In the Studio with Isa's Restoratives

Though I think our jewelry is always worthy of a closer look, there is one other object in our storefront that elicits an equal curiosity. In a small glass dropper is an amber liquid with a neatly labeled promise, Love Potion. Roll the bottle over and you'll find printed instructions for its use: a potion that entices receiving other's perspective with a sweet and open heart. Take a few drops together on your own and a moment to set your love intention.

The woman behind Love Potion is Brooklyn based herbalist, Isa Brito. Through her organic apothecary line, Isa’s Restoratives, she takes the belief that ritual can promote love and understanding and blends it with her knowledge of plant-based healing. 

“Rituals are important to me, even little ones. They seal intention,” Isa explains. “I started using rose tea as a prelude to challenging conversations in relationships, family, and work…but not everyone wanted to brew roses before a talk, so I made this potion with roses, hawthorn flowers, brandy and local honey. It can be taken as drops directly into the mouth, or added to a bit of water.”

We heard more from Isa on her beginnings and wildcrafted process. 

Growing up near a farm in Brazil was Isa’s first connection to nature.
I grew up back and forth between the small state of Sao Paulo and a ranch in Minas Gerais, Brazil. All of our food and commodities were produced at the ranch, and from a very early age, I roamed free there, like the free-range hens whose eggs I fetched on one of my many daily chores. Bee stings and being wary of poisonous snakes were a regular part of life. I got smudged with rue regularly to ward off both physical and spiritual threats,  including worms and nightmares. Looking back, I believe this childhood helped build a strong immune system as well as a sense of curiosity and mental freedom. This is my foundation.

Moving to Brooklyn years later, Isa turned her childhood influence into a study of healing plants. 
After years traveling through many countries as a photojournalist, I eventually settled in NY to have my daughter. At that point, I reconnected to my naturalist roots and voraciously studied both the herbs in my area and those beyond. I had always made face masks at home, and used oils in my hair and skin instead of creams. It wasn’t until my daughter started showing an interest in beauty products that I started working with formulas that would fulfill the promises of what she desired from the drugstore, but with very simple and safe ingredients. Soon I was selling one particular cream, and the next thing I knew, I had a website and was shipping nationally and internationally. 

Sourcing is done far beyond her own garden. 
I only harvest plants that are very abundant, some that are invasive.  I get roses upstate and along the beach in Long Island. I make special trips at the right time for when the right part of the plant I need to use is ready. June is the time for St. John’s Wort, roses, linden, and violet. In July it's yarrow and young goldenrod. Late summer and early fall I collect certain berries such as elder and later in the fall roots such as burdock and valerian. On a walk, I may run into something else. Like yesterday I was collecting roses and had the collateral benefit of finding lots of cleavers growing with the rose bushes.

Currently, violets are her thing.
I harvested the flowers earlier in the spring and use them in salads and also freeze them in ice cubes to serve in cocktails. The leaves are very healing and protective of the skin. They are cooling, anti-inflammatory and if used regularly, can aid in dissolving lumps. Violet leaves have a great affinity to women’s breasts, so... I am concocting a gorgeous Violetta body oil. It looks like liquid emeralds! 

You can find Isa’s best selling Love Potion and Lilac Rouge lip balm at Catbird. Isa also produces a variety of wildcrafted balms, creams, and elixirs, which are available through her online shop. // For more, follow @isasrestoratives


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