Eric Cech, owner and founder of The Ananda Apothecary, has a B.S. in Environmental Science & Biology from The University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is a collegiate national road cycling champion, former professional triathlete & cyclist turned alpine mountaineer. His career as an alpine climbing guide was detoured when he was hit by a speeding car on the way to the market on his bicycle. The accident resulted in the fracturing of 14 of the 28 bones in the skull. Doctors expected three months of in-patient therapy to teach him how to walk and function again in the world. Instead, he walked out of the hospital in just 10 days, with doctors citing a "miraculous recovery" on his chart.
When Eric was introduced to essential oils and their healing potential, he found the acquisition of the healing-quality of essential oils difficult at best at local shops, and impossibly expensive through home-based distributors (multi-level marketing, or MLM). He sought-out sources for therapeutic quality, and started The Ananda Apothecary over 13 years ago to offer the finest oils, with the best, most-knowledgable customer service, at prices those in need of the oils could afford.
Dr. Anthony Ferrari worked in the Hunting Lab at Ithaca College doing solid-state inorganic chemistry, synthesizing conductive metal oxides for application of a cathode support in fuel cells. Dr. Ferrari worked under Dr. Albert Stiegman, and has worked in collaboration with a number of different groups who are also driven by the emerging microwave chemistry that has been a new focus on at Florida State University. He is now knee-deep in essential oil chemistry. The field has long needed the expertise of analytical techniques, and with more research supporting the case for therapeutic oils, having proper testing methodologies is a great skill going forward.
Mikella Zgliczynska is a chemistry research assistant at Ananda. She graduated from Cornell University in 2014 with Nutritional Science B.S. and has continued pursuing her knowledge in the essential oil field since graduating. Her focus is biochemical pathways and how they could potentially explain the synergistic properties of essential oils.
Isis Ruiz is a Certified Herbalist trained in Western Herbalism through Herbalism Roots in Denver, Colorado. Her love of plants, nature and herbal medicine started at a young age but really became a focal point for her when she began gardening years back. She enjoys incorporating the divine magic and health benefits of plants into her daily life and sharing that love with the world. Previously an established Hairstylist in Florida, she has always enjoyed the connection with people and the hands on approach to healing and making people feel great. A self-proclaimed “product junky” she enjoys crafting and creating herbal goodies to bring not only a healthier approach to beauty but to truly make a change in the everyday lives of people through plants and their amazing gifts.
Jaclyn Best is a graduate of the University of Denver (2014) with a B.A. degree in Environmental Science and a minor in sustainability. She has performed research on transboundary water management in Israel, Jordan and Palestine, and plans to continue working in the field of water resource management and policy, using water management as a catalyst for peace in conflict regions. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, she is a lover of the outdoors, and when not at Ananda, you can probably find her exploring the Rocky Mountains! Her favorite oils are the floral ones, especially Jasmine and Rose.
Scott Merrill is the General Operations Manager for Ananda. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a double-emphasis in Finance and Management, and a minor in Economics. Prior to working at Ananda, Scott spent the past seven years as a General Manager and Director of various herbal wellness businesses around Boulder, CO. His favorite oils are Cinnamon and Lemongrass, which he uses as part of the two blends he made for conditioning his beard (Lemongrass for Spring/Summer, Cinnamon for Fall/Winter)
Dita Muliadi is the Production Supervisor at Ananda. She graduated from Hotel Management School in Chur, Switzerland, and pursued her career in hotel business in her hometown, Jakarta, Indonesia, before moving to the United States. She had the opportunity to run and manage her own business in the food industry for 16 years before joining The Ananda Apothecary in 2014. Dita loves gardening. For her, working at Ananda is like an extension of working in her own garden. It broadens up her perspective and knowledge about plants and their unique properties. She appreciates and loves all the oils that she works with every day. The oil that stands out the most for her is Cajeput. It has a special place in her life as she knows this oil from her childhood. The Indonesian people use Cajeput for almost everything. It heals aches, colds, and respiratory problems, insect bites, and is used as a massage oil or just for comfort. It gives a warm feeling to the skin, has a pleasant smell, and is a very gentle oil. It is very well known, must-have oil in every household in Indonesia.
Alex Swyden studied zoology at the University of Oklahoma. He moved out to Boulder Colorado after college to pursue his passion of the outdoors and natural medicines. You can usually find him exploring the wilderness, producing art, and strumming his guitar. He is currently working on a French aromatherapy certification in order to deepen his understanding of essential oils.
Will Eaton has been part of our Ananda family for seven years. He’s familiar with all the intricate aspects of our operations, but truly specializes in maintaining the integrity of the essential oils we find and supply. Will sources our oils from all over the world and is always looking for the best oil of each harvest. He maintains strong, genuine relationships with all of our suppliers. Will’s depth of knowledge of essential oils has been honed through experience and his years of analyzing samples ‘by smell’, color and texture once they reach our door. He is Ananda’s first QAQC check point. He’s always happy to share his insights with our customers and his friends. Will studied business management at Hofstra University in New York but after relocating from the east coast to Colorado, discovered his love for plant based medicines and has never looked back. Some of his favorite oils are Sandalwood, Cedarwood, and Frankincense.