Handcrafted wellness

By Michelle Talsma Everson, May 2020 issue.
Photos by Chanelle Sinclair / iamchanelle photography

Gretchen Weidman,

like most of us, wears a lot of hats.

She’s a proud mom, the creative director at

an East Valley salon, and now, a small business owner. In a time when most of

us could use some help relaxing for even just a moment, Weidman created Bone

& Basil, her one-woman shop for bath brews and salves that promote self


“I’ve always been a cook and a big believer

in plants, herbs and things of the earth,” Weidman says. “In my own personal

beliefs, I am a Reiki master and have shamanic practices, so that energy and

knowledge goes into everything I do.”

Weidman started her small business as a

casual hobby; she’d make bath brews and gift them to friends. “There’s a long

history of baths not being just to get clean but to promote relaxing and

self-care,” Weidman says.

Once she started to make her bath brews in

earnest, she noticed they were becoming more and more popular. She then

realized that she had a legitimate business model literally in her own hands

and Bone & Basil was born. Just launched in January, Bone & Basil

already has a growing following on Instagram (@bone_and_basil) and the products

can be found at Abundant Space in Scottsdale.

“I’m 41 and on my feet all day but there’s

going to be a point where I can’t do this forever,” she shares. “I’d love to

see Bone & Basil become something bigger so that I can help people and have

something when I retire from hair.”

With big dreams of her own small shop in

downtown Phoenix — a place where she’s lived for more than 15 years after

moving here from the East Coast — Weidman is passionate about her products.

“I’d love to have a small store downtown,

somewhere cozy with plants, crystals, and a coffee nook,” she shares.

Right now, Bone & Basil offers four

bath brews and two salves, all of which are hand mixed at home for each person

when they order them. She says that the most popular bath brew is her Relax

Brew and the most popular salve is the one for pain.

“I put Reiki energy into each product; I

believe that there is universal energy and I am the conduit for it,” she


The ingredients that Weidman uses in her

brews and salves are all-natural. She uses organic herbs from Mountain Rose

Herbs and other similar businesses, and she sources from Starwest Botanicals as


Her products most often include four main

elements: magnesium salt and pink Himalayan salt (to absorb trace minerals out

of the feet); arnica (to help bruising and heal skin); and calendula (to keep

skin soft and smooth and can also be used as an anti-inflammatory).

With each item being made by hand, how does she know which brew or salve a

person needs the most? “I just talk to them — that’s what I love about

Instagram, you can get to know people and have a genuine conversation,” Weidman

says. “You can learn a lot just by genuinely asking someone ‘How are you?’

whether they become a customer or not.”

A single mom to a busy preteen, Weidman

includes her daughter in her growing small business. “She helps me put labels

on bags and other tasks like that; I think it’s a good lesson for her to see

her mom hustle and stay busy and motivated,” she shares.

Weidman considers herself an ally and

supports the community in any way she can.“ Equal rights, including LGBTQ+

rights, are huge to me,” she says. “I have family members and my closest

friends identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella — I will always be their ally in the

biggest way.”

Weidman hopes that those who try her brews

and salves come away with “a better sense of self care for themselves.”

“Sometimes, self-care can be as simple as a

bath,” she notes.

“Especially during this pandemic, when you

can’t go to a spa, you can physically relax your body with a bath and brew. The

brews I make touch four out of the five senses — all of them besides taste,”

she says.

With social distancing in mind, Weidman is

happy to drop off products at a customer’s doorstep while such measures are


“For those who are open to the holistic end

of things, my bath brews and salves can be a different and fun way to breathe

deep and relax — something we all need right now.”

To learn more about Bone & Basil, follow or direct message Weidman on Instagram @ bone_and_basil or e-mail boneandbasil@gmail.com.

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