Makers ~ Irene Ora Newton-McClenning ~ Cranston

Artist’s name: Irene Ora Newton-McClenning
Shop name: Lumen Naturae

1. Tell us about your work
I make self-care products using herbs and natural ingredients. My products include aroma sprays, lip balms, teas, and oils which support women’s health. Everything is chemical free and vegan (contains no animal products). I believe that self care is a much needed daily practice in everyone's lives and my products help with that.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Lumen Naturae means the light of nature, or the light within the darkness. I first came across this while reading works by the great analytical psychologist, C.G. Jung. He was a very connected and spiritual being. Alchemists believe that one must bring together both the light and the darkness around you to find your true path and balance in life. This really resinated with me, and I knew that I could express this through working with plants to focus on helping myself and others.

3. How did you come to be a professional maker?
Wow. The word professional really made me blush a little, thank you! My products started as items that I was making for myself, friends and family members, items that I loved and benefited from personally. I have an affinity for herbs and enjoy working with plants, so it just made sense to take it to the next level and offer my products to others. This is all still very new to me, and there’s so much more that I want to do with it, so I’m very excited about that!

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Obviously Mother Nature and all the lovely plants she has to offer. I just love everything that plants have to give. I feel such a spiritual connection with plants. As a whole we’ve lost touch with nature and have forgotten our roots. I grew up in a rural environment, running around barefoot, playing with and eating plants. Of course we were raised to know which ones were poisonous and which ones were not. My favorite is still dew covered red clovers on an early summer day.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I love my pulse point oils. I currently offer three in my shop: “Ruminate,” “Awakening,” and “Be Calm.” They help with your well being while also providing a natural perfume scent. I use them daily!

6. What’s your best seller?
My herbal steams are very popular, especially my “Clarity Herbal Steam.” It’s a blend of Sage, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Thyme, and Eucalyptus. It’s perfect for any nasal or sinus discomfort, and helps to support you while you experience allergies throughout the year. It also helps with congestion in the nose and lungs. Herbal steams are a perfect and simple self care routine that you can benefit from.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have been in Rhode Island since 2003. I am a native Vermonter, and moved here with some friends because of the local music scene. Providence is a vey eclectic city, and we fell in love with it while we were visiting. Thirteen years later and I’m still here!

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Everything! This little state has so much to offer and explore, and has a very deep history. You also have RISD and Brown University that bring so much creativity and art to Rhode Island. There is so much to do and learn here, and the ocean is only a few miles away. Bonus!

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Well, you need to experience Newport at least once. I love the mansions! The history and the decor is amazing. My father is an antique dealer and I grew up in auction houses, so seeing the mansions were right up my ally. Then you must go to Providence for all the amazing food it has to offer. There are so many different places to choose from, and has something for everybody. My current favorite place is The Grange.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Please don’t give up. I always have a bit of doubt in the back of my mind, and at times it has held me back from my vision. Just keep working toward your goals at your own pace. Don’t worry about what others are doing or what people are saying, or what you think they are saying. You are magic!


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