Kindred Essentials is based out of Portland, Oregon and was created by Kyle Clifford to fill an unmet need for simple, functional wood oil holders. He uses both domestic and exotic woods and a unique wood-pressing technique to create displays that fuse minimalism and natural beauty.
Get the full scoop on the Kindred Essentials story below!
What is the story behind Kindred Essentials?
So the story is pretty simple, but a lot of fun. I had spent most of my career working various sales jobs always on the pursuit of higher pay, better working environment, etc, but never was able to find something that fully satisfied me. I went through sort of a (very mini) existential crisis related to some of these thoughts about the time my dad passed away back at the tail end of 2016.
Flash forward to the end of Q1 of 2017 I was trying to balance my wavering commitment to my most current sales career and trying to balance it with grief processing, family time, and personal time. You could say that it wasn’t going great. So, after some careful thought and conversation with my wife and a few close friends (and really no safety net) I took a leap of faith and quit without a fallback plan, trusting that by choosing presence I’d be ushered into a new season of fulfillment in my life (hopefully in every way).
The plan was I’d do the stay at home dad thing (that’s a thing right? Haha), watching our two kids and let my wife focus 100% of her time on her doTERRA biz—that was now, after all, our sole source of income…scary! I should mention that when my dad passed away only months earlier I was left with a bunch of tools (he was a finish carpenter by trade). I took them gladly thinking it’d be nice to have saws, clamps, screw guns, etc in case I had to patch a hole in the wall at the house or if the sink sprung a leak or something like that. Occasionally, I helped my dad in the garage as a kid, but I wasn’t ever one that wanted to get my hands dirty the way he did. That is to say, I had no grandiose plans to pick up where he left off.
Well, about June of 2017 my wife came to me and asked if I could use some of those tools to build her some oil holders out of wood for a summer promotion she wanted to run. I have a pretty high view of myself so of course I said, “yes” :). We went to the local lumber store just looking through wood choices until we came upon the hardwood. I’ve always liked black walnut and she really liked maple. We decided to make a really basic piece that had a piece of black walnut sandwiched between two pieces of maple and we wanted it to hold 5 - 15ml bottles and 4 - 10ml roller bottles.
From there you could say that it was “off to the races”. My wife leant her design goddess chops as I bounced ideas off her and we designed and built about 5 different prototypes and threw them on Etsy. It was wild because I wasn’t just learning how to wrap my mind around design, I was literally learning how to use the tools too; I spent hours (and Cate will tell you) watching Instagram stories and posts of woodworkers honing their craft. It was a lot of fun.
That was how we got started, a little over a year ago, from today. We now have over 20 products—many of which are oil holders but we are branching out every day.
The oil holder with crushed turquoise is stunning! Tell us a little more about your technique. What inspired you to incorporate turquoise into your design?
That piece is probably my favorite oil holder! It’s contrast is stunning! So, as I mentioned earlier I spent countless hours watching different woodworking processes on instagram and reading about different techniques. I was like a sponge. Inadvertently, as this is happening you’re earmarking various techniques that you want to try, usually the most challenging or most exciting ones.
I had always thought inlay looked really beautiful, especially stone inlay on dark wood, because, again the colors just pop. So, almost immediately, I started learning how to do inlay work. Then I started sourcing the turquoise, which I thought was going to be the fun part. It wasn’t, it was really stressful! There are a lot of knock off companies out there that use synthetic or chemically grown stone and just dye it turquoise in color.
At Kindred Essentials, I knew I wanted to take my time on this because we do care about the product we source, we like to us the best quality we can. So I spent my time and bought the prettiest turquoise I could find. It came and it was vibrant and bright and I loved it. So I built my first few pieces and loved them…and used up all my turquoise.
I went back to order more and re-read the descriptions of the turquoise I bought and in tiny script, embarrassingly, they mentioned that it was fabricated and dyed. Oops! I just had to laugh at myself.
Long story short, now our turquoise comes from a Native American tribe and is from the legendary sleeping beauty mine which, in the world of turquoise, is known for it’s color and quality.
Kindred Essentials Creative Oil Holder Collection
Kindred Essentials Standard Oil Holder Collection
Kindred Essentials Luxury Wood & Turquoise Oil Holder
How did you get started using doTERRA?
We got stated using doTERRA from a dear friend of ours who my wife actually met years ago through an old website (back before airbnb) called couchsurfer.com. She shared the oils with my wife one day when they were visiting and the rest, as you can say, is history! We have't looked back!
What essential oils do you use daily?
Hmm, I take the LLV’s, Mito 2 Max, Deep Blue Complex, DDR Prime, and at night the Serenity soft gels.
What does the future hold for Kindred Essentials?
What does the future hold for Kindred Essentials?
A great question, and one I lay at night thinking about, haha. I think we are in a really great position, to be honest. We kinda stumbled into a market that loves artisans with a product that is unique and feels different than a lot of what’s out there. Not only that but we live in an exciting time in woodworking where new processes and and technologies and materials are influencing a craft that has been around since the dawn of time.
I am excited to keep cranking out really great essential oil products, especially anything that has to do with resin or epoxy filling. You’ll see some cool new stuff coming out of our shop in the coming months with it because I just think it just looks so gorgeous. Also, we have recently purchased a new machine at Kindred Essentials that allows you to carve almost anything out of wood that you can conceive, that’s the technology piece I was speaking about earlier.
I think the machining specifically puts in a really exciting space, we can essential blend modeled and computer created with hand made craftsmanship. It essentially will allow us to create products that aren’t out there and that, furthermore, we wouldn’t be able to achieve (at least not easily) using just our hands.
It’ll be an awesome ride!
EOS: the dōTERRA Essential Oil Supply Boutique!
We support your natural lifestyle - beautifully & affordably. From high-quality glass containers, labels, and business tools to uniquely curated artisan goods and lifestyle products, we provide everything you need to use and share your essential oils! #youroilsyourstyle