Andrew and Maia took a big leap in 2014 when they decided to move to Asheville. Having visited a number of times and seeing the incredible community that existed around growing herbs and making herbal products, they decided to open Herbiary (www.herbiary.com) in Asheville. Five years later it feels like one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
Like a few other transplants here in Asheville, Andrew grew up in New York. He attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania where he studied Philosophy during the academic year, but during his summers he tried on many different hats: volunteering at a homeless shelter; working for an oil trading firm on Wall Street; taking photographs of tourists in Manhattan.
After college, Andrew entered the corporate world for ten years with management jobs at a telecommunications company and later an industrial supply company. However, something about these jobs just didn’t fit well. He moved back east to be closer to his brother’s family in Philadelphia and took a screenwriting course at the University of Pennsylvania.
While none of his screenplays ever made it to the big screen (yet!), something about exploring the creative process gave Andrew the freedom to try out different careers (plus meeting all sorts of people enlivened his screenplays). During this time in Philadelphia, Andrew also had the opportunity to volunteer and engage with his community. He was a precinct captain for the Obama campaign in 2008 and loved the energy of working with others for a common cause. After the election, he started volunteering with a harm-reduction organization called Prevention Point Philadelphia where he helped provide medical services and clean needles for at-risk populations.
Back in 2006, he helped his partner Maia open a retail store in Philadelphia selling medicinal herbs, teas, extracts, and essential oils. Maia had always wanted Andrew to join the business full time (not just keeping the books), and in 2010 he opened up their second location at the Reading Terminal Market where they still have a store today.
Here in Asheville Maia continues to be a guiding force for the company while also leading international retreats, running online programs, and being a best-selling author.
Andrew loves being a small business owner and running the stores here in Asheville and in Philadelphia. He also loves his adopted community and works to support Buncombe County in different roles for these organizations:
In the fall of 2015 Andrew co-founded the Asheville Chapter of the Awesome Foundation. It’s a group where each of the members contribute $100 per month and together give away grants of $1000 to projects that make Asheville and Western NC more awesome. The Asheville chapter has given over $30,000 to charities, teachers, students, and cool people doing awesome things for our community. You can learn more about these amazing projects here: www.awesomeavl.com
Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Western North Carolina
Andrew volunteers several days each month to work with individuals and families who have experienced a traumatic event. Dispatched by 911 operators, TIP volunteers are called by first responders 24/7 to help with the immediate aftermath of a death or other tragedy. Not surprisingly, Andrew and a bunch of amazing emotional support volunteers can’t pull a fire truck as fast as the Asheville Police Department team (or any other team!) at this charity fundraiser.
Learn more about TIP here: www.tipofwnc.org
Council on Aging of Buncombe County
Charity work and silly outfits? Of course! Andrew had an opportunity to raise money for this really important group by asking for donations to rappel off of a building in downtown Asheville. The employees at Herbiary were especially fond of teasing Andrew in this outfit and would like him to wear it every day of the week. After supporting the Council’s work for a couple of years, Andrew was asked to serve on their Board of Directors. Andrew is proud to play a small role in supporting their work of helping seniors and others in our community.
Learn more about the Council on Aging here: www.coabc.org
Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority
As one of the members of the board appointed by the City of Asheville, Andrew has been working to try to get the board to adopt policies that offer more financial support for critical issues that face our community. Being a board member is a responsibility he takes seriously and he has spoken out several times on issues of equity and transparency. His outspoken nature even got him memorialized in this cartoon. More information on this topic can be found in the issues section HERE.
Through these different organizations, Andrew has been inspired by the amazing creativity and potential within our Buncombe community and at the same time has also seen how much needs to be done to make it a better place for all of our citizens. When you vote for Andrew you’re voting for someone who will work hard to keep our government accountable while fighting to get a better deal for our community.
We can bridge the gap between our government and our community. And we need your help to get there.
Whether working at events, knocking on doors, or spreading the word, no contribution is too small.
We have set up a simple and secure process to support our campaign with a donation, and we would be so thankful for your support!