At this time, during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, some folks in Nimbin were experiencing a psychedelic cultural emergence, with the discovery of a powerful entheogenic substance in the bark of a local Acacia tree. This was a time when underground dance parties (bush doofs) provided an incredible opportunity for psychedelic experience. These somatically-informed tribal dance parties transformed many people’s lives.
The Nimbin shop, with an incredible team of staff since its inception, quickly became a central focus for locals and visitors alike to discuss the intersection of drugs, plants, healing and consciousness. The trippy-hippy design of the space, carefully curated by creative genius Eliza Rix, with artworks by Debbie Lee, was a perfect backdrop for the times, representing a part of the Nimbin community at the peak of its cultural expression.
In 2008, Elen Jones purchased the shop from the then owners, Ray Thorpe and Eliza Rix. They went on to establish the Happy Herb Company and expanded the franchise to towns and cities all over Australia.
A pivotal change was to happen in the years that followed, with the world-wide explosion of designer drugs (analogues of psychoactive molecules, often found in plants) that could be synthetically replicated and sold at enormous profits. The tale of what happened next is long and complex, but the upshot of the entire process is the birth of Nimbin Herbs – envisioned as an organisation upholding the original vision of the Nimbin community – mature, earthy wisdom, so deeply called for in these times.