Formula Botanica students and graduates are mainly women, so we decided in this Green Beauty Conversation to focus unapologetically on women’s health and well being; also because we’re still in our designated Women’s Month of March as we hit the airwaves.
In this episode, we talk to Natasha Richardson, herbalist, women’s health expert and founder of Forage Botanicals, a business aimed specifically at helping women alleviate and manage the stress and symptoms of period pain and other menstrual cycle issues through health coaching, education and herbal products.
Host Gemma met Natasha at Stylist Live, one of the UK’s main beauty events of the year, where Forage Botanicals had a stand and we thought it would be fascinating to catch up with her for reasons relating both to women’s health and building a small, niche business.
This podcast gives us also another chance to celebrate women’s achievements in business as we extend the tenets of International Women’s Day throughout this month.
Natasha started her herbalist coaching and product company straight out of university and explains how she refocused her business from pure coaching and custom services to an online course and multiple products so she could reach and help more women. She has some great insights into crowd funding which has proved a key source of new capital for her.
Expect some frank and open chat as Natasha and Gemma home in on the taboos women still face in discussing menstrual issues both with friends and medical experts. We tackle issues that are usually spoken about in hushed tones, dealt with alone and often meet a stonewalled silence from regular medical services.A no-holes barred #greenbeautyconversations podcast with @ForageBotanica on women's health and herbal skincare and remedies to help women balance life. #womenshealth #periodpain #herbalskincare Click To Tweet
In this episode on women’s health and small niche business, you’ll hear about:
- How passion for a specific niche, such as in Natasha’s case women’s menstrual health, can be an incredible force and driver for a small business;
- Why it makes sense to shift the focus of your business from creating custom products and offering one-to-one services to including a product range to help you scale up faster and also serve a lot more customers;
- How products and services that address sensitive issues that people perhaps feel far more comfortable searching for answers to online can be a useful business niche to consider;
- And conversely, why you may come across some harsh critics in online fora and social media if you openly address issues that some feel uncomfortable being aired and discussed. Stay strong, be honest and transparent and serve your tribe who will look to you as an expert in your niche to guide them; and why
- Going to events to meet target customers face to face helps generate ideas and insights into which products to bring to market.
Key take-outs from Natasha on crowdfunding your niche business include:
- Just do it rather than procrastinate!
- Not all advice on how to go about crowdfunding ‘the right way’ will fit your needs or necessarily work for you. Be guided by your own personality, passion and purpose;
- You don’t necessarily need to have investors and special offer products all lined up in advance of launching a crowdfunding campaign; Natasha used her regular products and even sold them for more on her crowdfunding pitch page than on her site (explaining the extra cash was for a donation);
- Work out a figure you need to raise crowdfunding, and then double it! You will always need more than the minimum viable amount as there will be hidden costs like PR and marketing you will have forgotten to factor in; and
- Make your campaign about one specific, identifiable goal as investors need clarity and transparency – Natasha raised funding for a new product – her Moon Time Belly Balm – that she wanted to bring to market.
Find out more about Forage Botanicals and Natasha’s women’s health education, coaching and products:
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Gemma Ortega Perez is Formula Botanica’s Business & Relationship Manager. Gemma oversees the day-to-day running of the school, hosts our Green Beauty Conversations podcast and works with our wonderful global student and graduate community.