I’m Tanya Kuznetsova, and I’m the force behind Ravenscourt Apothecary, a small botanical apothecary in London. I’m a yogi, vegan and a global nomad; I’ve lived in Russia, United States, Ireland and the UK. I’m also a portrait photographer, and I regularly blog about creative culture for Ohh Deer, a UK platform for artists and illustrators.
When I lived in the States, I managed the beauty department in a large pharmacy. I learned so much at that job – from ingredients and fancy skincare to ace customer service, but part of me longed for something more personal, pure and exclusive. 2013 was an incredibly turbulent year, and I moved around a lot. In the middle of it all, I felt the need to connect with nature and myself. The result was Ravenscourt Apothecary, which is truly an expression of what is important to me: simple, local, vegan and vegetarian ingredients; caring for one’s body in the most natural way possible; the quirky literary twist I put on things.
You are only going to be successful if you know who you are and what makes you unique. I’m a huge language nerd, and my background and formal education in English and literature has really helped me put a creative spin on my products. My love for Victorian novels inspired my line of botanical fragrances, all of which are named after famous literary characters. Mr. Darcy, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Rochester – I really tried to express their spirit through scent.
I am constantly inspired by the beauty of nature, and I try to live in harmony with all living things. Veganism is a huge part of my life, so it is only natural that my business has evolved with that as a central idea. Animal welfare is extremely important to me, and I regularly donate proceeds from Ravenscourt Apothecary to several animal charities.
I love the fact that I am able to share my knowledge of raw botanicals, essential oils and mineral clays with other people through my Etsy shop. In the future, I want to continue growing my little apothecary into a seasoned, prosperous business. I also plan to take my photography to new levels and do more fine art portraiture. The same goes for my writing; I can see myself having a permanent column in an online publication about art and culture. Most importantly, I hope that I’m living a happy and interesting life that keeps challenging me.
All photographs by Harry Duns.