Not Your Mother's Medicine Cabinet

Poplar is Not Your Mother's Pharmacy and may be more like your grandmother's pharmacy. (If you are at least 30 that should make sense.) While we recognize that OTC (over the counter) drugs and Pharmaceuticals have their place, we also recognize that we have a responsibility to ourselves to address the root of our ails in a way that keeps us safe, brings us up, and doesn't gouge our pocketbooks - and it seems to me that this style of health and wellness is a little more natural than what the western world has been peddling our way.

Grandma’s apothecary of my childhood, had a person behind the counter, that called her by name, probably even her nickname: Bambi. They also knew how she lived and what she was taking from day to day. The items behind the counter were oftentimes directly derived from plants and came in tincture bottles with ingredient names you knew and could pronounce. Even the pharmaceutical giants of the 20’s (still the giants today) made digestive tinctures and pain salves from the cannabis sativa plant and it said so front and center on the labels.

This really wasn’t that long ago, and I would imagine having that connection felt safe, familiar, and personal.

Today, western meds have ingredient lists chock full of unpronounceables, so far from nature it’s hard to imagine the chemistry and chemicals that goes into them. Many of them also have side effects so endless you might have to take more pills just to address the side effects or suffer effects worse than what you're treating! What I also see is western medicine selling a host of 'fixes' for symptoms with little address of what the root cause of those symptoms are.

Then on the other side we have the wellness industry selling a state of being that has been clouded by cool cache and high dollar products dejour. Correct me if I am wrong, but it is a healthful and balanced lifestyle/wellbeing that we are looking for, right? Again, feel free to correct me, but no one product will fix the root of all problems.

Our modern reality is a series of fast paced, high impact, great expectation, American dream pursuits. It takes a lot of work for most of us to approach that, let alone achieve it. So with all the pressure and all the work that we know go into this success in the modern world, what would make anyone believe it does not also take work, practice and dedication to achieve that state of feeling good emotionally, physically and psychologically as well? What would make us think we just pop a pill and call it all good?

"No one product will fix the root of all problems."

So you get the point, we’re tired of the status quo “wellness” industry, and frankly, we have all been tired of the healthcare industry for a while. In our determination to do something about it we created Poplar. This is the place where we have come to take a deep breath and you can too, to reassess what it is we want.

We are bringing to the table a plethora of tools to help address the myriad of things we need to take care of us, but in a simplified fashion. Poplar is inclusive of the products, the people, the practice, and the expertise that collectively make it possible to revert to more 'traditional' health and wellness practices within our modern environment. If it feels personal, that’s because it is.

Our health and wellness matter now more than we might have ever had the privilege of recognizing. COVID has so many of us on our knees, and I don't think I really need to go into it. I can say however, that I personally was great, until about 2 weeks ago when I hit my limit. I have been overworked personally and professional and I don’t have any extra to give anymore. I took time for myself and relished the down time in early April. I even got closer to my family, and spent all the time I had with my new baby. (Baby Rhodes just turned one.) I couldn’t be more grateful for everything that I have.

However I am finding my sleep diminished via restlessness. I have stress in a way I haven't experienced in years. I am beside myself and I feel alone. In talking to my best friends, whom I of course can’t see, I hear the same stories, and I continue to feel alone. It’s not scary, I am not in a state of fear, but it is sad. We all have our own views on COVID safety measures, and we don’t all see eye to eye. I think that compromises our perceptions of one another. I think our individualized views pass as judgements and it becomes personalized. My family is divided over it, and that, I will tell you, stresses me out. I feel anxious when employing boundaries I know others won’t like and I get sleepless over it as my head races and races. The sleepless nights compound and all of the clarity and peacefulness I am accustomed to in my mind and in my body is lost. The resulting stress seems difficult to tame because it is so foreign. Self judgement aside, (me = practitioner in the wellness space) I have tools to access. Lot’s of them. Speaking for my business partner Beryl - she has so many tools as well! And where we have gaps in our knowledge, we have friends. we want to share. So, no, I am not alone, and you are not alone. Now we have a place, together, to get the tools and ask questions of experts. Poplar is everything we need right now.

So to the point, Poplar has a commitment to us all to do the best we can with the natural tools that we know can improve our state of being. Think of us as your corner drugstore and pharmacy - but all-natural - and clean - with plant-medicine - and guides (who aren’t paid by your insurance company) - with accessible price points - and with owners who practice what they preach, and believe - everything in moderation, even moderation.

Our first aid “aisle” is filled with eco-friendly and racially undivided “bandaids.” We carry antiseptics that are made by nature. Our pain management tinctures are all natural and with no risk for creating dependency issues. The sleep aids we carry shouldn't make you sleep walk in the middle of the night to the kitchen for spoonfuls of peanut butter, only to wake in the morning with no recollection and find your fridge open and a spoon on the counter.

The other piece of this is that everyone is welcome. We have spent many years playing oblivious to the fact that we are still a long way from inclusion and equality. Some on the far side don’t even know how to tolerate it, while others would find it easier to turn a blind eye to the repercussions of our exclusionary systems and tendencies. We however, are quite the opposite. We have gone out of our way to make sure our system - our modern version of an apothecary does more than open the doors to say “welcome.” We have created a platform The Alliance to foster business development and reciprocal mentorship for communities who have historically had less access to the privilege of business in our American marketplace. More on that later.

So yes, accountability to you - all of you - matters to us, very much. And stating the obvious, we are two white women in the wellness industry. While women historically have had less access to business at a high level, we don’t talk about peace as much, but we are determined to break down those walls and ceilings too. Moreover we are NOT okay with perpetuating harmful stereotypes and practices that have pushed out, ostracized, or ignored BIPOC + Womxn communities. Given our connection to cannabis, it’s even more important. The war on drugs was just one more in a series of segratory actions by the US that has perpetuated the isolation of black and brown communities. We have made a commitment to use our platform to help elevate BIPOC + Womxn voices - from dedicating shelf space, to donating money and time, to providing and being resources ourselves, we are stepping up, and by supporting Poplar, you are too.

We call all of these accountability measures the Poplar Promise. Committed to providing only the Essentials To Everyone. We are Elevating the Standard, and that is a Modern Apothecary.