The Inspirationals: Cynthia Sensiba Browning, Mortar and Petal
23 Jul 2015
Every other week, we do a short profile of someone who has been successful creating a career out of doing what they love. We call it The Inspirationals and we hope they will inspire you too!
What is Mortar and Petal ?
Mortar and Petal is a botanical emporium of sorts. Cynthia has over 300 herbs, spices, and resins (mostly kosher and organic), and she sells them individually or as hand-crafted, artisan tea or incense blends. She researches all the herbs and takes all the pictures herself. Cynthia does 90% of all of the work, from start to finish. The other 10% is done by her husband, Mark, as he helps sometimes in the measuring and bagging process.
How was Cynthia inspired to start Mortar and Petal?
Cynthia is fascinated with nature and folklore, and a culture’s historical use of herbs is a time-worn link between these subjects. No matter the culture, region, or era, plants have been used medicinally and ritualistically. Her own research naturally led to her desire to educate others. She is a teacher by trade, and sharing knowledge comes naturally to her. She says that she still has a lot to learn, but in the meantime, she loves providing quality products and their background stories.
Quotable: Cynthia on what advice she would give to others looking to start a business doing what they love……
“What starts as a hobby might turn into a business. It is a mixed blessing. If it is something you love, that passion will carry you through the time-consuming, not as fun, but necessary parts of running a business. I’m still working on balancing my time between day job, Mortar and Petal, and family. Just don’t forget: It’s still important to take care of yourself, too.”
How would Cynthia describe herself in one word?
Curious. Cynthia tells us: “If I don’t know something, I have to find out. I read books. I research and experiment. I usually have several pans in several fires at once.”