The Lavender Lady
Within seconds after arriving at the Montecito Farmers’ Market, the delicate, sweet smell of lavender wafts up to the noses of Friday morning patrons. The aroma pervades the market and leads the shopper to the last stand in the far corner: June Bloom Lavender. Melissa Broughton, known as the “Lavender Lady” by locals, stands over an endless bucket of her vibrant purple and blue crop with a welcoming smile.
One need only follow the aroma of fresh debudded lavender lingering in the air to discover that the Montecito Farmers Market is bringing new blood into its pool of vendors, keeping the market fresh and full of possibility. Located in the main retail sector of Montecito on Coast Village Road, this certified farmers market has a diverse selection of 12 to 15 vendors each Friday between 8 am and 11:15 pm.
June Bloom Lavender is a boutique lavender business that started in 2016 harvesting over 500 lavender plants in Lompoc, California. They sought to create lavender products that aromatherapists have found can nurture an individual’s mental health, help heal anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Broughton strives to offer high quality and high-end lavender products, and her stand contributes to the diversity of the Montecito Farmers Market. “I create small-batch products such as candles, teas, sprays, and sachets that nurture well-being and encourage self-care,” said Broughton.
Her body products are made in small batches and use simple, organic ingredients. They are all infused with Grosso lavender harvested on the Central Coast of California.
Before becoming a full-time lavender farmer, Broughton grew up in a small country town in Colorado with an alcoholic father. Much of her experiences growing up in these difficult circumstances has shaped her goals for her products. “Each product I make is crafted to be holistically healing through relaxation and aromatherapy,” said Broughton.
“I sell lavender as a metaphor for life,” she said. Broughton’s resiliency in confronting the painful memories of her past comes full circle with the resiliency of lavender. This plant can go years without water but still bloom every single June.
Diving into the scars of childhood is at the center of her passion for promoting mental health through lavender.
“My stand is more than just lavender; it is about the people I am connecting with and the people who I am helping,” said Broughton. People approach her table for her products, but also for the Lavender Lady’s calming presence and advice.
“Sometimes I think my table is like a therapist office. The lavender is a platform for me as I am able to talk about my father’s disease and promote mental health through lavender as it helps with anxiety, depression, addiction, and self-care,” said Broughton.
Self-care is essential; it’s not just a luxury, she believes. Broughton is able to tie the two together through her products. As a licensed esthetician and a lavender farmer, Broughton offers body, culinary, and home products, such as a lavender oil roll, lavender sachets, and lavender eye masks promoting restful and relaxed sleep.
Tucking away a lavender sachet into a sock or t-shirt drawer emulates Broughton’s calming persona. The ambrosial lavender aroma slowly emits the fresh scent throughout the day, promoting calmness amidst our busy lives.
Broughton’s lavender oil can be rolled on and left in the fridge overnight then dabbed under the eyes and on the veins of the wrist for a refreshing touch. This product is a precious little treasure promoting relaxation and aromatherapy all wrapped up in a beautiful rollerball bottle.
Whether lavender is a proven skincare regimen, relaxation tool, or for aromatherapy, June Bloom Lavender provides a solution. The Lavender Lady’s small production local business is creating a big impact in the community and beyond.
Carly Williams will soon graduate at UCSB in political science and professional writing. Originally from Dallas, TX, she moved to SB 4 years ago with a passion for good food.