About Gena


With over 25 years of experience in herbal medicine, natural skincare, and nutritional therapies, I help my clients on their journey to health and wellness. I incorporate daily skincare rituals, my handcrafted botanical skincare products, and my blended herbal teas and elixirs to create a genuinely personal herbal and lifestyle plan.


My Story:

Hi I'm Gena. I love living in the mountains, spending time outdoors, and connecting with nature.

This connection to nature led me to become a certified herbalist and create Salida Sunshine Botanicals, an herbal-based skincare line. 

The journey to Salida Sunshine Botanicals didn’t happen overnight.

And it began more than four decades ago with an early connection to dandelions. Right here in Salida.

Throughout my Colorado childhood, I played in nature. Spending time next to small creeks and along the Arkansas River. I picked dandelion tops and lilac flowers, stuffing them into the tiny bottles, covering them with water, and leaving them for days, hoping to create floral-scented water. But it never happened. Years later, while attending herb school, I learned neither dandelions nor lilacs have the volatile oils needed to create a scent. If only I had lived next to a rose bush or a lavender field!

I went on to attend CU Boulder to study psychology. I learned about the human condition and numerous healing modalities, from nutrition to energy work.

Upon graduating from CU, I spent time in the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. Rafting, skiing, mountain biking, and climbing, I even lived in a tree house, keeping my spirit close to nature. Realizing I enjoyed being in nature more than conquering nature. I became a certified herbalist in Boulder before returning to Salida, my hometown.

Over the next several years, I spent time gardening and working at an organic farm. I created my first herbal-infused cream and opened a health food store, Sunshine Market.

By then, my husband Sean and I had started our family. We ate organic foods at home with our two children, Sol and Claire. And we were focused on using herbal remedies for wellness. Outside the home, we grew Sunshine Market into a thriving natural food store and herbal apothecary. 

Over 20 years, learning and keeping my herbal spirit alive.

Happily raising my children and growing my business, I made the time to continually educate myself by attending symposiums and courses with renowned Western herbalists and authors. Later, I trained as an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, traveled to Southern India to promote my knowledge and healing with panchakarma, and completed Ayurvedic Facial Rejuvenation Therapy. I attended classes to blend my Western understanding of botanical skincare with Ayurvedic principles.

Over two decades of owning and operating Sunshine Market gave me countless experiences to deepen and share my knowledge of plants. I was humbled to help guide my clients with peace, balance, and health.

After two decades, I wanted to do more.

My children are grown and starting their lives independently, and Sunshine Market has closed. Life has shifted, but my dedication to nature and education has not.

I am pouring all my time and devotion into my true love, creating botanical skincare. I formulate, blend, and bottle every product myself, and I have over 50 products, all with the same fierce dedication to nature.

Everyday skincare should be simple and pure, without chemicals, fragrances, parabens, and so on. Staying true to my roots, I use whole plants, pure botanical oils, and volatile oils to deliver vitamins, essential fatty acids, protein, and minerals—no need to use fancy chemical-derived ingredients when nature has them covered. 

I am focusing on consulting my clients with one-on-one therapies, including Ayurvedic Facial Rejuvenation, skincare rituals, and formulating teas and elixirs.

If you want to learn more, don't hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

Gena Shepherd