+  Juniper Ridge

photo credits: Hall Newbegin @crawlonwetdirt

We formulate wilderness perfume by distilling and extracting fragrance from wildflowers, plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings that we harvest on the trail. We crawl around in mountain meadows. We smell the wet earth beneath fir trees, and spend whiskey-fueled hours arguing over the scent of a wind sweeping over a glacier. We make our fragrances throughout the West, on dirt roads and trails, around campfires, and in our Oakland, California workshop. All to capture the quiet beauty of the Mojave Desert at sunrise, or a late-season Sierra trailhead with winter right around the corner. All of our products are named for the wild places they come from. Our company is built on the simple idea that nothing smells better than the forest and that the only way to bring this beauty home is to first strap on your boots and go there.

I started Juniper Ridge at the farmers markets fifteen years ago. I didn’t know anything about business - I was a hiker and a backpacker and just deep into wilderness. Being out there on the trail isn’t just a hobby for me, it’s everything. It’s the closest thing I have to church, the thing I can get lost in, where I don’t matter anymore and all the anxious ramblings of my mind fade softly into the sounds of the creek I’m sleeping next to...I didn’t know anything about business, I just wanted to make something real and beautiful from the wild. 

But it was a totally crazy idea and a money loser - distilling the wild into perfumes and soaps? No one else in the world does that and for good reason, it’s incredibly expensive and fraught with problems, but I couldn’t let it go. You do things for love or money in life, and I was deep in love and had no choice but to keep going down the path. Juniper Ridge is flying now, and 2014 was the year I stopped worrying about money and really started having fun again, falling in love with the wild and my biz all over again...money is just something that comes and goes in life, and it seems the less I pay attention to it and the more I just focus on the beautiful thing, the more gets thrown at me. I don’t care about anything anymore but having fun and working with people I respect and love. That’s it, that’s my biz plan these days, and I'm going to do a lot more of the same in 2015!

Hall Newbegin (founder of Juniper Ridge)