katie mcvean and her husband

Jan 17, 2019 7:32:00 AM | new years resolutions Aromatherapists’ Health Journey Insights for New Years | achs.edu

achs.edu Master of Aromatherapy Graduate, Katie McVean, Shares Her Journey Toward Creating Wellness and Supporting Healthy Longevity.

katie mcvean and her husband

American College of Healthcare Sciences Master of Aromatherapy Graduate, Katie McVean, Shares Her Journey Toward Creating Wellness and Supporting Healthy Longevity Using Essential Oils, Nutrition and Reducing Harmful Chemicals  

Interviewer: What inspired your interest in Aromatherapy and American College of Healthcare Sciences’ (ACHS) educational programs?

Katie:  I’ve always been interested in making my own products and wellness. I didn’t know a lot about essential oils and wanted to get some accurate information. I found that ACHS would work with student aid and was impressed with the education I would receive from them.

Interviewer: Was there someone or a specific incident that encouraged you toward a wellness pathway?

Katie:  Yes, it was my mother.  She always prepared home cooked healthy meals.  She kept a bowl of fresh fruit on the table so my siblings and I were encouraged to eat nutritious snacks, so hopefully we would be healthy and not get sick.  There was a significant period in my life when my parents passed from cancer and my age-three grandson died of a genetic illness. Those experiences stimulated an increased interest in wellness and provided the impetus I needed to learn more about nutrition and its impact on healthy longevity. It also began my thinking about how I could include nutritional wellbeing with natural body essentials.

I soon met  Judy & John Krajenka at a craft fair I hosted. I  purchased and tried some of the soaps and body care items Judy creates.  I was over the top impressed with their quality and a light bulb went off in my head.  Now, that I had more knowledge and was eating better for nutritional support, I was ready to gain the knowledge needed to care for the outside of my body. I was worried Judy would feel like I was copying her, so I asked her if it would be alright for me to make soaps too. She was thrilled and even helped me with some tools and answers to my questions.

My interest in causes of illness, included the chemicals that we use in our everyday lives including baby and skin care products and cleaning supplies.  In addition to making my own soap using coconut, olive, shea butter, castor and sweet almond oils. I started using baking soda, vinegar, lemon and salt to clean with and received great results without the harmful chemicals.  You can learn more about creating your own cleaning supplies and skin care products using essential oils and natural ingredients at https://achs.edu/about-us/download-free-ebooks-and-white-papers

As I began making soaps with fragrance oils and started experiencing dry, itchy skin. I then decided that I was going to try essential oils instead. That’s when I knew that I needed more understanding and education to learn how to safely use essential oils in the products I was creating.  I did my research and found American College of Healthcare Sciences, an accredited degree, distance learning program that proficiently assists with school loan applications. www.achs.edu

Interviewer: How has the education you are receiving at ACHS enhanced your life personally and professionally?

Katie:  First of all, I’ve learned what to put in my products that support wellness.  I’m making lip balm, beard balm, skin cream, therapeutic creams to relieve arthritis and common cold symptoms.

I completed my Master Degree in Aromatherapy this past fall. Components of the program include anatomy and physiology and creation of my personal business plan.  I have three more classes to take to complete the Natural Products Manufacturing Certification.

My dream for the future is to have my own shop where I can support the health of my clients in a natural way. Right now, you can find my product online at www.thecoconuttreesoaps.com.   Currently, residents of Cadillac, Michigan and surrounding towns can find my products at Kahvi Coffee Shop and Debbie’s This N’ That Resale, both located in downtown Cadillac. They can also contact me at my email address with product or holistic health questions at coconuttreesoaps@gmail.com.


Judy Starr

Written By: Judy Starr

Judy Starr, VP of External Relations at American College of Healthcare Sciences, has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and brings her expertise in marketing and communications to ACHS. She has raised millions of dollars during her career through her work with major gift donors, foundation grant writing and corporate relations. Judy is a vegan who seeks to inspire others with her passion for organic unprocessed foods. As a licensed esthetician for 28 years, she has served at day spas and at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Aguada, Puerto Rico, where she taught skin care classes and provided skin care and Reiki treatments. Through her unique career journey, she has learned the value of choosing pure unadulterated natural ingredients for customized skincare regimens. Her niche spa experience gives her a unique perspective and platform to share industry-specific knowledge in the realm of natural skin care, body care and holistic wellness. Judy has been a Reiki master for 20 years.