Our Origin & Vision
Beessential: Long Lake Apothecary & Herbal Remedies began in two kitchens off of beautiful Long Lake in Park Rapids, a teeny town in Northern Minnesota. What started as some all natural DIY laundry detergent, lip balm, and other at-home products flourished into a small business venture between Rachel Renee & Athena Rose in late 2019. Our vision has always been to create personal care products that are guilt-free, natural, and affordable. All natural products that are essential oil infused, beekeeper approved, and good for your mind and body don’t have to be exclusive in any way.
Our products and product prices reflect our company’s philosophy in all its beauty and simplicity. Companies that create unique, handcrafted products for your body at astronomical prices only perpetuate the use of cheap, synthetic, unhealthy, unnatural products. You can live a fulfilling, guilt-free, natural lifestyle. We believe that everyone and their families deserve to experience and utilize all natural, handcrafted products because it’s a part of human nature. We’re ready to go back to the basics, are you?
My name is Athena Rose. I am 25 and I have spent most of my young adult life traveling around the southwestern US. My mom and I did a lot of traveling when I was a small child and we lived all over; most notably in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Mexico. The pine forests of Minnesota always called me back home, though, and I’ve spent the last 10 or so years here in the Park Rapids area.
First and foremost, I am an artist and I draw a lot of my muse from the forests surrounding my home, my friends, and a love for animals and all things natural. I have an affinity for drawing wild animals, particularly foxes, coyotes, and wolves.
About 5 years ago I made the decision to begin beekeeping. I felt that beekeeping was something I needed to do as a responsible steward of the land and I quickly fell in love with the hobby. After my first honey harvest, I was totally hooked and I spent a lot of time trying to educate and promote beekeeping and what I was doing. I began selling small jars of honey at Cedar Shores Lodge & Resort, where I reside and my fiance and I help his parents manage. I called it Athenabee honey and it was a huge hit with our guests and visitors coming up off the lake for fuel.
I met Rachel at the Hilltop Inn in Hubbard, on the south end of Long Lake about 10 years ago and our friendship has always been a pinnacle of inspiration in my life. She was always the driving force for my own personal growth in going all-natural and choosing a healthier lifestyle. It’s after we began sharing notes with each other on our own at-home care products that we realized we have some really good ideas between the two of us that maybe other people would enjoy too. At that point we began infusing our lotions and salves with Athenabee honey and the rest is history.
My name is Rachel Renee and I grew up on Long Lake in northern Minnesota. When I was born we lived in a cabin in the woods with no running water or electricity. We had dirt floors, and I was toilet trained in an out-house. We lived off the land. I would help my father plant a huge garden every summer. He was also a chef and wood craftsman. He taught me so many things I still use today. I also grew up in the festival community. My mother would bring my brother and I along to festivals throughout Minnesota in the summers.
When I was 2 my father brought me skating, and I grew a passion for it. In the fifth grade I was introduced to hockey. I immediately fell in love. I always refer to hockey as “my first love”.
At the age of 19 I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Alli Lee was born on November 18, 2010. She was the most precious and beautiful thing I had ever seen. Immediately I was looking for the most healthy anything and everything for her and I nursed her, and started making our own laundry detergents, salves, creams, ect. Then on August 9, 2011 Owen Thomas was born. He was perfect, a little easier however. In May 2012 I met Athena at our place of work, the Hilltop Inn in Hubbard. It shortly blossomed into a beautiful friendship. On February 20, 2013 Raughla Jacob came earth side. Then on October 7, 2014 Woodrow Michael joined us. We thought we would be done but on January 16, 2017 Mila Renee (Ruca), was born on her auntie Carly’s birthday and Mila completed our family. I nursed all of the children pretty much up until we found we were pregnant with the next.
Jacob (my fiance) is the chef at Hilltop. He grew up in the restaurant his parents owned at the south end of Long Lake. We couldn’t do this without them! Athena was around the whole time and a huge part of these child and childless adventures. We started making products together for our own families, but it turned out to be so much more and we decided we wanted to share with anyone and everyone we could.
In June of 2020 we opened our very own shop space on Main Street in Park Rapids, MN. We are located at 107 Main Avenue, S. underneath the Theater marquee on the left side. Currently, due to the pandemic and off-season here in Park Rapids, our shop is open by appointment only. We usually stop in 2-3 times a week to package up our online orders and meet folks to discuss herbalism, how the bees are doing, business, and more. Our inbox is always open so if you’d like to set up a meeting, shoot us an email at Beessential.firstname.lastname@example.org