If you don't read anything else on the blog this week, make sure you read this! It was such a delight to chat with Katherine Lott about her newest endeavor, Wildflower Remedies. I could listen to her talk for hours as she shares her wisdom on everything from tonics and tinctures to plant therapies and bringing your body back to its natural state of rest and calm. What she shares resonates with me so much. I do truly believe that the foods that we eat and products that we use do have such a profound effect on our health and happiness. However, I do often times feel frustrated that I don't have more time during this season of my life to do all the things... and so I make baby steps. I've been using the products we discovered while researching for our Clean Beauty Awards to rid my bathroom drawers of chemicals. I meal plan and do my best to cook at home most nights. I am forever grateful for businesses like Wildflower that are taking the guesswork out of this wellness and healthy living journey and making it accessible for all, especially mamas. Keep reading to learn more about the new brand and for some tips to help you and your kiddos through cold and flu season this year...
(This story is the latest in our series of Small Business stories in partnership with Gracie Byrd Jones. You can see more here.)
Jen: Tell us, how did Wildflower Remedies get its start?
Katherine: This company was the culmination of many years of wondering how my daughter Heather (Hale) and I could combine our talents and differences into a lifestyle brand and a product line. With Heather's eye for design and color and my background in the healing arts and all things natural, we settled on a line of Tinctures and Tonics for adults at first called Wildflower tonics. The idea came from a tonic bar I had been in love with for years in LA called Elixer (now closed, sadly). I know that when people don't feel good whether it is a dull headache or a tummy bug, a well-crafted tonic can soothe most symptoms and set the person right again. One night I was asking Heather if she had ever experienced an Elixer or Tonic and she said only the ones I had concocted for her from time to time. She and her brother still joke about me growing the mother mushroom for Kombucha tea in our fridge. They thought I was sooo weird at the time and refused to drink it, but look at them now! As we were talking that night I said show me what types of natural remedies you buy. She went to the medicine cabinet and brought out a plethora of tonics, essential oils, tinctures and cough remedies all for kids. I said looks like we need to start a line for children and voila Wildflower Remedies was born. The name 'Wildflower' is something we have always both felt a resonance with. Her name Heather is a wildflower after all. This also came about around the untimely death of Tom Petty. One day her husband (a musician) played her the song 'Wildflowers' ( you can hear it on our Instagram feed) and that sealed the deal. Do I even need to mention the fact that we love everything about Ladybird and we are from Texas?! All of that activity was a mere 6 months ago and we launched our first batch this month.
J: Tell us more about your experience with essential oils...
K: I was labeled as "the hippie mama" when I was raising my family in Lubbock, Texas. The use of essential oils and tinctures was practically considered witchcraft in that conservative town in the late 70's and early 80's. I had heard of many herbal medicinal remedies through Bach Flower remedies and soon was deep in the world of holistic healing. By the 90's I had found the Australasian College of Herbal studies and Aromatherapy and was taking every course I could get my hands on. I graduated from the Austin School of Massage in 1995 and have spent the last 20 plus years in the Wellness industry. I recently became an Iridology practitioner and there was a heavy emphasis again on how the plant kingdom does not heal us but is here to support us as our body heals itself. Most disease is simply a lack of ease in the beginning. Essential oils are highly effective in creating ease and comfort resulting in homeostasis and balance within the nervous system. As we heal ourselves and our somatic senses, we return to our natural state which is relaxation. What? Relaxation is our natural state??? Uhhhh, yes 🙂 Wow, imagine that. Humans are the only species that continually stay in the fight or flight mode. A gazelle after being chased by a lion goes back to grazing. Ducks that get into a scuffle make a huge display with feathers flying then shake it off and swim on. When the body is calling upon the Adrenalin needed to stay freaked out those adrenal glands begin to fatigue and so do we. Putting a few drops of lavender or a blend designed to created good feelings is such a quick way to sooth the central nervous system and create a sense of well being. I have been a Young Living fan for years because of the purity and potency of the single note oils and the blends. These blends are all too powerful for young children and have to be diluted in carrier oils to be safe. This takes time and energy and so Wildflower Remedies proprietary blends have been specifically mixed with children in mind. We take the guesswork and sometimes messy and expensive blending into our hands so moms and dads can feel good about using them on their precious babes.
J: What are tonics exactly?
K: This is the best information for laymen I have found to explain what an adaptogen tonic is and does for the body can be found here.
J: We are getting into cold and flu season. There are few things I loathe as much as my kids being sick. What are your best tips for fighting cold and flu season naturally?
K: When my kids were young we took them everywhere. They were exposed to other kids and germs from the get-go. I made sure they were clean, mind you, but not sterile. Sometimes the fear of germs can bring them close, so I tell parents not to fight cold and flu season or fear it but to create wellness and boost the immune system. Imagine those bugs just bouncing off your kids. We have a Germ Zapper spray and roll-on that acts as a shield when applied to backpacks, lunch bags and to spray in the bedroom and bathrooms. We are also bringing on board a tincture called Well Water that is a great immune booster. Bee Pollen is great to keep allergies at bay and keeping the nose clean with a saline spray is also good. Our Breathe Easy chest rub is soo gentle and will help ease the sniffles. Most of all feed your children a highly enriched mostly plant-based diet. Try to steer them away from mucus producing foods like heavy sweet breads, milk, and cheese. There are easy ways to feed your kids the nutrients they need even in the form of a smoothie. ProBiotics are a must if you do have to put your child on an antibiotic. We have a good Tummy Tonic coming out this week.
J: Naturally, there are always challenges with starting a new business. What obstacles have you encountered with Wildflower Remedies?
K: As with any new business, we have had a few challenges. Sourcing the very best oils and tinctures has been a very enlightening and enjoyable experience. Having been in the essential oil world for many years made it fairly easy to sift through the sea of companies and we were able to source our oils with the help of an expert in the field and together we curated the blends we have now and there will be more to come. The company we are partnering with for tinctures and tonics has incomparable integrity and has really made us up our game and make sure we can represent this fine company well. Our greatest challenge was the compromise between our desire for a highly stylized and aesthetic branding that collided with the amount of mandatory information required for legal regulations. On such a tiny label, we found there was very little room for our jazzy design. Heather fielded all of these objections and was able to finally settle on something that provides the much- needed information along with a barcode and still have room for the eye-catching, contemporary feel we were shooting for.
J: What's your vision for Wildflower? What does Wildflower look like three years from now?
K: Honestly Jen, Heather and I are a mom and daughter who are having fun and discovering how much we like each other now that our dynamic is no longer parent and child but human to human. After that everything else is gravy. We have been approached to do the Amazon thing and we are considering that but, like anything wild you gotta let it do its own thing you know?
All along I have said that educating young families is the key. I am so happy to have followed my heart all those years ago and reaped a harvest of goodness that is now seemingly sought after. We will be doing some live feeds seasonally to talk about the ways to enhance each season with our products along with some Q and A blurbs on our website. I am a huge fan of what is happening in the hemp oil industry and am deep into the science and application of this amazing herb in how it is helping women through our own endocannabinoid system. So a hemp blend for moms is on the drawing board for early next year. I am a huge advocate for a return to innocence and a more wholesome way of being in the world, one that is in communion and not competition with our planet and her abundant resources. She is our mother and one way I can bring respect to her is to talk about her children in the form of medicinal and highly beneficial plant extracts. I love that Wildflower Remedies is a lifestyle branded company that we are living in everyday. We want to convey easy and cost-effective ways to be proactive about the health and well being of children and ease the minds of many worn out parents. So in three years I would love to be able to say we have grown slowly yet deliberately in bringing the best products into the kids line and possible branched into a line for moms and dads. When you follow your enthusiasm and leave the details to Creator, an amazing life can happen.
Photography by Gracie Byrd Jones