Entrepreneur Mom Educator
By Alex McCray
Six years ago, after a harrowing journey to find a natural way to treat her daughter, Hayden’s, life-threatening eczema, longtime Alpharetta resident Jennifer Hankey discovered her life’s purpose. Today, she is dubbed “The Green Queen” and spreads the word about the health effects of toxic chemicals. Through her business, Green Queen Botanical Services, the former Best Self Atlanta magazine Over 40 & Fabulous! Top 10 winner is a leader in the cleaning, pest control, and lawn care industries by offering eco-friendly service alternatives for homes and schools.
When you realized the severity of Hayden’s eczema and food allergies, what was the process like to heal her?
Conventional doctors only offered steroids and antihistamines but I really wanted to know why she was sick. I read every natural book on the subject and eventually found one about ‘leaky gut.’ It changed our lives. She was 4 months old, and a year later, all of her eczema disappeared after being on a different diet. There were 19 foods she reacted to and now she is only allergic to almonds and uncooked dairy.
What led you to start your company?
We are all guinea pigs with the chemicals we are exposed to daily and 54% of our children have a chronic health condition. Something needs to change. I created a Facebook page to inform fellow parents and to answer questions about chemicals products and safer options. Ultimately, I realized there was no company I felt comfortable recommending for cleaning, pest control or turf care. One day, I was walking around Chastain Park and just decided to do it. I had no background in any of these fields but I have an incredible passion about protecting our families and the environment.
Can you share some examples of toxins lurking in our homes and schools?
There are thousands of chemicals in our homes, personal care products, and food that have been linked to cancer, premature puberty, obesity, attention-deficit disorder, and more. For example, the active ingredient in most disinfectant wipes has been linked to infertility and the label tells you to rinse with water if you use one on food surfaces. No one I know rinses the product off.
When you’re off the clock as a health crusader, what do you like to do with your family in Alpharetta?
The city is changing so much and there is lots to do—free concerts, fireworks at Wills Park, and ice skating are all some of our favorites. Bocado Burger, being non-GMO, is a go-to of ours and you will likely see us there once a week. Citizen Soul and South Main Kitchen are also at the top of my list. thegreenqueen.com