LADY BUSINESS: WILDER BOTANICS
Photos by Susannah Baker-Smith
Being a small business founded by two ladies, we are naturally interested in other women who have also taken this path—pursued their passion and started a company that lights them up. No matter how small scale these pursuits might be, it takes a huge amount of courage to start something new and completely self-motivated—especially in a business world that benefits the male, the heavily invested, the heavily connected. We wanted to start a little occasional series of interviews talking to female business owners about their companies in a slightly more emotion-focused and less number crunching manner than Entrepreneur Magazine.
Our first interview in this series is with Rachel Landon, the proprietor of Wilder Botanics. From loose herb teas to face oils and bath soaks, Wilder is a line of herb and essential oil based products, every item is lovingly hand-blended in London in small batches. As a former model, Rachel truly understands the importance of healthy living to maintain and enhance beauty. Exhausted by the modeling world she sought out holistic ways to increase her vitality and health, which then led her to study herbalism and naturopathy. These products emerged from her work as an herbalist and naturopath, from what she saw her clients dearly needed in their lives; products to relax, to cleanse, to heal, to beautify. Even though she is a mother of four (from a teenager to a baby) with a company and a new store, Rachel’s calm and soft energy is never ruffled—she glides easily around, tending shop and handling mini-dramas with her kids with a serenity and grace that is a shining advertisement for the potency of her products. - LMH
What brought you to herbalism?
My mum was a young woman in WWII and used to use herbs from the garden which she taught me as I was growing up — and I was always be skeptical of our family doctor when I was little!
Why did you decide to start Wilder? When did you found it?
We founded Wilder at the end of 2017 with just a few infusions and our Herb infused body oil that I had made for clients and friends. We had our friend and illustrator Lerryn Korda illustrate in black ink drawings the herbal ingredient on each of the infusions hoping to inspire and bring the person closer to nature and being able to recognise the infusion they were drinking. We wanted to bring organic wild crafted herbal formulas in body/face oils and infusions in a contemporary way.
How have your products and offerings evolved as the business has grown?
We’ve been able to add new products as we grow, introducing 100% organic herbal tonics and our organic Day & Night Face oils. We have so many products that we want to introduce and lots of feedback from customers since we opened our shop on Broadway market.
You run the company with your husband—what was his background? Is there a division of labor between you two?
My husband Charlie ran a stills production company, and he started helping me with costings of our Wilder products from the sticker cost to the actual ingredients and now he’s helping with the making and has a stack of books by the bed about herbs and essential oils. I truly think he has found his vocation, as he is so passionate about it all!
What herbs do you think most people would benefit from?
Our Cleanse & Refresh tea has organic whole herb Nettle, Dandelion and Red Clover and these herbs keep the eliminative organs in check—the skin, the lungs, the liver, kidneys—and are packed full of minerals and a much more organic way of getting your daily recommended dose. Our Adaptogen tonic has been extremely popular too with Astragalus, Tulsi and Siberian Ginseng that help to support us daily from environmental stress such as pollution and emotional and physical stress too.
What effect has opening a store had on your business and life?
Our store is in such a great area, we're right on Broadway market and we’ve met so many open warm lovely locals and travellers from all over the world. The conversations we’ve had have been invaluable and we met so many people wanting to organise gatherings in store, which is exciting
As a woman, what do you wish you had known before you started your own company?
I feel empowered as a woman opening Wilder—I do feel our products are here to help bring harmony to peoples lives and the conversations I’ve had in our store only helps this grow. The only thing I am learning is to try and not work when at home with the kids and to not try and juggle so much.
How do you feel being a woman affects the way you run your business?
As a woman I have my eye on so many different aspects of life with my children, Wilder and clients so I try as best I can to departmentalise what’s important and what can get done tomorrow…or the next day! I have found though that Charlie finds this difficult too!