Hi, I’m Josie. The owner and founder of Chapter 31 Botanicals. I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my beautiful family… my husband Leo, and two sons, Tommy and Danny. I have a love for rain and for Jesus, and a passion for all things natural… food, soap, skincare, cleaning products, and healthcare. But it wasn’t always that way. Not because I didn’t want or desire all things natural, but because I was oblivious to the dangers of synthetic and artificial ingredients and the effect they have on our health.
My quest began twenty years ago when my oldest son Tommy was about eighteen months old. He would frequently get colds and not just a simple cold, I’m talking a full blown chest congestion, hard to breathe phlegm vomiting cold. Ongoing visits to the pediatrician and ongoing doses of antibiotics, this went on for months. He lost his appetite and lost a lot of weight. We were very concerned, but both Leo and I had corporate jobs that we could not step away from. Thankfully, our family came together to watch him and we were able to pull him out of daycare. He slowly improved and did fully recover. Fast forward a couple of years and he now starts preschool at four years old. Although not to the same degree as before, he again started to get sick. Yes, I know what you are thinking… he’s around kids and that’s why he got sick. Yes, that does have something to do with it. But it’s not all of it. Occasional sickness as you build antibodies is normal; however, continuously being sick is not. This time, the pediatrician diagnosed him as being asthmatic and allergies were triggering the chest congestion. He was prescribed allergy medication that he was to take daily, regardless of how he was feeling. He was also prescribed albuterol for breathing treatments, which had to take place three times per day when he got sick, which was often. Although I stopped giving him the allergy medication, the breathing treatments went on for a couple of years, as needed. I couldn’t understand it. During this time our younger son Danny turned four years old and started preschool. History seemed to be repeating itself. Although he did not experience the bouts of antibiotics Tommy did, he too, was diagnosed as asthmatic. Now I’m starting to doubt all this nonsense. Neither my husband or I are asthmatic or suffer from allergies. This just did not make sense. And so began my quest for answers.
Too much detail to write about, but in a nutshell, I learned a lot about the plethora of synthetic and artificial ingredients and the effects they had on our health. From pesticides, to herbicides, to phthalates, to formaldehyde to parabens, to gmo’s, and the list goes on. I had to make some drastic changes if I wanted my boys to be healthy and heal. I wasn’t sure what exactly was causing the allergic reaction, so we made several changes. I completely removed wheat, nuts, and dairy from their diets. Actually, I removed it from all our diets. I started buying organic. I also threw out all chemicals and converted to all natural cleaning products as well as children’s body care products, and canceled our pest control service. I love cooking and baking, so I took on the challenge of finding new ways to make things they could eat and enjoy. I had fun creating new recipes using wholesome organic ingredients. This was our new way of life... and it was good.
Something astonishing happened about six months later. It was subtle, but one day I realized, no more sickness… no more breathing treatments. My boys were healed. They were healthy. I guess that’s how long it took to detox their young bodies from chemicals, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and allergens. We continued our new and improved way of life without making any changes; after all their little bodies went through, I was not going to take any chances. About two years later, I felt it was time to gradually start incorporating some of the foods we had eliminated. We started with wheat, then dairy, and lastly nuts. All good. Whatever was causing their allergies was now out of their system. We never went back to chemicals or to pest control, and we still use the same natural cleaning products. Once you experience a chemical free way of life, you will never go back. Especially if you know the dangers associated with synthetic substances. As I think back to what could have been the trigger, I think exposure to chemicals used in their preschool to clean and disinfect was it.
So that is how it all began. It’s my testimonial to all things natural. My boys. Their health. Oh, and about that asthma diagnosis… none. Nada. Both my boys went on to play competitive sports... football, track & field, and cross country. Never an issue. Clearly, the symptoms were brought on by synthetic chemicals.
Throughout the years, I have played around with making homemade things. LOL… I am inspired by creating things that are beneficial to our health and sharing them with others. It started with food, and a few years ago I ventured into making lotions and balms and gave them to my friends and family as gifts. They loved them. My soap making adventure started when I wanted to bless my friend with something special for her birthday. Knowing that she too loves healthy things, I decided to make some homemade soap. And the rest is history. With encouragement from friends and family and much prayer, I decided to move forward and take my homemade all natural products to the next level. So here we are. I started Chapter 31 Botanicals with the desire to help others experience the goodness of natural products. Our world is filled with artificial and synthetic substances. We breathe them, consume them, and put them on our bodies. These substances disrupt our body’s ability to function effectively, fight sickness, and are responsible for many health issues like allergies, endocrine & hormonal issues, just to name a few.
Our products are handcrafted in small batches without the use of synthetic or artificial ingredients. Not one. No phthalates, parabens, surfactants, fragrances, gums, or emulsifiers. Our packaging is environmentally friendly. We use glass and double walled pharmaceutical and food grade PET plastic jars as well as paper boxes.
If you are new to natural products, I am so glad your search led you here. You are in for a real treat. I hope you check back frequently to gain knowledge as I post more informational blogs. And I hope you try our products as you will be pleasantly surprised. If you are already a natural enthusiast, I am glad you are here. I hope you enjoy the site and choose to try our products. You will be glad you did.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. It is an honor and a privilege to share my handcrafted products with you.