INTERVIEW WITH KATIE HESS / LOTUSWEI

INTERVIEW WITH KATIE HESS

FOUNDER + FLOWER ALCHEMIST OF LOTUSWEI, AUTHOR OF FLOWEREVOLUTION

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How can flowers help to de-stree and rebalance our lives?

Every flower on the planet has a particular healing quality. We know this, because when we think of a Peony flower, it makes us feel very different than when we think of a Rose or a Daisy or Orchid. Each flower invokes a particular quality, feeling or state of mind within us. Even if we have not been aware of this before, we know this innately. 

Some flowers bring us joy, others invoke love, peace or even help us sleep more deeply. By spending time around these flowers, putting them in our environment or using their essential oils (aromatherapeutic) or flower elixirs (taken internally), it is possible to experience the specific healing qualities of flowers, even when we’re working indoors and in a stressful, urban lifestyle.

What are flower elixirs?

Imagine walking in a field of your favorite flower. Or burying your face in its petals. That feeling that you feel – whether in reality or through visualization – is indicative of the benefits and special qualities of that particular flower. Those qualities can be captured, collected and infused into water, Mother Nature’s greatest recording device. Water, like the shiny substate on CD’s or the magnetic strip inside cassette tapes, records information. In this case water can retain the special qualities of a flower. 

Flowers are the part of the plant used for the collection, because they contain the highest concentration of energetics within the plant. A flower elixir is a solar infusion of that flower in water, which can then be preserved and stabilized with alcohol. After several dilutions it can be taken internally or applied externally to enhance specific states of mind and over time, catalyze insights related to the teachings of that particular flower. 

In simpler terms, a flower elixir is a liquid infusion of a fresh flower that is so gentle that you can drink it. It’s a liquid so packed with the chi of the flower, that it instantly impacts your state of mind and enhances your energy and radiance. Taken consistently over time, it accelerates personal growth. I spent the last 15 years working with flower elixirs and observing their transformative effects on people. At a time when we are more distracted, fatigued and stressed than ever, flower elixirs not only help us be our best selves, but they also show us our full potential. 

How do flower essences work on our body?

Flower essences work through the acupuncture meridians of the body. They are the subtle but powerful energy of a plant that we cannot see or hear, stored in a bottle. When we take them internally or apply them externally they immediately travel throughout our own energy system, removing static and tuning any energies that are out of tune. 

It’s similar to turning the radio station to precisely the right frequency or wave so that the music comes in clearly and beautifully. We cannot see the radio waves in space, but they’re everywhere–think about it: every car can turn on their radio and tune into a variety of  stations. The same is true in nature in terms of invisible waves with specific music. Each plant and flower has a particular energy that emanates from it that has a tremendously healing and harmonising effect on our bodies. 

We tend not to believe in things we can’t see, but our modern lifestyles are now filled with cell phone, wi-fi internet, and other signals passing through the space all around us constantly. If we can get an inanimate machine to produce invisible waves of energy, isn’t it also possible that living plants, trees and even human beings can emanate waves of invisible energy? 

We feel people’s energy all the time … if they have good vibes or bad vibes, if they’re beaming with love or brimming with negativity. 

Plants are full of energy too, but it is always pure and positive. Each plant specialises in a specific benefit or healing effect, unraveling a specific pattern and imparting a specific message. Flowers have the highest concentration of chi and life force of a plant. So flower essences are like packets of energy with insight that immediately impact your mood and exponentially catalyse transformation over time.

What’s the difference in the effect between LOTUSWEI sprays, serums and tinctures?

All of them are equally as effective when used five times each day. It’s really more a matter of figuring out which on you’ll actually be able to seamlessly incorporate into your daily routine five or more times each day. 

If you use the serum only morning and night (only twice/day), you’ll still notice a difference, but you’ll notice the most results when using any form or combination of flower essences five times each day.

Can you use more than one product at one time?

Yes, of course! If you want a real targeted effect, use one blend repeatedly. But if you want to change it up during the day based on your mood, that works too!

What is the difference between flower essences and essential oils? 

Different from aromatherapy, flower elixirs don’t have a scent and they work through the acupuncture meridians. It is a liquid infusion of a flower or plant’s ‘chi’ or life-force, whereas an essential oil is distilled or extracted from the plant into a highly aromatic oil. 

Whereas essential oils require huge amounts of plant material for distillation, only a small amount of blooms are required for making flower elixirs, making it one of the most sustainable forms of natural remedies. Flower elixirs are hand-collected from flowers from the wild or in special gardens, following cycles of the moon and a dilution process; the final dilution no longer has any plant parts in it – only the energetic imprint or essence of the flower.

What’s the story behind why you created the LOTUSWEI?

I provided one-on-one flower elixir therapy consultations for over a decade. After so many years working with clients individually and seeing such amazing life transformations, I wanted everyone in the world to experience the same. Creating products was the only way to reach more people and create a huge worldwide ripple effect of positivity. 

What is your favorite thing about LOTUSWEI?

Our products totally + radically transform people’s lives. It’s more than skin deep + it’s more than smelling good. It’s even more than feeling good – it’s about dissolving self-limiting patterns + liberating your full potential. Flowers elixirs do that. Mother Nature is powerful. 

What does LOTUSWEI mean?

I chose the company name LOTUSWEI five years ago, though the product line only came out three years ago. Lotus is a symbol for enlightenment, awakening and using the craziness of life to bring out your true and most beautiful nature; Wei means ‘transformative action’, and that ‘something is happening’ each time you use the flower essences.

How do you source your ingredients?

We hand-collect our bio-energetic flower elixirs from around the world. We source our essential oils and other organic ingredients from suppliers that specialize in certified organics. 

Do you have a favorite product in your line? Why?

I love Inspired Action because I always strive to be 100% focused on the big priorities without getting wrapped up in low priority distraction. If I find myself getting too serious, I bring Joy Juice into my day. And I love rubbing Inner Peace Serum onto my feet before bed. 

In terms of taking them internally, we have a six-month online transformation program called the Flowerevolution so I’m usually taking whatever the elixir of the month is with the rest of the group.

How did you get into flower alchemy and essences?

After graduating college and living in Europe for several years, I discovered flower remedies and studied with an expert from Spain. After that, I moved back to the U.S. and provided flower essence therapy consultations for over a decade. I witnessed so many incredible transformations in my clients! I wanted everyone around the world to have that same opportunity, so I started making products and the business took off!

What’s your personal mantra, motto, or ritual for when you feel drained?

Dark chocolate. Spending time in nature. Meditation or enjoying breathing. Just taking a minute to breathe outside and feel connected to the trees, flowers, earth and everything around me is a quick pick-me-up. I also like to remember the profound quality of life, how precious and fleeting everything is—that fills me with gratitude and brings tears to my eyes.

What inspired, and what continues to inspire what you do?

I first started learning about flower elixirs from my teacher almost 18 years ago. Beyond just teaching about about the specific qualities flowers, I was inspired hearing him talk about the tipping point. He said flower elixirs created such a tremendous impact in people, that we didn’t need to reach the masses. He said that if only 3% of the world’s population were using flower elixirs regularly, that it would change the outcome of the future in a very positive way. 

To this day, the motivating factor of the business and everyone who works alongside me is the positive ripple effect that is created. Using flower elixirs regularly leads people to not only feel more joyful and peaceful. Our moods are infectious: when we’re happy, the people around us are happy. When we’re in a grumpy mood, it also affects people around us. 

What’s more, recent studies show that our state of mind affects other people – even perfect strangers. A recent study showed that if your friend’s friend’s friend becomes wildly happy, it has more of a beneficial effect on you than if someone put $5k cash in your pocket. Conversely, if you become wildly happy, it has more of a beneficial effect on your friend’s friend’s friend (a perfect stranger), than if someone put $5k cash in their pocket. This shows that our state of mind is constantly impacting people around us, whether we realize it or not. Using flower elixirs to help us be at our best, helps the everyone around us be at their best. 

Essentially, to quote the Dalai Lama, “World peace begins with inner peace.” 

What is your business philosophy?

Every person counts. We care deeply for each person who comes into our community. We care deeply about the experiences and quality of products we create. Each of us as individuals is dedicated to our own personal growth and our evolution as a team. We’re joyful, playful, creative and visionary. With our hearts in the right place and a little strategy, the rest falls into place. I am constantly trying to find ways to push past my/our limitations – to be better each day in as many ways as possible.

How did LOTUSWEI blossom from a dream to reality?

Lots of hard work and effort and love. I did almost ten years of one-on-one flower essence consultations/therapy before ever coming out with any products.

I also did a lot of meditation and work on myself, knowing that my business could only be as good as I was. I worked with my teacher’s flower essences for seven years before venturing into collecting my own flower essences. After putting in over 20,000 hours of work, I was continually shocked and the transformative results my clients were getting, and I realized I had to make products so that I could reach more people. In my practice I could only see 5-6 people per day and a lifetime of that was not going to reach enough people.

Around that time, I found out about a local resort building a flagship spa for the world’s largest hotel chain. I worked for three months formulating products without pay in order to land that opportunity. On the day they officially hired me, I was walking to my car after a meeting with them and found a cactus about to bloom. Finding it extremely auspicious, I came back at night and snuck on their property at 10:30pm – the cactus flower was in full bloom in the moonlight. I made an essence of it and vowed to infuse it into all the products, as a way to reach more people with the flower essences. I later found out that this cactus only blooms one night a year!

It was wildly successful—and as a result I scaled my business from one-on-one consulting to formulation, manufacturing, marketing, sales, education/training. Little by little, we created our own line of products, and since then we’ve gained a sort of cult following. What inspires us most is hearing stories from people all over the world about how their lives have literally been transformed through the regular use of our flower essences. We constantly get letters and testimonials from our customers about how their lives have changed as a result of the flower elixirs. You never know how your work will touch or impact others in subtle ways. 

You recently published a book ~ how was that process for you?

It was a wild ride! Writing a book is like a spiritual practice. For me it started out as  creative exhilaration … then all kinds of blocks arose for me to work with, like: perfectionism, credibility and fears of being seen/heard. I wrote 30,000 words, tossed them, got a writing coach, started over from zero telling my story. I realized that people can go to the internet for whatever information they’re looking for – what we typically want is a real story from someone’s life. 

After a year of writing, I turned in the manuscript to the publisher with a huge sigh of relief. And then somebody told me that Reid Tracy, the CEO of Hay House had said that writing the book was 25% of the work, that marketing and promoting the book was the other 75%. I had an ‘oh shit’ moment for a second, haha. Then I gathered up my amazing team and we developed and executed a beautiful book launch plan that felt like ‘us’. 

We hosted ‘Flowerlounge’ events in NYC, LA, Phoenix and Singapore, with candlelit flower mandalas, edible flower-infused drinks and food, massive wall projections of collaborator/filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s flower films on the walls, flower card readings and in general, an exquisite atmosphere to receive people and catalyze transformation. The subtitle of the book is: Blooming into Your Full Potential with the Magic of Flowers, and we did everything in our power to create magical events that reconnected people with their own magic and full potential.

Do you have a memory from childhood that connects you to what you have created today?

Yes, of course. I wrote about exactly that in my first book that’s coming out fall of 2016. I LOVED playing outside. I moved around a lot as a kid, so I lived in a variety of places, but everywhere I played around trees, flowers and nature. In my mother’s gardens in Minneapolis it started with the huge, ruffly peonies, bright fuchsia flowers, dangling bleeding hearts, aromatic lily-of-the-valley flowers and floating water hyacinths. I ran through the alleyways with the neighbor kids sucking the nectar out of the tiny bulbs on the wild honeysuckle flowers. In Michigan I picked blueberries, hunted morel mushrooms and marveled at the solitary lady slipper forest orchids and the carpets of white trillium flowers that looked like popcorn sprinkled on the forest floor. The deep forest waterfalls, massive sand dunes and expansive, crystal clear Great Lakes inspired me. Building tree forts was unsurpassed fun. In Wisconsin I climbed cedar trees and spent hours walking through the forest as my refuge. Nature connected me with a sense of something bigger than myself that I belonged to.

Why is it important to you that LOTUSWEI is an organic brand?

Plants are capable of thriving without pesticides and it’s important for me to create self-care products for people that will not add toxicity to their body, that will be 100% nourishing for their bodies. I like to source organic oils, because it creates more demand for organic farming and lifestyles. 

Tell me a little about the plants/flowers that you choose for your products ~ how many flower essences are in one LOTUSWEI product?

The flowers come from a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, mountains and tropical areas. I always make the intention to collect and combine the flower essences that are most needed by people today. 

We have about 120 flower essences in our total collection and this line uses 25 of them; they’re unique combinations of somewhat obscure flowers, including tree flowers, wild flowers, succulents, an orchid and a flower that blooms when it’s 115 degrees F (46 degrees C). 

Each product combination has five flower essences and one gemstone essence. We add Pink Lotus to everything to awaken insights and wisdom; the rest of the four flowers and gemstone essences are different according to each blend.

What are lessons that you’ve learned from running your business?

From my previous decade of consulting I learned that everyone suffers. Everyone has heartache, heartbreak and fears. It’s humbling and instills a strong sense of compassion, not only for other people, but for yourself. 

I also saw with experience that we really have to be dedicated if we want lasting change–we have to work at something for years. Where I saw the most profound uprooting of non-constructive patterns and massive transformation is in those clients who stuck with it for years, practicing meditation and using flower essences regularly for five+ years.  

From the business I have learned so, so much. For me, being an entrepreneur is very closely tied to my spiritual practice. Or I could say that my business is currently a big part of my spiritual path and how it expresses itself. It has taught me discipline, effort, resilience, innovation, thinking outside the box … it has given me endless opportunities to develop and refine qualities like patience, gentleness, sharpness, fearlessness. It has taught me how to work with other people, how to lead and how to run a business in my own way. 

Business has taught me about my habitual patterns and tendencies, some constructive and some non-constructive. I strive every day to be a better person … I know that my business and the energy it puts out into the world–and the power of the positive effect of that energy on people–is only as good as I am. So I strive to improve myself and the business every day. 

Can you please share a few of your health + beauty secrets?

Meditation is #1. Something so simple as being aware of your breathing as a method of meditation is profound. Practiced even just five minutes each morning can increase your ability to practice it naturally during your other activities, and is the best assurance for inner and outer beauty, ageing gracefully and having a long life. It also helps you experience more spaciousness, insights and openness to whatever arises. 

Another secret is not to look in the mirror very much … just don’t be too concerned with your looks. It’s all going to change anyway. We all grow old, get silver hair and laugh lines … most important is to be happy and happy with yourself. Then no matter how your body changes over time you won’t fight it or be too disappointed. When you’re 80 years old you’ll look back at old photos and think, ‘damn I was hot …’ so we might as well take that stance right now.  

As for beauty products, keep it simple. Find your key favourite yummy products that make you feel good inside and out and use them to create rituals each day that allow time for self-care and self-love. 

Take breaks. Lots of them every day. Go outside. Get fresh air. Spend time outside. Drink water. Focus on what really makes you happy. Revel in the preciousness of life and magic of this earth we live on. It’s all a miracle really. Even the suffering times are poignant and beautiful in their own way. Appreciate yourself, accept yourself and know you are bigger than you can even imagine.

When you feel burned out or uninspired, what lights your fire again?

Sitting in the sauna, walking through a forest, going to a bathhouse, taking some time off, pushing back from work to take a day off, taking flower elixirs for creativity, going out to eat a good meal … the simple things in life.

If you could do something else as a vocation, what would it be?

Florist. Juice & Elixir shop. Bathhouse/hot springs. Treehouse resort. (Ways to create transformative experiences for people with/in nature.)

Who inspires you and where or how is their influence felt in your work?

My spiritual teachers are my greatest inspiration. My closest teacher doesn’t have a website—he’s not online anywhere. He’s sort of incognito. I aspire to be like him—he is absolutely fearless, hilarious, super in-tune and incredibly kind-hearted. My other favorite teachers are HH the Karmapa and HH the Dalai Lama. I especially love the message of the Karmapa, because he is so contemporary, talking about women’s rights and sustainability. Their influence can be seen in my work with the core philosophy and method: changing the world from the inside out. Also, it is reflected in the way that there is a method. For example, talk is cheap—there must always be a method to get us from A to B. Simply saying, “Be present,” or “Be happy” is not enough, there must be a method or tool we can share or a practice to help us attain that.

Who supports you?

My teacher: fierce wisdom & catalytic words for personal, business + spiritual path. He points out my weaknesses, builds up my strengths, constantly and skillfully pushes me to be better in all areas and in all ways. He also makes me laugh. He keeps me joyful, light-hearted and humorous, no matter what. My family (who I live with): I live in a house with several people—we all support each other in various ways. It’s a nice system. I cook 1-2 times per week; all the rest of the nights I come home and dinner is ready. We share responsibilities and help each other with dogs, kids, businesses, life. My family (parents): They’re always rooting for me unconditionally. They’ve allowed me freedom, independence and to be who I am, even if it’s very different from everyone else. They raised me with unconditional love and continue to support me unconditionally. My team at LOTUSWEI: I can’t say enough about them. They fuel the vision. They pour themselves and their efforts into making the world—and the business—a better place. When I’m off writing, traveling for business or working outside the office, they keep the momentum going. They truly care about people, love our community and are motivated by making a difference. Read about them here. My dogs: They get me out of bed in early in the morning—without hesitation. They keep me walking at night. They shower me with their joy, playfulness & unconditional love & loyalty. They’ve taught me about the depths of love I’m capable of.

Any last words for our readers?

If you’re curious what your favorite flower means about you, visit www.lotuswei.com ~ choose the three flowers you’re most attracted to and we’ll send you a free report. 

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KATIE HESS BIO: Katie Hess is a flower alchemist and the founder of LOTUSWEI, one of the world’s leading floral apothecaries. After 15 years of independent research of flower and plant-based healing, her flower-powered community is thriving in over 15 countries. Her transformative elixirs having been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The LA Times, Sunset, and Organic Spa Magazine. A lifelong spiritual seeker, Katie has studied meditation and mindful-awareness techniques with several Tibetan Buddhist masters, including the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, Tibet’s next generation leader. Choose the flowers you’re most attracted to and find out what it means about you at: www.lotuswei.com.

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Close Quiz

Which flower are you most attracted to?

Which ritual would you love so much you'd enjoy it 5 times each day?

select all that apply

Flower Elixir

Enjoy nectar-like drops sublingually or in your water bottle.

Energy Mist

Mist yourself and let it rain down around your face and shoulders.

Balancing Serum

Luscious oil serum applied to your face and the back of your neck.

Transformative Perfume

Spritz your wrists, heart, hair, neck. Blend together and inhale.

Continue

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