On a quiet cobblestone street in Amsterdam, 1850, a shop owner steps outside in the light of early dawn to hang a sign on the entrance to his new apothecary. The sign bears a single word, the shop owner’s last name: CLEBAN (pronounced clay-bahn). Some eighty years later, in 1961, the apothecary is sold to Bernardus Pekelharing, whose two young granddaughters—sisters, a couple decades later— spend their summers dwelling in the residence above.
It was Opa who taught them at an early age to slow down and allow for the magic of the natural world to reveal itself. They gathered at dusk in his garden, Opa’s outstretched arm drawing their attention to an evening primrose—the setting sun triggering a slow-motion reveal of its bloom, the petals stretching out to welcome the night. Lured by it's sweet scent, a moth, recently transformed, revels in flight as it pollinates the moonlit flower. Come morning, the sisters would explore every alcove of the apothecary. Ambling the aisles in wonder, they were entranced by the rows of amber bottles and the curious concoctions they held, often sneaking dropjes (a kind of licorice) from the large green tins in Opa’s store room. All the while an abiding affinity grew within- a reverence for the mysterious healing power of those tinctures & salves that lined the apothecary walls. These moments of childhood wonderment would later fuel a quest to honor their apothecary heritage and design a line of wellness products inspired by the magic of the natural world.