Hi everyone! Tyler "Tallis" Bartlett, here.
Thanks for dropping by.
Where it began
I've always been a bit of a hopeless Romantic. My favourite books and stories - the Gothic novels, the Victorian mysteries, old legends and folklore, and sprawling epic fantasies - were always the ones in which the heroes understood their irreplacable connection to Nature. In the 19th century, Romantic writers railed against the perceived dangers of the Industrial Revolution: individual craftspeople were made obsolete by mass production; wild places were being plundered for resources on a never-before-seen scale; and people were feeling more and more fascination with the latest technology, and less and less awe for the natural environment. It is unsettling how much these themes still resonate today, perhaps more so than ever. I wonder what these writers would have to say about how we're going now, in the 21st century?
Anyway, my love for stories is where everything started. Straight after leaving high school, I enrolled in a Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) degree, from which I graduated with Distinction. I enjoyed it so much that I went back and did an Honours degree, and there, I graduated with First Class. I loved that so much that I went back and started on my PhD... and that is where I had to take pause.
It occurred to me, mid-way through the program, that I was no longer being creative. I had reached a significant turning point in my life, but it had gone completely unnoticed. I had gone to university to study art, but I was no longer an artist. I had instead been turned into an academic. I admire academics, of course, and I admire academia - and reading books for a living sounds like my definition of heaven. Yet, I couldn't read a book without analysing it. I couldn't write without thinking about how what I was producing needed to reflect the Poststructural paradigm I was working within. It was stifling, it was miserable, and I needed a change. Dropping out of the PhD program was the right decision for me, but it was nevertheless the most challenging time of my life.
While this was going on, I moved to a new apartment that had a small garden. I didn't know too much about gardening, so, as I always tend to do, I nerded out and read up on it. Organic gardening, which eschews synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, leapt out at me right away. Before long, I had a bunch of happy little herbs and flowers, and a fierce new love and obsession.
I knew then that whatever I wanted the next stage of my life to be, I wanted these beautiful plants to be an integral part of it. What followed was the joy of being out in nature, and of being creative, working with my hands, rather than with my nose buried in a book (though I still do a lot of that, too!). I had always loved natural perfumes, and had worn them all through my life. What would it take to make one, I wondered? What else can I do with flowers and herbs? And how can I do it respectfully, sharing the joy of these natural gifts, but doing no harm in the process?
I began the project that became Dragon Grove Fragrances in 2019, experimenting with different botanicals and techniques, and always learning more through practical experience. I chose the name "Dragon Grove" to acknowledge my love of fantasy literature in particular. When we smell a beautiful flower, our eyes snap shut as the scent transports us, and we escape, briefly, to another world. The "Dragon Grove" is my ideal for my creations: an experience of another place, far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, where Nature resides and thrives.
I truly hope that you enjoy my products as much as I enjoyed making them. And thank you, so much, for joining me on this journey as I learn more and more, develop further as an artist, and create new things. I have received so much support, praise and encouragement from you, my valued customers, and it really means the world to me.
Some other things about me:
- I am primarily self-taught, but have attended many wonderful workshops that have helped me along the way. I am eternally grateful to Sandra Nanka of Mudbrick Herb Cottage for her workshops on seed-raising and tincture-making; and to Sal Battaglia, founder of Perfect Potion, for his fragrance-blending workshop among others (not to mention his long list of incredible books!).
- I am a member of the Brisbane Organic Growers Inc (BOGI), and the Queensland Herb Society (QWS). I am so delighted to have joined both groups this year (2021), and am grateful for all I have learned from them in such a small period of time!
- When I am not experimenting on a new product, or burying my nose in a book, I am usually up to something creative. I enjoy music (I play tin whistle and mandolin); learning new languages (I am currently learning French); calligraphy (I adore the Medieval Illumination style); and, of course, writing. I also enjoy video games, and tabletop roleplaying games (especially Pathfinder).
A few things about Dragon Grove Fragrances:
- We offset our carbon emissions, from both production and transport, with a self-assessed system via Carbonfootprint.com.
- Our infusions (which are turned into some of our perfumes) use botanicals which are sourced from Tyler's own garden in Kelvin Grove, her parents' garden at Mt Cotton, and other trusted Australian suppliers. Both the Kelvin Grove and Mt Cotton sites fertilise with their own compost, as well as a product called 'Garden Delight' which contains no animal products. Tyler does practice vermiculture at her Kelvin Grove garden, which, though not strictly vegan, she believes to be an important method for reducing landfill waste and thereby reducing methane emissions and protecting our waterways.
- We sponsor Barung Landcare Group, based in Maleny QLD, which works to preserve the beauty of Queensland's Blackall Ranges.
Meet the Team
Tyler / "Tallis"
I design, develop, and handcraft all of the products available at Dragon Grove Fragrances. In my endeavours I'm supported by a small team, including:
My partner, who provides incredible logistical (and emotional) help. He really knows his way around technology, and I definitely don't...
My mother. Janelle is a registered Chartered Accountant, and knows her way around small business. She has been such an invaluable help, and I am so grateful to her - this business wouldn't exist without her. Janelle handles admin, accounting, procurement, marketing, and social media.
It's vital that our customers are safe online when shopping with us. I have chosen Shopify as our online platform. We don't store your payment details, and at no point do we ever have access to them. When you purchase from our website, you are taken to the Shopify Gateway where the payment takes place securely. Shopify is the leading online e-commerce platform offering world-class security for our website, our payment gateway, and our gift cards.
Our Products are:
* 100% Vegan
* Organic wherever possible
* 100 % Natural
* Not Tested on Animals
* Ethically Sourced
* Palm Oil and Paraffin-Free
* Sustainably Packaged, Sustainably Mailed
* Handcrafted in Brisbane, using materials sourced from quality Australian suppliers