These past few months have been a roller coaster of new endeavors, experiences, & emotions. I have tried my hand at direct sales of my herbal products, and it has given me a new perspective on my purpose and understanding of myself and others. It’s allowed me to share my passion & products with others even though there is a voice of doubt and criticism that still repeats in my head before and after events. I adore herbs and all they have done for me & I love sharing them with others, but it’s not easy when many are not familiar with this approach to health and though there is a strong urge to continue to do these types of events; the lack of knowledge others have makes me sometimes feel like a peddler trying to sell my magical “remedies” to any and all who will buy what starts to feel like a gimmick. I think mainly because of the effort and continuous explanations I have to go through each time someone passes by or approaches my table.
Is it a gimmick? NO, but when most people who stop to engage with me have not heard of tinctures, glycerites, or oil infusions, forcing me to explain over and over again the basics of my products; it gets to feel like that.
Then there are others who have been crafting longer than me and even though I have taken classes, studied, read & put continuous effort into learning as much as possible to be as knowledgeable as I can about the extracts I offer; it seems like it is assumed by certain people that I need to take a step back and reach out to these other herbalist as if I don’t have my own credibility.
Yet, there are many steps I’ve taken to get to this point including: taking online courses; reading several books; researching the herbs I grow & utilize; connecting with fellow herbalists online; as well as taking many of my extracts myself, before even offering them to others for sale. I will ALWAYS be learning, but that is the case with anything there is an abundance of information about that must be referenced. As with any research, information changes as new things are discovered. Yet, I love the learning!!
The reason I am now at this selling point is because after I personally experienced the affects they had on me, realizing they worked, it led me to think & consider; why not make more extracts the following year so I can start selling them to others who may want to benefit from concentrated herbal extracts that are easy to take and have more power behind them than a cup of tea? Something that could allow busy parents and working people, who don’t have a lot of time to think ahead, an easy & accessible way to incorporate concentrated herbal extracts that contain beneficial minerals, nutrients, constituents, and wellness into their daily health routines!
I’ve also carefully selected herbs to grow that are mostly native to our environment, so I cannot only keep people in touch with what grows closest to them, but also utilize what grows naturally and abundantly while supporting native pollinators. There are a few herbs that I grow that are not original North American plants, but most are.
I’ve also tried to choose herbs that are potent but safe for most people. There are questions to ask and things to be cautious of, especially if someone is on certain medications; especially blood thinners, but many plants I’ve chosen are well known herbs that don’t have many known adverse reactions. Herbs that are found often in basic teas; even for children. Overall, there has been a lot of thought and consideration put into what I’ve chosen to grow, harvest, and use for my extracts. I want to offer health in as safe of a way as possible in a concentrated form of ease and convenience.
Some examples are: Raspberry Leaf, Calendula, Lemon Balm, Anise Hyssop, Rose, Yarrow, Plantain, Goldenrod, & Catmint.
The best part of all of this is finding out what people, including myself, tend towards and are interested in. Since glycerites are more sought after, even though not as potent or concentrated as tinctures due to being a less powerful menstruum for drawing out herbal constituents, I will be handcrafting more of these for next year. This makes sense considering there are people who want an alcohol free wellness product. It also is something that is okay for children, depending on the herb used, so it can be an all around product the whole family can utilize. Their natural sweetness from the glycerin is also a plus for many. This means next summer when I start to handcraft extracts again, I will be making more glycerites!
I’ve also found that having more variety is great to begin with because it helps gather market research, but if I really want to have an easier time explaining and honing in on a simpler sale process for myself, anyone assisting me, or my customers I should do a more narrowed product offering. Otherwise it gets difficult for people to choose or keep track of what’s what.
Natural skincare is also something that people are more willing to try because of how my products are made and how basic the ingredients are. This is something I definitely want to expand on in the future and incorporate more hand sanitizers, salves, and probably a lip balm. This is something I plan to consider and research more to prepare myself for next year’s products!
It’s pretty amazing to me how much I’ve done in the past few months. I really did not expect to do all that I’ve done or have such wonderful responses from those using my products, but it’s been a pleasant surprise and only time will tell what’s in store for the future.
As always, thanks for reading & following my herbalist blog & journey! It means so much to know people are taking an interest in this process with me and finding wellness in utilizing some of my herbal products. Your support matters so much to me and gets me motivated to keep on keeping on.
Anne (Your Backyard Herbalist)