Today we’d like to introduce you to Neelou Malekpour.
Neelou, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Smudging is the act of using smoke from sacred herbs and flowers to cleanse and purify a person or a space. This ancient ritual is practiced by a myriad of cultures and dates back thousands of years. Wild Rue, Sage, Palo Santo, Rose, Lavender, Dandelions, Cedar…the list of plant allies goes on. Whatever one may need in life, there’s a plant you can burn to call in support.
S M U D G E D started as a tribute to my grandmother, who was my best friend and passed away many years ago. She taught me all about smudging with Wild Rue to dispel the “evil eye” and how to be responsible for my energy, and the vibration I put out into the world. When I was a kid we did many rituals together and as I grew older, any time I was in a funk, or needed the energy in the room to feel different, I would burn Wild Rue – it changed the mood in the room instantaneously! Through travel, and immersing myself in various cultures, the rituals I practiced and the list of herbs I burned grew as I learned more about plant allies. (But Wild Rue is still the main ingredient in all of all of our ritual kits!)
Energy is real. So, SMUDGED is all about attaining and maintaining a high vibrational frequency. All of our ingredients and products are sourced mindfully and we do our very best to respect the abundance Mama Earth provides. Since White Sage has become so popular, we are careful not to add to it’s over harvesting. The Sage we use is certified organic, and sustainable. The other herbs, flowers, and plants we include in our products are gathered with care and anything that can be, is culinary grade.
Our intention is to unite people energetically and raise the collective vibration by first, being responsible for our own energy and what kind of vibes we put out into the world. And then, by creating all kinds of goodies that transform one’s energetic frequency and get rid of bad juju. We are committed to mindful and ethical business practices, we donate 11% of all proceeds to charity, and everything we create is handmade in Miami Beach.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Creating S M U D G E D has been wonderful, magical and life changing, but definitely not smooth. Opening any new business comes with struggles. The biggest ones for me had to do with ethically sourcing ingredients and packaging. As I’ve already mentioned, the herbs we sell each carry their own energy and are very mindfully sourced. Finding vendors who are in alignment with our ethical standards was a lot more challenging than I’d anticipated.
The same is true for packaging. Considering foreign labor standards (which can be unconscionable in some countries), and being cognizant of our environmental impact among other things, is delicate. (Like choosing biodegradable packing materials and utilizing glass instead of plastic makes shipping so much more expensive!) When consumers are price conscious and accustomed to free two-day shipping because of huge sites like Amazon (myself included!), staying in alignment with our core values requires gumption.
There are so many little things I didn’t really consider before this venture and I feel so grateful S M U D G E D has given me the opportunity to become so much more aware of what I’m financially and energetically supporting – especially as a consumer. Choosing vendors whose values are in alignment with my own has opened my eyes to a whole new community of beautiful people, with HUGE hearts and amazing talents. My biggest realization – the lowest price is unfortunately not usually the most mindful choice.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the S M U D G E D story. Tell us more about the business.
What do we do? We create metaphysical provisions that support a high vibrational frequency. Energy is real. And energetic dissonance gathers the same way dust and grime does on a person or in a home. Our products clear energetic frequency the same way showering cleanses the body or vacuuming freshens a home.
What do we specialize in?: We specialize in utilizing plant allies to help transmute energy from negative to neutral, or neutral to positive. This works on people, and things, in places and on animals.
What are we known for? It’s interesting because people are most drawn to SMUDGED because of our smudge wands – THE LOVERS. But that seems to be a gatekeeper of sorts because the item people fall most in love with (and is our best seller) is the Crystal Infused Agua de Florida. Uses: Draining conversations, evil eye, energy parasites, interactions with negative people, bad dreams, fearful thinking, and support for meditation, antibacterial air spray, energetic pick-me-up, bad vibes, spirits, and anytime you’re feeling negative in any way. Spray our magically charged, Crystal Infused Agua de Florida and that bad juju will vanish with a quickness.
What are we most proud of as a company? It makes me feel wonderful to get messages from people who write to share how transformative something they purchased from us (or received as a gift) has been for them. I feel proud to know the products we create are having a positive impact on the people who use them.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I get these daily notes from Mike Dooley at TUT.com and one of them was about luck. It really stuck with me, so I’m going to share it with you because it’s sums up my feelings on luck in a clever way:
“Should you choose to go, do, and be, Neelou… at the end of your life, shocked and dismayed, you’ll likely exclaim that because of all the uncanny events, wild timing, weird coincidences, and sheer chance encounters, all of your life’s good fortune must have been your destiny.
Or, should you choose to wait, wish, and hope… at the end of your life, shocked and dismayed, you’ll likely exclaim that because of all the uncanny events, wild timing, weird coincidences, and sheer chance encounters, all of your life’s bad luck must have been your destiny.
Neelou, do you see what the difference is?
It ain’t me, The Universe”
- Crystal Infused Agua de Florida (100ml) $26
- THE SUN $16
- TRAVEL LIGHTLY $27
- THE TRIFECTA $23
- Address: Miami Beach, FL
- Website: www.smudged.co
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @smudged.co
Photo 1: Jacqueline Bermudez
Photo 2: @smudged.co
Photo 3: THE LOVERS (mini)
Photo 4: THE SUN
Photo 5: THE LOVERS
Photo 6: Crystal Infused Agua de Florida at the LINE in Austin, TX
Photo 7: Palo Santo – SMUDGED’s rescue pup
Photo 8: THE TRIFECTA at Tierra Santa Healing House at the Faena Hotel in South Beach
Photo 9: Drawing by Tracy Sally