There’s something I’ve been working really hard on for a while now…and this is the first time I am “putting it out there” making this probably the hardest blog post I’ve ever written…
For the past few years I’ve been spending more and more time learning about holistic health – specifically the healing properties of essential oils and herbs.
It started off with a book by Rosemary Gladstar, where I learned to make healing tinctures and teas…and evolved into my love of bath/body products and trying to figure out how to replace what I was currently using with high quality natural alternatives (without breaking the bank).
I quickly realized that my new hobby was not only satisfying in that I was able to create and customize products for myself and friends, but that taking a couple of hours each day to step away from the computer and retreat to my “lab” to mix essential oils, learn to make perfumes, etc. was actually causing a notable decline in my overall stress levels.
I began researching how to make everything – from bath bombs to foot soaks to hair oils. But my favorite things to make were what I call “problem solvers.” I’m allergic to most bug sprays but mosquitoes are terrible in New Orleans during the summer. So I created a chemical-free, citronella-free bug spray that works better than the regular stuff (and actually smells good).
I also work around a lot of people who spend too much time on the computer and get stress headaches, so I created a tension roller stick made with essential oils that relieve tension.
And when Lauren suffered a back injury last winter, I researched which herbs and oils could be used to relieve muscle pain, and created a formula that works better than Biofreeze and some of the other alternatives…
As a marketer, my initial instinct was to create a brand, and so Nola Essentials was born. (The idea being that the products were made in New Orleans, and that I’d focus on multi-use “essential” products in sustainable packaging).
Under that umbrella, I was mostly making beeswax and coconut oil based lip moisturizers with essential oils to add therapeutic benefits. (To date, I’ve sold exactly zero of those, but have given away over 1,000 as I refused to create any kind of store front until I felt that the brand was absolutely perfect…)
Fast forward two years: I ALMOST opened an actual physical store here in New Orleans, but decided that physical retail management wasn’t going to fit with my already crazy schedule. I created an etsy store for Nola Essentials and have sold a few things (the natural bug spray has been the biggest hit so far). I had labels designed, redesigned, designed again and so on….
And then I took a long hard look at the overall look/feel/branding and decided to scratch the whole thing and reassess my goals.
I’m obsessed with subscription boxes and the plan was always that this would evolve into one.
But “Nola Essentials” didn’t feel right.
So I did what I always do whenever I hit a branding / naming crossroads…
I popped over to Bluehost to see what domains might be available…and to my surprise, was able to buy ApothecaryBox.com
So! The plan is to launch a kickstarter soon-ish for a badass quarterly Apothecary Box that will include my products and others.
Challenge: WAIT; if my ‘brand’ is apothecary box, but apothecary box is a subscription that also sends out products from other brands, WON’T THAT BE CONFUSING!?
Solution: I’m creating a product brand called “Megan’s Apothecary” (domain was also available!) to brand my own products with, and am in the process of reachout out to other makers who want to include products in the subscription box launch.
And I couldn’t be more excited about the new brand. I’ve always been hesitant on putting my name into things (one, because it’s generic and two, because it doesn’t seem very ‘brand-like’) but I love how personal “Megan’s Apothecary” feels.
So what’s next?
1. I’m building out Apothecarybox.com behind the scenes (and collecting email addresses so that I can notify people when it launches)
2. I’m liquidating my Nola Essentials / ApothecaryBox brand products via Etsy so that we can restructure as Megan’s Apothecary
3. Lauren is working on some really beautiful new labels for the new brand (here’s a sneak peek!)
4. I’m looking for makers to participate in the box! So: if you know someone who creates a natural / holistic product or product line – tell them to get in touch! Structural Note: Apothecary Box will be set up more like ipsy than Birchbox (meaning we won’t sell products through the site, just subscriptions, and then when people want to buy a full-sized product, we link them out directly to your store so that makers receive 100% of the proceeds from their products).
So that’s the whole shabang..
Please comment/email/call/text with any questions, feedback, ideas, constructive criticisms – all are welcome!