Hello, From Blue Ridge Aromatics
We are an Asheville, NC based craft essential oil distillery that specializes in Western North Carolina native species and other oils uncommon on the market. We are a young company that started in March, 2015 with a modest $5,000 crowdfunding campaign.
We hand-distill beautiful essential oils and hydrosols in our custom-built (and 90% recycled material) stainless steel distillation unit. Our plant material is sustainably harvested from local national forests and our organic farm in a remote densely-forested valley of the Southern Appalachians. Additionally, we source “waste” plant material from local businesses for distillation, such as juiced fresh organic ginger pulp and Christmas Tree trimmings slated for incineration.
Our essential oils are 100% pure. We will never dilute or adulterate our oils in any way unless specifically stated as a blended oil! Our wild-crafted and organic essential oils are therapeutic grade. Currently, we offer pure, single-source, small-batch essential oils for sale on this website and in stores.
Ian Montgomery is the founder/owner of Blue Ridge Aromatics. He takes care of the company’s day to day operations including: sourcing and production, systems building/improvement and order fulfillment. Ian holds an MBA with a concentration in Sustainable Enterprise and has a diverse background that includes horticulture, small and start-up enterprise consulting and equipment and systems maintenance/repair. He has lived and worked in a range of places from Ocracoke Island in the NC Outer Banks to the San Francisco Bay Area but feels most at home in the loving embrace of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
Our Forest Farm is also a valued character in this story! 45 minutes north of Asheville in Madison County, NC our farm is a cove along the beautiful Big Laurel Creek valley. This is one of the least developed areas in Western North Carolina and the forest’s biodiversity is stunning! Starting at 2500′ elevation and going up an un-developed cove to 3200′, our 45 acre farm is it’s own watershed with several springs throughout the property.
A privileged farm it is! We are committed to following organic growing practices, invasive species control and healthy forest and soil management in cooperation with the USDA and USNFS. In-line with our sustainability policies, all harvests are conducted in a manner that ensures the longevity and further propagation of populations of native species. This means healthy pruning of large populations and transplanting/seed-spreading of smaller populations.
People often ask how Ian got into distilling essential oils.
Ian was introduced to essential oils by a dear friend in the early 2000’s and developed a fascination for the incredible concentration of these plant aromas. With a love for plants and a business degree, he later found himself growing plants commercially but most interested in native plants. Ready to return to the WNC Mountains, which has a strong natural healing community, Ian began researching essential oil distillation and a business plan was born!
With the support of business school colleagues, a few crucial business and industry advisors, old friends and new local supporters, Ian launched an Indiegogo campaign in March, 2015 and raised just over $5,000 to build a distillation plant. The first year was a bit touch and go with crowdfunding perks delivered quite late and all production happening in Ian’s basement. The learning curve was steep but each distillation provided valuable lessons for adapting the design and/or process.
Now, with more than 21 different species distilled, 45 distillations completed and hundreds of sales under our belt, we’re more confident than ever that we have achieved proof of concept and we’re excited to be on the forefront of an artisan essential oil distiller movement that is changing the essential oil industry from the bottom-up!
We appreciate your visit to our site and you are encouraged to browse our blog from this year, shop our oils and stay tuned for updates!
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15 thoughts on “About Us”
Hi! I’m so pleased to see that a distillery is opening close to home! I am from asheville nc, and currently am starting my new skin care line, Selah Aesthetics in greenville sc. Find me on FB. I am extremely interested in your oils for my products and speaking with you! Blessings!
I’m not going to contribute to your fundraising…but when you get to the point that you have some oils produced, if you have enough to make them available in bulk to resellers I’d like to be first on your list 😉 if that helps in any way.. I’ve been importing and resellingoils for over 20 years… and have built a reputation for quality.
Thank you so much for your interest Marge! We’ll keep you posted!
Very, very exciting! I have an all-botanical perfume & body care line called river island apothecary, designed & crafted in Asheville. I’ve been a practicing Aromatherapist since 1999, and am so thrilled to finally see an endeavor like yours! Let’s be in touch, I’d love to come see your facility & meet you. Also, I’m one of the 2015 businesses in the Accelerating Appalachia program–let’s connect & help each other grow!
Hello, I am contacting you because I am interested in carrying some of your oils in my massage therapy studio located in Washington, NC. I have used some of your products before and highly recommend to my clients! Just wondering if you have any specific requirements in who you choose to carry some of your oils? Let me know if this could be possible!
Thanks so much,
Hi Susan, thanks for reaching out and for recommending our oils! We would be delighted to offer our oils to your shop! Please email us and we’ll set you up!
Do you ever offer classes on steam distillation?
Hi Margaret and thanks for your question! We do host the occasional workshop but are not currently set up for classes. We do hope to develop that capacity soon!
I am clearing a patch of Fraser Fir in WNC and I was wondering what your criteria is to buy the branches.
I just received my first order of Fraser Fir Oil and it is wonderful. Clean and sweet smell. I liked it so much that I just ordered more. The mountains of North Carolina is my favorite place but since I am stuck in Ohio at least I can enjoy the smell.
Please let me know when you have more of the Fraser Fir Oil . Thanks
Hi Tricia, Fraser Fir is back in stock! Thank you for your support and patience!
I’m so happy I found your website and I love the video of how the essential oils are made. I have been looking for a company that is hand making product and cares about the impact on nature and the enviroment. I look forward to trying your products and spreading the word about you.
Hello, what is the production capacity of the machine and price?
Hello and thank you for your question! We don’t sell essential oil stills but our average batch size would be around 40kg of fresh plant material.