The Aromaflex Story

Shelley Monrad qualified in Aromatherapy and Reflexology with ITEC and Shirley Price Aromatherapy in the UK back in 1991. Valuable experience was gained through working in a Time Share resort in the highlands of Scotland. Later we moved to NZ, in the Coromandel where Shelley worked in the Mercury Bay Pharmacy treating clients. Back then there was no Physiotherapist in town, and the results with aromatherapy massage and the oils was profound.

Shelley opened Aromaflex in 1995. This was unique for New Zealand, providing a retail shop specializing only in Aromatherapy. Essential oils being sold by the drop & mls & individual specialised blends made to suit the needs of each customer all carefully dispensed by a trained Aromatherapist. It was a way of using my Aromatherapy qualification without always having to massage clients, by making up prescription blends and obtaining their feedback and listening to the success stories of how they worked and the delight it gave the peoples of Nelson. At that time, I had 10 different brands. It was interesting smelling and working with them and I couldn't believe, how the smells and quality could vary so much. So over the years as I saved and my confidence grew, I finally found suppliers to source directly from farms around NZ and the world to obtain the best medicinal grade I could possibly get. What a difference!

Aromaflex Academy came about when the interest in training grew. Classes used to be taught downstairs in the Aromaflex shop. International accreditation happened before NZQA approval. In those days, there were no standards in Aromatherapy or Reflexology in NZ. So that's why Shelley developed the training courses, specialising in the subjects she knew best. A way of improving the classes and quality of courses, was to move upstairs in this old historical building, which has created a wonderful learning environment to so many people over the years. With almost 20 years in the same site on Trafalgar Street, students have contributed over that time, as they worked on case studies with their peers, story sharing, blending successes and mistakes to create wonderful learning experiences and a huge library of resources. Students often get a chance to work in the shop, to gain retail/clinical experience and the opportunities are abound if they are keen enough.

The Aromaflex Academy crest comes from my Danish heritage. My great grandfather (6 generations ago), was the Arch Bishop of Denmark, he then became the Prime Minister. He was not Prime Minister for long, and left after the war with Germany in disgrace, after loosing part of Denmark to the Germans. Ditlith Gothard Monrad came to New Zealand in 1866, settled in the North Island for several years before returning with his wife and daughter. I am the eldest descendant now alive from his eldest child left behind, in Palmerston North where the family were based on fertile farmland. You can find further history of this in Te Papa in Wellington, as my grandfather donated many Etchings from Rembrandt etc, as to keep them in a safe place.

In 2014 Shelley has been on the Governance group for the NZQA Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) for Complementary Medicine qualification standard setting. Aromatherapy and Reflexology have been part of that. Shelley has also contributed to the Aromatherapy & Reflexology education standards in NZ, and is currently the Chairwoman for The New Zealand Register of Holistic Aromatherapists.