Success Worldwide : The One with The Wild Nettle Co.
Success Worldwide : The One with The Wild Nettle Co.
Self care is a phrase on everyones lips, it can mean anything from long walks in nature, relaxing soaks in the bath or taking extra care of your skin
May 25th, 2022
Self care is a phrase on everyones lips, it can mean anything from long walks in nature, relaxing soaks in the bath or taking extra care of your skin and hair. If it’s the latter, then there is one brand that we just can’t get enough of and that’s The Wild Nettle Co.
Founded by Bronwyn Francis, the brand started out like many others before. Realising there was a lack of natural remedies for her son, she went out to create her own. A true trailblazer at heart and she didn’t even know it.
The Wild Nettle Co. incorporates the natural benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of Stinging Nettles. You know, those things that you used to rub on your legs when you were a kid! Who knew?
We spent some time with Bronwyn to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, The Wild Nettle Co…
I’ve always had an interest in all things natural, seeking out home remedies, alternative medicines or dietary changes whenever possible to manage allergies or illnesses.
My son has battled with eczema since birth. In 2020, when he was 2yrs old I felt like it was an ongoing vicious cycle with the countless steroid creams, emollients, and ointments that were being prescribed by the GP – some worked for a short time, and some not at all. This led me to investigate and search for a natural remedy.
I knew nettles had wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, and they were growing in abundance around our rural property in Scotland, so I experimented with a nettle oil infusion first. Then formulated a rich body butter with the nettle oil and other natural butters and essential oils, and used it on my son’s skin over a few weeks.
I was really pleased with the results, the effects were great, so soothing for his symptoms. After a friend tried it on her son’s bad eczema and loved the results too, I looked into how I could offer this to others in the same position.
A lot of research, experimentation and the required cosmetic safety assessments meant I could sell to the public.
The soap followed shortly after, and now the range of nettle products includes Hair & Scalp oil, Shampoo bars and Nettle balm for joint and muscle pain, and more.
How do you want people to feel when using your products?
I want people to feel pampered and confident, and ultimately relief of their symptoms knowing they’re using a natural product that is both kind to their skin, as well as the planet.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
I did the best I could with what I knew and the vision I had for the brand. In hindsight, it would have been amazing to have some help, as I did everything myself.
Helping eco conscious women take care of themselves and their family is at the forefront fo what you do. Why was this important to you and how do you achieve this?
The Eco-conscious element of my business is so important because of how relevant climate change is at the moment, every effort should be made, however small, to make more eco-conscious choices.
I feel strongly that women play such an important role in looking after their families, and are often making the choices for family members too – I think of a mum looking after her children’s eczema flair-up, a wife looking after her husband’s psoriasis, a daughter worried about her elderly mum’s arthritis, or concerned for her own dry, itchy scalp – these are the actual customers who contact me or chat with me at markets, who are looking for natural, effective and sustainable products for themselves and their loved ones, to reduce the use of steroid products on their bodies, but also reduce their use of plastic, and are aware of their impact on the environment.
All Wild Nettle products are in glass or recyclable packaging, and our orders are packaged using plastic-free materials.
I have recently signed up with TreeApp to plant a tree for every online order received – it’s a great global tree planting initiative empowering local people to execute the rehabilitation and reforestation of areas all over the world, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Guinea, Peru, Nepal, and Indonesia. It’s an initiative that I’ve been using personally for some time, and have now signed The Wild Nettle Co. up for the service too
I was delighted recently to learn that The Wild Nettle Co had won the Scotland Prestige Awards 2022/2023 for Eco-Friendly Products Store of the Year – it came as a big surprise, but the recognition really reinforced the work I’m doing, and hopefully, the exposure will reach a lot more people to introduce them to the benefits of nettles, and convince them to switch to a natural, more eco-friendly alternative.
Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?
I handle everything alone most of the time, so I feel like I know my customers, I make every product, and select and pack every order.
I do have an invaluable assistant named Kyle, who I’ve known for 25+ years, who helps me with production when things get busy or I’m preparing for a bigger event.
Do you plans to launch new products in the future?
Yes, I am currently working on the final formulations for 3 new products which is always an exciting time. I’ll be posting about these on social media, so follow for updates @thwildnettleco.
For anyone interested in launching a wellness business, what advice would you offer them?
Understand your customers and their needs well – keep finding out more and this way you’ll be able to serve them well. And ask for help when you can, it can be a lot to do alone.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I’m a mum of 2 young ones who are up early every day, so we get up and try to get out for a walk early before breakfast, and then it’s the school run.
While my children are at school I am most productive, getting small batches of products made, orders packaged up, social media posts, and any other admin, ordering of stock that is required. I prepare for the upcoming outdoor markets that I trade at on Sundays – which I love for face-to-face interaction with customers.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
Some of my best ideas come to me in the shower – water helps me think. Otherwise, I put on some music and take a walk – I do a lot of thinking on walks, clearing my mental clutter and organising my thoughts and ideas. Also, a great motivator is reading through customer reviews on Trustpilot to remind me how people feel after using the products.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Nelson Mandela
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must-visit list?
My dream wish-list trip right now is a yoga wellness retreat in Mexico
What does self-care mean to you?
Self care means dedicating time for yourself and doing something that makes your soul happy and content. For me, it can be anything from playing the piano, reading, taking a walk in nature with my dog, doing sudoku puzzles, or crocheting while watching a favourite show.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I’d like to see growth of the brand to a point where more and more customers love and share the products. I’d love bigger premises with a team of people producing more Nettle goodies. I have loads of ideas for more products. I don’t want to lose the personal touch and dedication that there is now, my passion is fuelled daily when I receive wonderful feedback and happiness with results from happy customers. That is what keeps me doing what I do.
Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.