Elizabeth (Liz) Hodges comes from a long line of plant women. She spent her early childhood years on a 40-acre homestead in Washington State, following her mother around the garden, pasture, root cellar and kitchen. Liz lost her mother to melanoma when she was just 11, but she was fortunately able to foster relationships with her grandmother and aunts to keep her matrilineal memory alive.

Liz's aunt has a farm just outside Santa Cruz, which she visited a few times when she was young and fell in love with. In 2006, she moved to the area to stay. She helped her aunt harvest lavender and bottle olive oil seasonally for over 10 years. Her grandmother also lives nearby—a vibrant 98, she was known to have the best gardens in her neighborhood everywhere she lived. Liz is blessed to have weekly lunch dates with her, full of sound advice.

During her first semester of studying International Environmental Policy in grad school, Liz moved onto some rural property and started her own garden. In her pursuit of a more meaningful life, she took a leave of absence, raised chickens and goats, and immersed herself in a DIY lifestyle, starting a homesteading blog and studying horticulture, then herbalism, which she now holds a certificate in.

Her mother's melanoma played no small part in Liz's growing concern over the myriad toxic ingredients in commercial beauty and body products, and she began creating her own botanical versions. After she gifted some to friends, they started asking for more. This all culminated in her decision to found Verdant, a handcrafted botanical goods company. A lifelong student of plant knowledge, she lives in Santa Cruz, and every time you purchase something she made, she does a little happy dance inside.