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Mariane Desjardins Roy: "La Fée des Bois is a real little paradise".

by La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024
Mariane Desjardins Roy : "La Fée des Bois est un véritable petit paradis" - La Boite à Grains

It's an entrepreneurial dream that has turned into a sweet reality for Mariane Desjardins Roy, founder and owner of herbalist La Fée des Bois. Since 2012, she has been cultivating all kinds of medicinal plants on a superb plot of land in the western Outaouais region, living in harmony with local biodiversity to create unique herbal teas and skincare products.

With infectious enthusiasm, Mariane Desjardins Roy confides in La Boite à Grains and takes you into the world of La Fée des Bois.

Interview with Mariane Desjardins Roy of La Fée des Bois

How did you come up with the idea of creating La Fée des Bois herb shop?

Mariane Desjardins Roy : In my early twenties, when I was living in Montreal, I realized after a few years that I really wanted to live in the country. I'd always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I started exploring a few avenues. When I took a weekend course in herbalism, it was love at first sight! The idea was born to buy a farm, grow plants and process them from start to finish.

I was born in Quebec City, but my mother is from the Outaouais region. When the time came to set up my farm, I rediscovered the Outaouais in a different way by moving to the Pontiac.

Three words to define La Fée des Bois?

Mariane Desjardins Roy : Local, local and local! (laughs) It's a job of passion, so passion for sure. And integrity too, I'd say. In the sense that I want to stay true to the company's raison d'être, the missions of ecology, health, zero waste, organic, no chemicals... all strong values that I hold dear and that are the essence of La Fée des Bois.

What values surround the life of the company?

Mariane Desjardins Roy : I have a real love of nature, of animals, of the earth... Since I was very young, it's been something very strong in me. With everything that's going on in the world and the somewhat destructive side of our lifestyle in general, there's a growing awareness that something needs to be done. There's an awakening.

At my level, at the level of La Fée des Bois, we're doing what we can to take positive action in the right direction. I feel like I'm right where I need to be, sharing my love of nature and the earth through my products.

herboristerie la fée des bois

We've created a real little paradise here in the Pontiac, where we can create herbal teas and other specialties that have a positive impact on the environment, not the other way around! There's a whole universe, an ecosystem, a biodiversity that's created around our plants, and we see it every day.

When I think of our lotions, they're made from 100% local ingredients, with a hydrolate base and plants from our lands, local organic oils. No fragrances! This basically replaces and counterbalances the big-box offer, where many product ranges include petroleum ingredients, use plastic bottles and are rife with environmentally harmful practices.

La Fée des Bois in a few words

Founded in 2012
Family-run business in the Outaouais region
All medicinal plants grown on site
A fine selection of herbal teas and body products

 

Can you tell us more about the preparation of your products?

Mariane Desjardins Roy : Yes, of course, everything is done by hand! And it all starts with the plants. We have perennials and annuals. For perennials, it all started in 2012 in our greenhouses, and they're now well established. For annuals, the work begins each year in February/March in our greenhouses. When spring sets in, we're out in the gardens preparing the soil, weeding and picking. We're outside until October to work the soil and harvest.

80% of our harvest is dried for our herbal teas. Everything is harvested by hand, without any equipment. A great deal of effort goes into each jar of herbal tea!

The remaining 20% will be used to prepare an oily macerate for the entire our body products (creams, ointments, soaps, lotions, etc.). We always work with fresh plants.

Do you have a flagship product to discover?

lotion inflammata herboristerie la fée des bois

Mariane Desjardins Roy : Inflammata is one of our biggest sellers. It's our anti-inflammatory and analgesic lotion. It's a favorite of many. It was one of the first recipes I developed in herbalism. I wanted to put my finger on an effective product, and it has proved its worth!

What's new?

herbal tea pachamama herboristerie la fée des bois

Mariane Desjardins Roy : La Pachamama herbal tea has recently joined our range. It's a very complete herbal tea, it does it all! It's good for the digestive system, the nervous system, it's nutritious... and it tastes great! It's also interesting for young mothers.

Taking a leap forward, what might La Fée des Bois look like in 5 or 10 years' time... Any projects to bring to fruition?

Mariane Desjardins Roy : We're focusing a lot on agrotourism, which is part of our mission. We want people to come and see, experience and realize the positive impact of organic farming... that it's possible, that it exists, and that it's all done locally!

Developing this ecotourism and awareness-raising project is close to my heart.

Many thanks to Mariane Desjardins Roy for answering our questions!

Find out more about La Fée des Bois products, click here.

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