Jen Auerbach and Adriel Denae started Clary Collection out of necessity. They scoured drugstore shelves looking for clean skincare products. When they could not find what they sought, they started reading, mixing and diffusing oils.
After becoming mothers, they realized there was a gap in the market for truly organic herbal oils and balms. They mine ingredients such as rose hips, beeswax and lavender from the places they’ve called home: Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin and Australia.
They named their business after the healing powers of clary sage. The women of Clary Collection brought a pop-up to our Shindig at Blackberry Farm in November, and they will set up again at Shindig No. 10 Aug. 24-26 in the Shoals.
Denae, a musician, mixes oils using the old technique of warm diffusion at a former monastery in Appleton, Wisconsin. Auerbach runs back and forth between her home in Nashville, mothering her son and operating Clary out of the repurposed barn behind it.
Auerbach won that barn on a dare. She grew tired of mixing oils in her kitchen, and asked her husband, Black Keys musician Dan Auerbach, if she could move operations to the barn. There was one hurdle: His vintage motorcycle collection sat inside. “He said, ‘if you can find somewhere for my bikes, you can have it,’ ” Auerbach says.
Lane Motor Museum in Nashville jumped at her offer to volunteer her husband’s bikes for display. “I called my husband and told him, ‘I just won the barn,’ ” Auerbach says, laughing.
We asked Auerbach a series of questions we’re posing to each Shindig guest.
Whose closet would you like to raid?
What song always make you cry?
Going Home by my husband. I'm not a crier, dude, but that song's a tearjerker.
Where do you go to get inspired?
My friend Buddy Jackson's house. He's an artist. I spent most of my pregnancy there when I first moved to Nashville and didn't know anyone.
What is the best gift you've been given recently?
An antique ring from Arrow & Anchor, from myself.
As a child, what was your dream job?
I wanted to be a news reader.
What were you like in high school?
I went to 14 different schools. I was quite a character because I knew I'd be leaving soon.
What was the highlight of your week?
Domino Magazine came to my home to shoot part of a 12-page spread on independent business women.
What do you think about when you're alone in the car?
All I want to do is listen to music. I blast it. Old '90s hip hip. I zone out.
What are the last three items you bought?
My ring for Mother's Day, two pairs of shoes and a leopard-print silk shirt.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Always ask for help when you need it. My mother told me this after I became a mother, and she was right.