Celebrating Women's Month - An aromatic journey...

Posted by Greg Schneider on

This month we celebrate Women’s Day. As women, we are the full circle. Within us we have the power to create, nurture and transform. 

I have decided to invite 3 good friends to tell their stories of Transformation and finally I to will share my story of personal transformation from regular mom and housewife to the world of entrepreneurship, boss lady and businesswomen.

First is my dear friend Doryce Sher, owner and creator of The Aromatic Apothocary. Her company’s rise to become a household brand more than two decades ago, was quite phenomenal.

Doryce hailed from Zimbabwe and as a high school graduate, set her heart on becoming a chartered accountant, however, her dad encouraged her to study pharmacy believing that to be a more appropriate profession for his daughter.

After qualifying and pursuing her profession, dispensing drugs at a retail pharmacy, she decided this was not her passion. Luckily, Doryce had an epiphany, “I can’t do what I don’t believe in “. Fortuitously or by design, as I believe the universe guides one, she stumbled on a course offering Aromatherapy. It was a profession hardly heard of in the early nineties.

As a qualified pharmacist and with her newfound knowledge of the health benefits of plant-based “medicine” she began blending her oils for stress, muscles aches, insomnia, and many more ailments. Doryce used pop up markets as her first step to retail her products and in doing that, she learnt another pearl of wisdom . “Never be afraid to be in touch with the end-user of your product – this is far more valuable than market research.”

Doryce’s journey to a prestigious retail store at the Cape Town Waterfront took many twists and turns. Along the way, many competitors joined the alternative health market, the likes of the Body Shop, a well-known UK brand. However, Doryce adopted her next pearl of wisdom “Don’t look sideways and get distracted by naysayers or competition”. A valuable lesson to myself as owner and founder of Symbols on Silk.

Twenty years of juggling manufacturing, wholesale, retail, staff theft, staff disloyalty, borrowing money, an acrimonious divorce and finally liquidation left Doryce vulnerable, but never defeated.

Next followed Doryce’s hugest insight and third pearl of wisdom. “Everything that happened made me more creative and encouraged me to find a way around or through my challenge”.

With the Aromatic Apothocary having closed down at the Waterfront, Doryce could have been defeated and become a victim of her circumstances and nobody would have blamed her, but this woman of worth once again stood tall giving us another pearl of wisdom, “I never let shame or pity debilitate me”.

Doryce went back to restart the Aromatic Apothecary all over again. With much persuasion, she convinced the organisers of Decorex to exhibit her beloved brand once more.  Here lies her next piece of advice, “Look at your goalposts and adapt them as needed”.

Finally, Doryce is back on her feet having reframed her new mind-set, “Adversity creates opportunity” .

From my dear friend I have learnt the fundamentals of my business, my most favourite being “Always do in business, what you say you are going to do,“ I would like to add to this, “because so many companies don’t".

Thank you Doryce for your invaluable advice, for sharing it with our readers and showing us why women are more than creators and nurturers, but transformers of themselves, turning ideas into great successes.

As a token of appreciation, we would like to offer five of our lucky readers who share their personal pearls of wisdom with Symbols on Silk, two of my favourite Aromatic Apothecary products, Roll-on Relief and the Relaxer Mini Roll-On, as well as a beautiful freshwater pearl strung on a silk thread. Winners will be chosen at the end of August. 

Happy Women's Month.


"Thank you Doryce for your pearls of wisdom, you have inspired me, with your work ethic and sound business advice".


Doryce Sher, Founder of Aromatic Apothecary, creating ready & easy to use aromatherapy products for body, mind & soul.                                            

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