(as told by Rod Jackson)
I am who I am, and I don’t pretend to be anything I am not. I am Metis (mixed blood) Cherokee and Scots-Irish, and look more like I should be wearing kilts rather than a ribbon shirt, but my heart tells me otherwise.
My Dad, my Grandpa, and all of my uncles had coal black hair which turned white as they aged, and my hair was brown and curly. I say WAS brown, because it, too, is now white. I don’t dye my hair black, don’t straighten it, and I don’t put on tanning creams to make myself more “native looking”.
I am not full-blood (hey, look at my picture!) I just know when my Grandpa told me (Boy, do you know that you are an Indian? Those are your People…), that it resonated with my heart and how I have always felt in my soul. I was naturally drawn to the culture, the Ceremonies, and the Spirituality.
I know that I am doing what Great Mystery put me here to do, and I pray every day that I inspire the spirits of all my ancestors.
I do not call myself a shaman or Medicine Man. What would be the point of that? I am just a man doing what he is supposed to do. I strive every day to Walk in Balance on My Path, as it has been set down for me by Great Mystery, and to always be there for The People.
Despite my ancestry, Nuwati Herbal products are not represented to be ‘Indian Products’ as defined by law.
Nuwati Herbals began in August 2002, at a small show in St. Louis, Missouri. At least that was the first public display of the Nuwati products. The idea and the premise was established over 50 years ago when my Grandma would send me out, at the age of 5, to gather herbs, bark, roots, flowers, and leaves, from which she would make Medicine. She taught me the proper way to gather, so that there would always be plants for future generations. I developed a special connection with Nature, and required close contact and frequent encounters with the woods and Mother Earth.
As the years went on, I attended Jefferson College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, earning Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Speech and Language Pathology. During my college years, I always maintained my strong connection with Mother Earth. After graduation I specialized in rehabilitating stroke patients and continued my exploration ofNative American Spirituality. I started studying alternative or complementary healing practices and became a Reiki Master. I did an extended internship with Dr. Thomas Sachs, a Naturopathic Doctor, and 8th generation Cherokee Medicine Man. I then bought a Health Food store, calling it The Medicine Wheel. People would come to my store and ask for help with their health, telling me that they had tried Western Medicine to no avail. I would call upon the Plant People (herbs), and make teas and balms for them. I never made any medical claims. I would just say, “Try this and see what it does for you.” I began hearing comments like, “I haven’t slept this well in years,” or “Your tea is the only thing I have found that calmed the storm in my stomach.” The word of my teas and balms spread and I found myself helping more and more people. Over time my ‘remedies’ became a major part of my business. But, to quote the great philosopher Harry Callahan, “Every man’s got to know his limitations,” and I knew mine. In one word, Retail. I could only help as many people as I could get to enter my store. Unfortunately, I lacked the marketing background necessary to wholesale my products. In March of 2002, I attended a Holistic Expo at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. There were numerous products promoting health and wellness, and I couldn’t help but think how my own products would fit in. As I walked around, I noticed a small redheaded woman with the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I vowed if I saw her one more time I would talk to her. Later that day while leaving a seminar, as Creator would have it, I ran right into her and that is how I met my partner, Kimberly.
The Nuwati Story
(as told by Kimberly Stauder)
After a thirty year marketing and management career in the commercial insurance business, I found myself burnt out. The job had ceased to challenge me and I was constantly frustrated that I couldn’t make a more positive difference in people’s lives. I knew that something else in life was trying to find me and that if I didn’t make a space for it, it never would. So I walked in and resigned.
The next year found me pursuing writing courses (I have since written many short stories and articles in addition to a monthly pet column in a local magazine). I also took a part-time job, that quickly became a full-time job, with a national health and beauty chain. The pay was minimal and most of my friends thought I had lost my good sense. But I felt a strong draw to learn retail merchandising and promotion. The reason for my detour into retail sales became apparent when I met Rod Jackson. In addition to my business and marketing background, I would need a merchandising background to pursue our mutual venture.
The day we met at the Holistic Expo (March 2002) a positive force was put in motion. We started a friendship, a relationship and a business in a matter of a few short months. We both wanted to have a positive influence in the lives of others. Rod had the ability to do just that with his superior and unique products. And I had the ability to tell the world about them.
We want to thank the many people who have influenced and supported the efforts of Nuwati Herbals from the day we glued our first label on a jar of tea in August 2002. A special thank you goes to our many friends who have helped us with art and logo design, label design, insurance programs, reviewing contracts, setting up our credit card services, finding our trailer to haul Nuwati Herbals around the country…and most importantly of all…the manual labor it takes to setup and tear down all our shows!
The mission of Nuwati Herbals is to help people restore Balance to their lives. We thank the Creator every day for the opportunity to be part of this process.
And so, it is good…
Rod Jackson & Kimberly Stauder (now Jackson as of May 19, 2013!)
And the story continues…
The Nuwati Story
(as told by Eunice Jackson – Rod’s mother)
In 2002 a new baby was born. The baby’s name was Nuwati. The two proud people of Nuwati are Rod and Kimberly. They dreamed of a business that would help people. Nuwati is a dream come true!
They work day and night to make sure everything goes just right!
They travel around many states for their shows…Just how many people they help only God knows!
As the years went by and the business grew they had another dream come true!
On January 1, 2010, they got a new warehouse to put their herbs in. “The Plant” as they call it, is an appropriate name…for their herbs are plants, one and the same!
The rest of the story:
Thirteen years have now gone by. There are many products on the market going out of “The Plant” daily all over the United States, Canada, Bermuda and France.
These ten years have been very busy and profitable.
Yes, they had a dream, that dream became a reality.
That dream is Nuwati Herbals!”
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