Maker & Mystic: Meet Olivia Clementine Kirby

At least once a month on Annapurna Living, we spotlight a creative entrepreneur who chooses to do business with integrity and soul. Today, please enjoy our conversation with farmer, herbalist and teacher, Olivia Clementine Kirby.

Hello! Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How does your heart manifest in the world?

I am a farmer, herbalist, and teacher. My heart manifests through serving beings wherever they are on their path. Through stillness. Through relationship. Through connection with our elemental world. Through continually understanding what it means to show up fully.

My work is important because____.

It is root work. We work from the core of emotional, physical, mental or spiritual challenges. When we tend to our own obstacles and intentionally live from our most expansive reverent state, this is reflected in how we are in the world. Each being’s transformation and reconnection to our generous world transforms our world, which is in desperate need of our attention.

Olivia Clementine Kirby

What does soulful business mean to you?

Soulful business is business grounded in the heart and the unknown. Soulful business moves with what is calling. It is connected to the sorrow and joy of the world and does it’s best to meet both.

Where did you cultivate your work ethic?

My father is a pretty intensely focused person with very high expectation of himself and endless curiosity about the world. I think growing up around him and seeing someone that could just become completely immersed in so many things gave me a feel for what is possible of one person. And that one could work towards being a well-rounded person invested in a wide range of subjects.

What is the best business advice you would give?

Just begin. Invest in the education if you are needing to be further informed. Stay committed to quality and source Stay open to the evolution of your business so it remains authentic and inspiring for you.

How do you stay connected to loved ones when deeply entrenched in work?

Doing my best to stay fully present when we are in communication. Ask questions to pull me out of my world. Sit down and share meals. Hug often. Be silly.

Olivia Clementine Kirby

What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? How do you work with or around it?

Feeling like my work is enough. Knowing I can always do more to be of benefit. Both outwardly and inwardly.

Please share a personal mantra, motto, or ritual for when you feel drained.

Two mantras that come up often are: Life is precious. Path is the goal. So I do not take anything for granted and so I realize that what is happening now is life, not always living for some end goal.

When you feel burned out or uninspired, what lights your fire again?

Foot massage and a good movie with my love, an inspiring opening conversation, a delicious cup of tea, the world outside of dramatic skies and forever changing wonderment.

How do you start your work day?

I begin the day with my meditation practice. I run outside, more like mouse, scurrying about to take in the morning air and light. To move my blood and warm up my body. Then I go inside and drink warm water with lemon with drops of plant medicine in tincture form. Then I’ll have some breakfast and step into work activities.

If you could do something else as a vocation, what would it be?

I would be a monk.

When do you feel most creative?

When I am moved by the scenery, or a conversation. When I have just come through a hard moment with revelation and insight. 

Olivia Clementine Kirby

Who inspires you and where or how is their influence felt in your work?

So many people inspire me and often they are teachers and artists devoted to the exploration of what it is to be human. Chogyam Trungpa, Anam Thubten, Mary Oliver and Thich Nhat Hanh have been long-time influences. They have distinct voices, but each offer inspiration in showing up fully. In befriending our fear. In relating with our world with vulnerability and intensity. In keeping me connected to the heart of my work: service, connection and curiosity. My world is of the tangible. I spend each day in the soil, in the fresh air, with clients on the phone most often connecting from the texture of the present moment and gathering, blending and designing herbal products. Art influences me greatly in each of these. I live 2 hours north of NYC so I love to go the Metropolitan Museum of Art and walk around the European Painting Collection. I love the intense emotion and color. I adore the gold leaf framing. There is so much power, decadence, suffering, humanity, divinity that I experience through paintings, which I want to share through my work. What a gift that place is. I put a lot of energy towards learning how to communicate more honestly and genuinely. On Being, the podcast with Krista Tippett, is wonderful new inspiration.

When did you first realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

There was never a realization. I do not even truly realize it now. I am simply doing what I do right now. The process of imagining to creation has always magnetized me. Since I was a kid, I would make what I set my mind on and was absorbed in the detail as well as completion of my intention.

Tea ceremony

Tea ceremony

What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

I am not sure. I dressed up and was very into teaching. I would come home and teach grammar to my family at the dinner table and ask them to repeat words after me. Maybe I wanted to be bossy! Ha ha.

What did you know you did NOT want to be?

Unhappy. I have always wanted harmony and happiness for myself and everyone around me.

Do you have a first memory from childhood that connects you to what you have created today?

I don’t have a first memory. I heard the voices from my parents and the school I went to, that I could do anything if I placed my attention on it. That has been big for me.

What did you learn from your childhood that impacts you today?

The fragmented relationships, which I was surrounded by growing up, greatly impacted me. There was so much pain and dissatisfaction and it tied me to the desire to do what I can to alleviate this discomfort and lacking. To offer pathways to harmony within myself and each being I encounter.

If you could do or make something every day that you give away, what would it be?

All of my products. I wish I could give them all away. I wish I could give away all the food we grow on the farm.

What is the thing that keeps you up at night?

When there is rough weather I worry about the animals and crops and the leaks in our home. I question my path all the time, wondering how I can be of greater benefit. I think of those struggling and do my best to focus on their bright path ahead.

How do you stay nourished and inspired as a soulful creative?

Meditate. Sweat. Take in the good air and winds and rains. Remember to be kind. Laugh. Listen. Apologize. Learn. Relearn.

Olivia Clementine Kirby

Who supports you?

So many people. My friends and family and partner. They get to hear a lot more about my business than I think they might want to. I am supported by mentors whom I have studied herbal medicine with. I work with coaches every year to improve my communication, to show up as the person I want to be, to clear old tendencies that are no longer needed. These people have been invaluable. I dream of the day that I have a team where we can build this business together and share ideas and vision and have greater impact. One day soon!

What are your favorite entrepreneurial resources? Business mentors?

I love the span of business between Marie Forleo's work and Charles Eisenstein.

Tell us a story or describe a time when something occurred in your business that made your heart leap and you KNEW you were doing the right thing.

For me it is the collection of moments that sit with me and remind me that I am on the right path. My heart is thrilled when clients courageously make a move towards the life they want to live. They speak honestly with their partner. They take the time they need for themselves. They stop repeating the old stories in their head that only cause them dis ease. They receive their period after a decade without it. They wake up rested without sleep medication. They reconnect with their body in love. They trust in what is possible for them and make decisions from this place. They remember their precious breath and stay more connected to her.

My work space with clients

My work space with clients

Please share any messages, wisdom, stories, or insights you have gathered through your entrepreneurial journey.

To continual revisit your path. Constantly make sure you are aligned with what you are putting your precious energy towards. Pay attention to how your body responds to your work. Our body speaks loudly and will tell us if we are on track. Focus on loving yourself. The more we love ourselves as we are, the more we will clearly know how to be in this world. Make time to see and appreciate our reality, which is now.


Olivia Clementine Kirby by Val Shaff

Olivia Clementine Kirby by Val Shaff

About Olivia

Olivia Clementine Kirby is a farmer, herbalist and teacher. Her work is rooted in her commitment to inner and outer landscapes. A celebration of the wisdom offered through the natural world, the wisdom held in each being and the power that emerges when these worlds flow into each other. Through her line of handmade herbal offerings, consultations, ceremonies and retreats, she supports beings uncover their innate brilliance and recognize this potential in everyday life. Olivia lives and works on a farm along the Hudson River in Staatsburg, New York. For more information visit her website, www.oliviaclementine.com, and find her on Instagram.