Our Story

The Woodland Orchards was born...

We’ve always wanted to combine our skills and experience to create something interesting, creative and valuable for others, whilst remaining sustainable and fair.

 

After The Woodland Orchards’ founder- Karen, started making beautiful skincare products and then holding workshops, she thought it would be great to create a book on approachable urban self sufficiency that meant personal sustainability with a fresh modern edge. Karen excitedly discussed this idea with her sister Natalie (who is a trained chef, vegetarian, baking crazy and an associate nutritionist) and their mother Dorcas (who is a life long passionate dressmaker and currently at the London College of Fashion). This idea grew and the idea of having hands-on, guided workshops for making natural skincare, gourmet and everyday vegan food and unique plant fibre clothing seemed like a wonderful way to introduce people to exciting, unique and sustainable making.

 

The Woodland Orchards was born!...

The Woodland Orchard Workshop Goddesses
Karen

Karen ~ Natural plant-based skincare & raw food making goddess

 

I love to explore new ideas for wonderful, nourishing, powerful and earth-loving products made with beautiful plant-based materials. These include skincare, food and clothing- so vitally important as they are the things that interact with our largest tissue- our skin, or that nourish our cells from the inside out.

 

In previous years I worked and volunteered in sustainability, international development and life science, and so The Woodland Orchards combines my love of nature with my deep interest in global social equity and my excitement about hands-on making. 

 

I started making natural skincare products 6 years ago, and once I’d perfected blends by experimenting in my kitchen, I started giving beautiful bespoke products as gifts. These were loved (happily for me) and so I held some workshops for a charity I was volunteering at. These workshops were so much fun, and so I decided that, along with other personal sustainability skills, I wanted to share this knowledge with others in a creative and immersive way. I use the valuable experience I gained whilst briefly working for a natural skincare brand, and the knowledge as a Natural Skincare Teacher to craft jam-packed, practical and fun workshops. 

 

Some of my favourite things are:

-Frankincense and rose essential oils

-Raw vegan food

-Quirky structural fashion and shoes

-Herbal tea

-Vinyasa Flow Yoga

-Random dancing

Natalie ~ Plant-based wholefood cooking and baking goddess

I have a massive passion for food and especially love baking.

 

I learnt the basics of cooking from my mother and her cook books (thank you Mary Berry) and learnt to experiment with interesting ingredient mixes from my sister.

 

Before I got to live my passion though I was on track to become an architect. I baked, cooked and blogged in my spare time and loved it, so realised that I wanted to retrain as a chef. This was thrilling and I learnt a vast amount about technical culinary art, flavours and food presentation. At work in restaurants I made sweet buttery pastries and cakes, rich sauces and indulgent Italian dishes…all delicious, but something in me said ‘where’s the nutritional richness to compliment the decadence?’ Shortly afterwards I became a vegetarian and then mostly vegan, then stepped into a world of fresh, colourful, deeply flavoursome and ultimately nourishing food. It was a revelation that veggie food on its own could be so so good!

 

The next natural step for me was to study Nutrition and Exercise Science so that I could help others balance incredible taste with incredible nutrition!

 

Some of my favourite things are:

-Baking (of course)

-Healthfulness

-Nature

-Vintage and Retro Fashion

-Personal Fitness and Well-being

-80’s Music

Natalie
Dorcas

Dorcas ~ Dressmaking in natural plant-based fabrics goddess

 

Since childhood I have been mesmerised by beautifully tailored clothes.  I was surrounded by dressmaking whilst growing up as my mother made lots of our clothes.  I could make my own school uniform and other items by 9 years old, trained as a home economics teacher, made clothes for my children (one of my daughters still remembers, with fondness, her favourite childhood skirt that she wore for a good 6 years) and am now designing and making as a 2nd year at The London College of Fashion- learning new techniques like laser printing. Also my name Dorcas means the seamstress! Sewing and designing are what I live and breathe.

 

Fashion, textiles and clothing, for me, are expressive and most of all fun. I love to share this creative process with others and to give people the tools to make interesting garments and to experiment for themselves.

 

Some of my favourite things are:

-Dressmaking and tailoring

-Cooking hearty meals

-Exploring around the city for ideas

-Sunshine

-Massages