Meet the Team
Julie’s journey in herbal medicine began in her childhood in rural Alaska, where she was taught how to use plants for wilderness survival. This deep fascination continued through Julie’s adult life and extensive travels abroad, where she embarked on a three-year educational journey that spanned 17 countries on 5 continents. After returning to the US in 2001, Julie began her formal botanical studies, attending herbal medical school and practicing under Master Herbalists Lillian McCracken and Lynn Albers, as well as making annual trips to Bolivia to study with Indigenous Master Herbalists in the Amazon and Andes. During this same period, Julie met her Buddhist teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and developed a dedicated Buddhist practice. She continues to integrate Buddhist medicine-making practices, as well as the cross-cultural herbal traditions she’s learned from, into the manufacturing of Leaf People Skin Care. She and her husband, Robbie, live in Aspen, where they co-run Leaf People.
Hailing from the orchard-filled Santa Clara Valley, Robbie grew up playing the bass guitar and mandolin. By the age of 14, he had become part of the international rock scene, recording five albums with his bands People and Rockin’ Horse. In the late Seventies, he became the bass player for Rick Springfield. While living in Los Angeles, Robbie began studying natural hygiene and herbal remedies and has led an active, vegan lifestyle every since. In taking a hiatus from the music industry, he built an international clothing company, developed a boutique resort in Moab and pioneered the Indoor Spinning movement, which was inspired by his lifelong passion for cycling. Robbie’s boundless energy, intense focus and varied business acumen has contributed greatly to Leaf People’s prosperity.
Executive Leaf Wrangler
Growing up fishing, hiking and camping in Wyoming and Colorado, Melanie cultivated a love for the outdoors at an early age. After studying Horsemanship and Business at Central Wyoming College, she pursued a career in various positions within the corporate world, including a 10-year stint at REI. Melanie is excited to bring her unique skillset to Leaf People and to pursue her passion for clean and organic living. She manages our certification process, company outreach and social media. Melanie lives in Grand Junction with her high school sweetheart, where they enjoy backpacking, biking and foraging in the garden for fresh raspberries and gooseberries.
A native of the Roaring Fork Valley, Cleo is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in social justice and old-world traditions. She studied Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at NYU, working on farms in and around the city as a way to maintain a connection to nature. Through her time spent farming and traveling, she learned the importance of what we put in and on our bodies, as well as the cultural traditions they stem from. Cleo works on Leaf People’s editorial content and blog and regularly eats Julie’s vegetarian leftovers.
Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’I surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and immersed in a culturally diverse community, Tara was raised with an emphasis on treating others with kindness and Aloha, extending this same care to the natural environment. As the daughter of an acupuncturist, she grew up witnessing the benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. At Leaf People, working as lead production assistant, immersed in crossroads of herbalism and skin care, Tara experiences our precious and delicate connection to the botanical kingdom and responsibility to protect the land that we inhabit.
The official Leaf People mascot, Miko takes her jobs as chief box recycler and outdoor-break manager very seriously. A tummy-rub connoisseur and aspiring Instagram model, she manages the team’s morale and emotional well-being. She can be found scouting out arnica in the summer and snowbathing in winter. @missmikopomsky