Q and A with Kellea! Find out how she learned to forage, her favorite gemstones, and why she'd be called Cleo “Serendipity” Wanderhoff
by Chelsea Morning
Whether it's your first time in Chicory Hill Herbs, or you're a tried and true regular, chances are you've had the pleasure of meeting Kellea! Always welcoming, with an innate skill of helping others, Kellea is the host at the party of life! She is an experience to enjoy and one of the reasons Chicory Hill Herbs has been synonymous with knowledge, truth, balance and a sense of calm. Kellea has facts acquired deep from the heart of the forest, cosmic secrets whispered from the stars, and homegrown, grassroots know-how passed down from rouged generation after generation. This may sound like a flowery exaggeration, until you've had a conversation with her, or she's given you some of her spot-on advice. This is a gal who will never steer you wrong, which is why we are filled with gratitude that she has been such a steadfast fixture within Chicory Hill Herbs.
I’m not entirely convinced that you’re human—I feel like you might be some sort of sprite or brownie, or an otherworldly orb disguising herself in human form, I would even believe; mystical, mythical healer or priestess who has been alive for hundreds upon hundreds of years traveling the earth!! Who are you [really] and how did you come to be here [at Chicory Hill Herbs]?!
I grew up not far from Erie. My adventures led me elsewhere but I found myself panging for my “Northern” roots. Freshly inspired and unknowingly on the cusp of my next chapter, I made my way home. Chicory Hill came into my life with all the tools I needed to nurture my newness. The rest is history in the making.
You were an assistant at a gem and mineral shop in Virginia for years before returning to Pennsylvania, is that where you developed your love and expertise of stones?
I had the pleasure and the privilege of spending my work-life completely engrossed in crystals and gem stones. Through my employers and clients my affinity for the mineral realm became more than instinctual attraction. The truest application of that knowledge came from helping others find their connection.
In your spare time your also do foraging. Where did you learn how to forage and what joys does it bring?
Foraging has always been a part of my life. My parents did well to teach me how to identify useful plants. As an “adult” the urge to find ways to be self reliant while maintaining my curiosity (and my treasure hunting skills) went hand and hand. Enjoying the bounty is always a bonus to a day of fresh air and sunshine.
People often come in specifically to talk with you and get your advice on everything from herbs to astral projection, from gemstones to sage smudging to CBD and everything else in between. How are you able to read people so well, and help them so profoundly on a daily basis?
My connection to people started as a necessity to be understood. We all FEEL “human” sometimes. Sometimes more than others. Where there is a need I can relate to I do my best to be as human as necessary. Often times people help me to see where I am needed, to be observant and “see” them. You can be tuned in to the needs of others if you meet them in that space.
What do you think it is about Chicory Hill Herbs that makes it such an awesome
Chicory Hill has a “something” about it that allows you to step aside for a minute and reconfigure. It's an anchor for those that feel a-drift and a beacon for those that reflect light. The tools are accessible and the company is warm and REAL. No labels, no judgment, no one to say “that's not the way”. The tangible affirmations I receive are something I am truly grateful for.
10 little questions (because it's the little things that mean so much)
What is your favorite sound? I love sound! The sound of a large book closing. Rain on a tin roof. Cat chatter.
What smell do you love? Fresh soil, locust blossoms, matches.
Do you have a spirit animal? Badger. Always a favorite. Badger carries the energy of roots and the unseen medicines buried below the surface. Fierce yet solitary. Driven to remove the barriers that stand in the way and seek new levels to be grounded and centered.
Which Muppet best represents you? Most days I'm somewhere between Beaker and Sweetums
If you had a time machine, would you go to the past or the future? Past.
What would your 1960s hippy name be? Cleo “Serendipity” Wanderhoff
What's your favorite herb? Adaptogens as a group/whole are my most relied on.
What's your favorite essential oil? I have at least four. Cedar, Geranium, Bergamot, Spruce
What's your favorite gemstone? Quartz- Especially any included Quartz varieties. (Lodalite, Rutilated, Tourmanlinated.) The potential and variations are endless!
What is the universe trying to tell us?
“All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand-- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep....” Edgar Allan Poe
“...Freedom lies, not in trying to become something different, nor in doing whatever you happen to feel like doing, nor in following the authority of tradition, of your parents, of your guru, but in understanding what you are from moment to moment.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
"The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other...." Black Elk
“Draw a crazy picture,Write a nutty poem,Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance ‘Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world,That ain’t been there before.” Shel Silverstein