Shopping local comes full circle

Herb Circle was started by eight women who all had small children and wished to open a shop in their local area.

It has remained in the town since, changed owners twice and moved location just once.

Now in the Village shops on Haynes Street, it was originally located at the top of Haynes Street where the Japanese restaurant has opened, opposite the library.

The shop�s official 25th birthday was celebrated in the store on Saturday, May 23.

Kath Forster, owner since 2011, said she was extremely proud to be in the position she was, with the store as strong today as the day it opened.

�Herb Circle was set up by a wonderful group of women who believed in the power of herbs to heal and has operated in these areas ever since,� she said.

�This shop is all about the senses. You touch, see and smell the products, which are predominately hand-made and the texture is also important, which are all things you can�t access on the internet.

�It is unique and people love that about the Kalamunda location. Shop local and keep your local businesses going otherwise you will have a dozen chain stores here and nothing unique to Kalamunda.

�You don�t want the sameness to your shopping because then we will be like every other suburb of Perth.�

Original owner Georgia Efford said the collective of women were involved in local crafts and wanted to think globally but shop locally.

�When we started here, natural herbal products were a new idea and we grew the herbs at home to sell them,� Mrs Efford said.

�In many ways, it was innovative.

�We wanted to work where we lived and not have to go to the city, and we are very happy with this model for our children, who were at school when we started the shop.

Leeann Dobson, a herbalist, said the women had a lot of stock at home and were not sure how they could reduce the quantity at the time.

�We got the idea to open a shop because it was a way of moving the stock and it just took off from there,� she said.

Mrs Dobson has a cottage and grows herbs in Gooseberry Hill. She uses the herbs to produce her tinctures and organic healing medicines.