As parents, it can be tricky to get your little ones to take herbal remedies, but the team at Wild Dispensary has created a delicious, family-friendly range that the whole family will enjoy. Starting out as a passion project, they were brought together by a mutual love of New Zealand nature, its plants, herbal medicine and a passion for sustainability. Wild Dispensary has now become a natural health company that celebrates local, native and wildcrafted plants through their range of wild herb formulas. Co-founder Ruth Vaughan talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind the business and their hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
There are copious herbal products on the market, but children are fussy. As parents, there is nothing worse than buying something that they won’t take! So, we set out to create a family friendly range that even the pickiest of kids would enjoy.
Out of this came our first herbal tonics: an Immunity Tonic and a Chest Tonic. When you start taking herbal medicine, a repeat dosage is required to feel the full effect of the herbs. So, while effectiveness is our primary objective, palatability was key for us. It’s got to taste good!
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We started as a small passion project with a group of 5 of us, all hailing from diverse backgrounds but brought together by a shared love of the New Zealand landscape, its plants and herbal medicine, and a mutual desire for sustainable business practices.
It was a fun project where we could collaborate and share skills and learn from each other. I’d just finished my environmental science degree and had a strong interest in creating a business with a sustainable ethos. I have a track record of finding myself working around plants, so this was a natural progression for me.
Our original team moved onto other projects but both myself and Ged are still the original co-founders and together with our new team member and shareholder Skye (our technical go-to and trained Naturopath and Medical Herbalist), we are moving this passion project into a Natural Health company that can really help bring plant medicine into more homes.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Our biggest breakthrough was finding and embracing our point of difference as a business. And that difference lies in our name. Wild. Every single one of our products has a wild element. That connection with nature and the value it holds is so important, we wanted a piece of it in every bottle. Wild harvesting offers not only premium and potent traditional plant medicine, but also a connection to nature for us and for our customers.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
The biggest challenge is probably the commitment and trust in our vision that’s needed to turn a passion project into a business that can sustain our families at the same time as being there for our families. Skye’s son Fred is 4 and Ged and my kids (Emerson and Arlia) are 12 and 10. I think we’ve pulled it off so far, but as we grow, continuing to prioritise our families as well as the business will have to be top of our lists! It does help that we love doing this!