“I love the outdoors. It is really about nature for me, being out there, and that’s what I am doing, I’m taking those places and putting them in bottles.”
Hall Newbegin was an off-trail, open-hearted wanderer. He believed you could awaken your wild self no matter where you happened to be. And he felt that if you couldn’t be in the woods, you needed something that brought the forest to you. He loved devoting his body and heart to the earth, and putting his nose in the dirt of the forgotten backcountry corners of the West.
In 1967, Hall was born to a longstanding Portland family and he spent his young life in the shadow of Mt. Hood forging a lifelong friendship with nature—fishing and camping around The Mountain. After his graduation from Vassar, where he earned a degree in philosophy, Hall’s deep love of nature called him back to the West Coast.
In 1991 He settled in the San Francisco Bay Area
and spent the rest of his life learning all he could about different plants and ecosystems. He spent time at Green Gulch Farms, practicing small-scale organic farming and meditation; in Bisbee, Arizona, he studied with the herbalist Michael Moore, and at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine he worked with herbalist Adam Seller. He served as a trip leader with the Desert Survivors until 1995 and fostered a new relationship with the desert; he loved the new landscape, hungry to learn all he could.
“I've made a practice my whole life of wandering, following my nose … What's there, what's behind the rotting log, what would it be like to be different than I've always been, to do things this way or that way. It's the way I was able to start Juniper Ridge; follow my nose into the unknown.”
In 1998, when Hall founded Juniper Ridge
he started by hand-crafting soap in his own kitchen made from the oils of real plants, lichens, and tree saps. Hall had found his purpose.
From this homemade beginning, Hall grew Juniper Ridge to become an international brand and a leading voice in nature-based fragrance. Hall expanded his product offering into new categories, always staying true to his ethos of using the highest quality organic ingredients. Together with the team at Juniper Ridge, Hall has brought the deeply authentic scents of the wilderness to thousands of people in their homes.
“People think the Mojave is barren and empty, but in reality it's the most biologically vibrant place you can imagine. All plant nerds eventually end up in the desert because the botanical diversity and the intensity of the plants is unrivaled anywhere.”
We lost Hall in June of 2020
He passed at the age of 52 after his battle with Frontotemporal Degeneration. Some of his happiest memories were spent on the trails camping out, the fire roaring, whiskey passing around, playing his ukulele with the Juniper Ridge crew. He was famous within Juniper Ridge and beyond for his vast record collection and deep knowledge of music, which he shared along with his passion for the fragrance of nature.
It was his mission in life to inspire the love of the outdoors in everyone he encountered; he was a self proclaimed wilderness freak. Without Hall, there will always be a hole in the Juniper Ridge family, but it was out of his deep love of the wilderness that the company was born—and we continue to carry his passion and his vision forward. Along with the Juniper Ridge employees, Hall leaves behind a loving extended family which includes his daughter Jane, his nephew Devyn Jefferson, who was his devoted caretaker, his brother John, his sisters Claire and Katherine, his parents Edward and Anne Newbegin, and his ex-wife Laura Boles.