How Country Herbals Got Started.....
You caught me! - Yes, in a cafe again.
Grab a coffee, take a seat, and let me tell you how I came to start making natural products.....Dont worry if you are bit shy, I am happy to do all the talking.
It all started around 19 years ago.....
I had been small farming for around 8 years prior to starting Country Herbals, and with little or no money to spend on vets, used natural remedies where ever possible for my animals. Time and again I was blown away, as I observed amazing responses with the use of natural alternatives.
My years of using herbs for myself and my family had now expanded to my animals, this adding to my positive experiences using herbs. (And I am not saying don't go to the vet. On many occasion I needed a vet, and went!)
I had also been written off by Doctors in my early twenties, when they were unable to help me with a blood disorder I had. I started learning about alternative remedies, herbs in particular around that time. Within two years, I was managing my health successfully with only natural supplements. (My health improvement was backed up with blood tests. Originally confirming the blood disorder, then later confirming I was clear.)
So I already had a background of "natural" when I started toying with the idea of making skin care. And to begin with, the intention was just for my own use.
The main reason for doing this, was that I was so allergic to creams for my face. Products I bought from a chemist or even a health shop made my skin red, sting, and/or itch. In desperation I next tried using straight lanolin, then after years of doing that, read that it can cause skin cancers - so of course I stopped using it, and just a short time later developed scaly patches on my face that kept reappearing.
I really believed it had to be possible to make a simple cream from wholesome oils and waxes that would not irritate my skin. I also started reading labels - and was horrified at the scary chemicals used in basic store bought moisturisers for instance! Just parabens alone are terrible! And they are even in baby wipes! I started researching natural products, and spent the next three months searching for the best natural ingredients I could find.
I had to weigh up whether it was worthwhile trying to go completely organic or not. A lot of the organic ingredients were frightfully expensive, so right from the start, I bought organic where ever possible, and sought out the best natural grade ingredients for the balance of what I needed. The idea that perhaps I could make products not just for myself, but also for others started to grow.
My very first products were "interesting." A lot went down the sink, or in the rubbish. I had a few things grow mold, and others too runny, or too thick - but I learned heaps those first few years.
I have been really fortunate to have wonderfully supportive family members and friends who have stuck by me - tried, used, AND PAID FOR my products - and encouraged me to keep going when things went a little less than perfectly. I have been very tempted to have a slogan written on my products "not tested on animals - only friends and relatives." I am happy to report that two of my very first customers, Cath and Gail (they will know who they are haha) are still buying from me!!!!
Now, a few years along, I can honestly say, I love making products, I love trying new ideas, and love working with beautiful fragrances. I am also passionate about my herbal ointments, and have had excellent feed back from customers with them. I feel privileged to actually like my job! But the icing on the cake for me is happy customers!
(By the way most of my products have come about from customers asking if I could make "this" or "that".)
If I had it my way, I would just make the products and give them away. People with business expertise tell me that is not ideal! Not if I want to have a successful business, but I still believe in putting integrity ahead of building an empire.
Moisturisers: The Sunco Creams (Now renamed Kate Cohe Creams) are great for every day use, for all ages and skin types. Also we make a decadent Eye Cream called Eye Lite - This is one of our top sellers.
The Sunco Creams all sink in really well, and are great for sensitive skins. Heaps of guys love using these creams, and they are great for after shaving.
The reason I love these Creams:
1) They sink in really well, which means the skin gobbles them up.
2) They help balance the oils in your skin, whether you are too dry, or two oily
3) They all have vitamin C and Green Tea Extract which help with the building of new cells, and repairing sun damage
4) The Firm and tone, Yarrow Herb.
Batches may vary. There are many factors which can cause one batch to vary slightly from another.
So, because batches may vary from time to time, I really appreciate customers letting me know if they have any problem at all so I can do any necessary trouble shooting. I cant do this if customers don't let me know.
Another area which I feel deserves a mention here is the nationwide epidemic of dog itch we now have.
I get emails almost daily from customers with almost the same story. Their poor dog...... being driven mad... cant stop scratching.... Spent heaps at the vets - mostly are told their dog has a flea allergy..... now on steroids or something equally as horrifying.....etc etc.
I have a theory and it is only a theory. Go back a few years before flea treatments were in the animals blood stream for a month, and we didn't have the dog itch epidemic back then. Maybe there is a connection. A vet in Australia did extensive research on this, and found evidence of damage to organs, he also went as far as saying shortened life span - from these chemicals, and a huge organ is the skin. I go to the packet the stuff comes in. The instructions say to dispose of the container in a responsible manner and not to get it on your skin. To wash hands thoroughly after use. Etc etc. Is this the kind of substance we want to put onto our beloved pet? So, please try our natural Flea Flummox if you have a dog or a cat, and save him or her unnecessary hassles he or she can do without! Our product is a fraction of the cost you will pay for these horrid chemicals - one bottle for around $15 will do 50 applications on a 20 kilo dog. Even if you apply as often as once or twice a week you are still winning. How it works is: the odor of the product blows the circuits in the fleas brain rendering them unable to function. You apply the product down the spine, or inside the pets collar. I have been making this for many years, and it is now going out the door really fast, so I think people are starting to get the idea.
I think we are now entering information overload, I can tell by the look on your face. Sorry about that.
Anyway thanks for sharing a coffee with me, and listening. Its been great.
I am hoping you have already decided to give our products a try. Don't forget, when you put your order in, you can ask for a couple of samples of other things to try as well.
And, I can't wait to get an email or a call from you!