agencies. Jen was helping people to realize that it costs less to house the homeless than to try to help them live on the streets. The reason for that is because they utilize so many resources, such as the police, ambulances, emergency rooms,etc.
The long hard hours, commuting ,and raising her children took its toll on Jen’s health.
She started having all sorts of symptoms and fatigue, but the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The doctor told her she would have to live with it, and that there was really nothing she could do. Jen was never one to take no for an answer. That was when she began studying alternative medicine and studying herbs. Today, Jen is thriving, and thanks to her research, she opened her apothecary to help others to learn how to thrive as well. Jen is an amazing member of our neighborhood, and her herbal products and knowledge are immensely needed as we go into winter in these strange times when it is needed more than ever.