A Look Back, A Look Ahead

2020 has been one of the best years of my life. I birthed my baby, Ferm Fatale after having given it a go once before and subsequently losing my retirement fund, life savings and finding myself homeless in 2016. The point is I have already endured a long journey in discovering the light that is alive in me, and this year has provided me the bravery and insight to actually share it as I have seen many brave souls step up this year! I’m in no way downplaying the severity and consequences of this virus’ impact. I am suggesting divine order is at play. I hope you have found the gold in these uncertain times as well. 

I spent years denying my spiritual identity due to dominant impressions that were made on my psyche in the first chapter of my life which led to self-limiting core beliefs which kept me back from receiving the life I desire. In order to look forward, let us take a glance back.... I was a child medium who pursued a career in Mortuary. My gift was like having a sharp knife that cut me because I didn’t know how to handle it. I childishly chased my curiosity for years sitting in cemeteries, but it was the experiences I had with the souls of young children whose lives were cut short while working in Broward County’s Medical Examiner’s office assisting in autopsies that made me realize what I was really dealing with. This led me to exit stage right into a career as a healer, which lasted over 20 years. Diagnosed with a severe scoliosis led me to begin practicing yoga at age 15 and attending eight 10 day silent meditation retreats since age 19 served as a means to begin the process of healing after enduring a traumatic childhood.

I was the eldest of 4 girls, raised in rural Pennsylvania with a mother undiagnosed with mental illness. She had all three of my half sisters just 10 months apart with her third husband who ‘adopted’ me at age 8 at his young age of 21 so I may carry the same last name. Truth is, I was never treated the same. I was always on the outside, they both made sure of that. My grandparents were my truest support system growing up. Their passing coupled with the death of my marriage due to alcoholism made me leave my thriving private practice, my 22 year relationship, my family and friends in Vero Beach Florida in 2012 to reinvent myself and find a new ‘life’ in Los Angeles. With no job, apartment, friends or support system, it seemed more than just a mid-life crisis at age 36. I was smack in the middle of my Saturn return. The planet Saturn representing structure in our lives, had returned to the same place in the sky as it was upon my birth. Oftentimes to see the Light of what is ahead you must look back with new eyes to find the deepest of discoveries. That is the purpose of my sharing this story that has informed my current being. I am a triple Gemini. My desire for broad perspective comes with that which my birth chart gave me. I like to hang in the celestial, it brings me peace knowing we are a part of a divine order way larger than ourselves.

I talk about what inspired Ferm Fatale being a time when I felt isolated and different because I couldn’t drink, but there is such a deeper story to tell. Drinking Dirty is only one side of this life affirming coin. The lessons in how to live with a clean heart are what I intend to share with you in the coming year. I truly feel this will be the greatest elixir I could ever share with you, how I have found freedom from negative core beliefs that once kept me hostage to addiction, shame, regret, fear, doubt, isolation, and loneliness. I could have never gained these insights without deep loss. 2021 will be the year I really open up my heart in an attempt to help you heal yours, unapologetically.

You see, death is not the end of your body. The decay or composting or fermentation that occurs when microorganisms consume the energy that once animated your body doesn’t end there—It is transformed. I share this story not because I want you to feel sorry for me. I share this story because I want you to know myself and the brand more deeply so you feel safe to share yourself with the world as well. It’s funny that when interviewed this past year after the launch most people want to talk about my gift as a medium. The origin story of Ferm Fatale is one that yes, was birthed from struggle, but just like Joseph Campbell’s ‘A Hero’s Journey’ or Pablo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ reveals, ‘it is she who spins lead into gold that is the Hero.’ The uncertainties, including the fear of death for many in 2020 have brought even a deeper clarity for me. On the eve of the 2020 Solstice and the Grand Conjunction in the sky, it seems like an apropro time to share with you this truth that has come from hundreds of personal experiences in my own soul and in countless others I have had the honor in assisting. Even on this Christmas my dog who died the exact month I launched this company and a month before Covid, will not be with me but I know the Truth... Death is not real, it is an illusion. Our fear of death is due to the misperception of our reality. Some may call my cards a shitty hand. I disagree. I might be ‘alone’ in your eyes, that may be what you perceive, but in my heart I feel the portal opening. I have never been more supported nor free. This is a pivotal Solstice—the double Christmas star—this has not occurred in 800 years—Jupiter & Saturn are coming together for the ushering in of the Age of Aquarius. I can feel the promise of wholeness, joy, and abundance that have always been mine. The river is always flowing. All I must do is lay down my fears, leave the dry river bank I once clung to and allow myself to receive...this gift is also yours. 

Death is the force that shows us what we love. I thank the Universe for these past 8 years of the ‘Dark night of the soul’ in LA and all the challenges that have brought me to this exit moment. This Solstice, allow for the revelation of Love and the promise beyond our limited earthly beliefs as we are not our thoughts. We are not what has happened to us in this life. Rather than numb your pain this season, allow yourself to release your unconscious patterns and accept that your past, present, and future are colliding and all of these collective ‘deaths’ are actually the process of you becoming the person you were meant to be. I will be reunited with my soul this Christmas as it has beckoned us to meet at a specific location for 3 years now. I was slated to be there in March but Guatemala had to shut its borders. This Christmas & New Year I will be immersed in my ninth of a ten-day silent meditation retreats on the deepest lake in the world. Joy dawns on my grateful heart as I can literally feel the transformation occurring and the divine order of my soul’s calling. May the miracle also be yours—You must first believe it in order to receive it. Om shanti, shanti, shanti. Tat Sat. 


XO,


Julie



Ferm Fatales Dirty Timeline


2015

Secured 1st round of funding. Opened our own production facility, formulated 5 fermented cocktail mixes that got us international attention and selected for Bev Net’s ‘Start-Up Beverage of the Year’

I ran out of funding a month later and had to liquidate Ferm Fatale. Btw 2016-2019 I became a Life Coach, launched an event called ‘Trance & Tonics’ hypnotizing attendees and serving probiotic cocktails. I also did Probiotic mocktail pop-up bars all of 2019.


2019


  • Found copacker, reformulated to remove sugar, repackaged into 7oz custom made bottles & re-launched with one of 5 formulas, The Shrub-Bucha.
  • Secured second and third rounds of funding with original female Angel investor.
  • Accepted into all Erewhon locations in LA.

2020

  • Launched Ferm Fatale online. 
  • Released all 4 Shrub-Bucha flavors with 6packs & singles. 
  • My dog Louis passes of rare cancer at age 7.
  • Traveling to Portland once a month and hand labeling every bottle from the beginning.
  • Opened fulfillment/warehouse in Portland—had it 3 weeks before Covid.
  • Let go of my only full time employee and moved Ecom fulfillment & LA wholesale operations to Venice & did all deliveries and Ecom orders myself, still hand labeling every bottle.
  • Secured 4th round of funding that will hopefully take FF through end of 2021.
  • Hired my first remote customer service person to help process Ecom orders.
  • Moved fulfillment back up to Portland (Relay Resources)— finally able to hire people to hand label
  • Landed 8 retail stores in Seattle & added 2 more independent retailers In LA.
  • Moved to Portland for 5 months after renting a sprinter van in July and driving/camping to get a place up there. Was in Portland for fires, riots, and quarantine. Diagnosed with Epstein barre virus, started receiving IV ozone treatments + got a custom SOT shot to beat virus. Discovered a parasite and Sibo in my gut. And went into pre-menopause.
  • Speaker at No & Lo, PR, growing social community and email list.
  • Holidays 2020-released 7 day Cleanse & 4pack Sampler
  • Decided to Let go of place in Portland after holidays & my return from Guatemala. Only one office in Venice moving forward.
  • Working on releasing new product January 2021 and getting a new puppy after settled in new place. Plans to expand retail to Western seaboard and possibly take on a strategic partner by spring.