Rooted in a connection between Earth, home, and family.
Sister Sage Herbs was born of Jayne Simmons’ awe and love for nature’s medicine. It started with a dream: to create a local medicine scene in Seattle by growing plants that are often used in western natural medicine. In 2001, while serving on the board of directors for a non-profit that encourages gardeners to grow their backyard gardens organically, Jayne came across a life-changing opportunity. Vashon HouseHold, a community land trust, was accepting proposals for use and lease of a half-acre farm plot on a newly-acquired property on Vashon Island.
Despite a career firmly planted in the corporate world, Jayne was called back to her roots of working with her hands and with herbs when her proposal was accepted. By 2005, she’d left the corporate world altogether and began working in landscaping to build Sister Sage Herbs on the side. In 2009, we sold our first products at local herb fairs.
Our company’s journey from seedling to plant is much like that of the herbs that inspired it. Direction from numerous WSU farm extension classes, Ventures nonprofit, The Pike Place Market, and Seattle Made Local Manufacturer Program provided nourishment and resources we needed to sprout. Thanks to a long-term lease arranged by the Roseballen Land Trust, we grow all our herbs on our beautiful, one and a half acre farm on Vashon Island, which in turn ensures the land is lovingly preserved for generations. While we’ve come a long way since our early days, our greatest pleasure remains the same: harvesting the earth’s natural wonders to enrich the lives of others.
To put it simply, we haven’t automated a single step in our process because we love it too much. We believe that love shows in our products, which are made in small, artisanal batches. We grow all of our medicinal herbs on Vashon Island. When they’re ready to be harvested, we collect them at their peak potency in small batches, store them in paper bags and glass jars, then we process them by hand at our warehouse, just a ferry ride away, near downtown Seattle.
This humble operation is our pride and joy. Until just a few years ago, we ran Sister Sage Herbs out of our home and made the products in the Atrium Commercial Kitchen in Pike Place Market. Dried herbs, seeds, bins of finished products and boxes and boxes of unused tincture bottles and tins filled the space. Today, we house everything at our 600 square-foot warehouse in Cloverdale Business Park. Our herbs are processed with locally-made OOLA vodka and organic kosher glycerin, and even our labels are printed in WA. Jayne and her crew of several Seattle and Vashon locals with flexible work schedules run our manually-operated Tincture Press (made by a family of welders in White Salmon, WA.) and our manual label machine (hand made in NM) ensures all the bottles look uniform. We twist every top shut, shrink-wrap every package, and ship it off, from our family to yours. Our products make their way daily to the world famous Pike Place Market, where chances are if you stop by, you’ll meet Jayne’s step-brother, Eddie.
Jayne Simmons grows and nourishes every plant from seed to harvest. She spends years perfecting Sister Sage Herbs recipes, delighting in the herbs’ unique scents and properties. She creates in small batches to bring out the most potent form of natural herbal supplements in every product.
Marc Fendel is Jayne’s partner and greatest fan. A professional musician and long-distance hiker, he runs the day-to-day business and marketing operations at Sister Sage Herbs. In 2015, Marc hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail with Team Astro on a journey of faith, healing, and nature that continues to inspire him.
Eddie Bauknight moved from Portland to Seattle in 2013 to set up shop for Sister Sage Herbs at Pike Place Market. He knows every herb, tincture, and balm like the back of his hand, and is always happy to help you find the right one.