Francoise Decatrel, THE WAY Apothecary

Françoise spent much of her early adulthood living in a nomadic communal setting, where she was introduced to mindful living, herbalism, and other forms of natural healing. Wanting to expand her creative skills and talents, she returned to the East Coast, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, and spent the beginnings of her career working in New York’s fashion industry as a textile designer. During this time, she yearned to reconnect with herbalism and aromatherapy - two longtime passions put on hold.

In 2005 Françoise attended a Kundalini yoga class in Manhattan and she completed her teacher training at Kundalini Yoga East shortly after. After a move to the West Coast to teach yoga, then back to the East Coast, she continued in the fashion industry. Around 2009, craving more freedom, she entered New York City’s real estate market. After a few years, she found herself lost in the chaos of a life without balance. She took a journey to Japan in 2013 searching for peace and a new perspective. This trip inspired her to launch the award winning aromatherapy-based bath and body line Amayori in 2015. Guiding her customers on how they can deeply relax at home through bathing, she utilized many of Japan’s native essential oils and focused on small batched botanical ingredients. Amayori was featured in some of the world's leading publications, such as Forbes, the WSJ, the NY Times, and Vogue.

After a health scare, Françoise began to reconnect with her holistic roots. In 2017 she began to formally study Reiki and became a certified Reiki practitioner through the International House of Reiki. To deepen her knowledge of the essential oils she worked with daily, Françoise began to formally study aromatherapy with the School of Aromatic Studies and completed her Level I aromatherapy certification and went on to complete her Level II/Clinical Aromatherapist certification through a 350 hour Aromatic Scholars program. Françoise holds additional certificates in Aromatics and Menopausal Skincare, Aromatics, Trauma, and Resiliency, and Aromatics and Mental Health. Seeing the important connection and healing power between aromatherapy and herbalism, she rekindled her love of herbal medicine and began to formally study herbalism with schools such as The Herbal Academy and The Matthew Woods Institute of Herbalism. Françoise views plant medicine as a lifelong journey and her aromatherapy and herbal studies continue today. Blending aromatherapy and herbalism, her areas of focus include women’s health through all phases of menopause, and mental health, with a focus on anxiety, stress management, and support for those who have experienced trauma.

In 2022, Françoise felt called to leave city life behind and moved to a small community in the Santa Cruz mountains on the Bay Area Peninsula. As a natural plant intuitive, she dove deeply into the plant wisdom of the redwood forest that surrounds her home. Her connection to the surrounding redwoods, coastal live oaks, and Douglas firs fuels her spiritual practice.

Françoise launched The Way Apothecary in 2024. This brand is inspired by her own journey of hormonal balance, and that of her friends and private aromatherapy clients. She pulls elements of her aromatherapy practice, herbalism, energy healing and spirituality to help guide women with mindfulness, and calmness as they walk their unique paths through menopause.

Françoise is passionate about natural, mindful living and strives to encourage others to understand the connection between diet, lifestyle and health. She hopes to inspire others to connect deeper with their bodies and souls and take their health into their own hands. She believes there is nothing more empowering than healing ourselves, and that in most cases, we have far more power over our health and emotional wellbeing than we ever imagined.