What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I’m a medical herbalist. This means I have a BSc (Hons) in Western Herbal Medicine, and I’m member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and the British Herbal Medicine Association. I got into herbal medicine as a child, through an interest in folk music actually. Folk medicine and the traditions and history of herbal medicine always fascinated me - but it was through my clinical work and my own experience that I found my passion in female intimate health and decided to specialise. My work with women in my clinic informs everything we do at Into the Wylde.
At Into the Wylde, we make a luxurious, water based botanical lubricant called Wylde One, designed to be optimal for a healthy vaginal environment. Made from five dynamic botanicals, it has an intimately balanced pH, is 100% plant based, and has a ‘body identical’ feel so you can connect with confidence even when your climate down under isn’t wyldly happy. Wylde One is certified by The Vegan Society and The Soil Association. We aim to break down the shame around female sexuality, allowing women to reawaken their natural play.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
Oh everything, from nurse to geologist and marine biologist. When I was ten I thought I wanted to be a film director because I knew I had all this creative energy bubbling up in me and I knew it was meant to be for the widest audience possible - In my 10 year old brain it came out as film director (I’m such a Leo for this!!!). Only in my thirties did I work out what my purpose was, once I’d acquired the skills I needed, it started to crystallise. I’ve always been driven by a wider and wylder purpose.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Literally no career advice I’ve had to date has helped me. I’ve found that I never fitted into any of the career moulds out there and felt too constrained by most of the options, so knew I had to carve out my own path. That took some time.
Since then, I have had some great advice about how to run a business from all the events I’ve been to and learnt bits and bob from others around me.
The best advice I’ve been given was from someone very special to me. It was simple really. He told me that I am ‘awesome’ and that I’d ‘got this’ (‘this’ being whatever I set my heart on). I believed in that person so much that I began to wholeheartedly believe in myself and my idea, so I pushed onward, and one day I looked back and realised that my ideas had life, and others believed in them too!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
I get to set my own hours and wear what I want. I set the rules. Hell, I even break the rules too. Actually, there are no rules.
I’m quite enjoying my new desk at the moment. It’s one of those sit/stand desks. I’ve read research about the harm sitting for 8 hours plus a day can do for our health. Humans weren’t designed to sit, statically, on our backsides for long periods of time, and I think this desk is helping me.
Also crystals and plants, always crystals and plants - I get to choose the energy I work in and I love it.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I’d love to have an office, with my team of staff. We’ll have expanded our product range and even have a second brand alongside Into the Wylde. With a trusted team we can get more done and have more downtime. I’ll be working with super talented, passionate people I know have the same vision as me.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Both my business partner and I are long-time advocates for animal welfare. We wanted to support a charity with a proportion of our profits, and we decided upon Four Paws in the UK. They act as a voice for animals that live under human influence, and advocate for humans treating animals with dignity, empathy and respect. We believe that in a world where different cultures have different mindsets on how they view and treat animals, education and advocacy has a massive role to play in opening up minds.
What drives you?
My creativity, my love of herbs, my patients and my desire to do good in the world.
I love the fact that as a herbalist I see the elegant utility in the plants around us that many may dismiss as weeds. I love taking a group out and showing them the jewels around us in nature.
Any final comments?
I started Into the Wylde to empower us to fully connect with our bodies and experience balanced intimate ecology; to break down the shame surrounding female sexuality and to allow us to put in our bodies only what is good for us.
It’s been fun to navigate this sometimes ‘difficult’ terrain: sex, vaginas, vulvas, women’s sexuality etc. However, everything we do is based on female anatomy and physiology so once you start from there everything you need becomes second nature. Starting an intimate health and pleasure brand has also been eye opening for me, as we are spanning both the health & wellness and the adult markets, and that’s a relatively new spread in the market place, excuse the pun. It has really grounded me in my background as a natural health practitioner and helped me to evolve personally as an individual too.
If you’ve never tried lube before, come visit us at intothewylde.com and find out why. Everything is better with (the right) lube! In fact, come visit us anyway. Everyone welcome!
What does a normal day look like for you?
Currently it’s getting up and going straight to my desk to work, and I can be there quite a while (I think I have enough work to keep me busy 24 hours a day at the moment!) Currently it’s just me in the business, with some really solid support from a couple of trusted friends. They have been with me on the journey and do some really amazing work for our social media and fulfil general sounding board duties out of love and passion - deep, deep bows to them. The thing that I love is that a) I adore my work (which helps massively!), b) it’s really varied - so it can go from getting to grips with the tech side of things and making sure I understand how all our our data is managed, to the really human part; consulting with clients, responding to women who are just reaching out to tell their story, dispensing herbs, writing and signing off copy, speaking at events, planning marketing, logistics, finances, formulating (that’s the really fun part). The whole gamut. I wear all the caps.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I constantly amaze myself! But I think I’m pretty proud of getting a first class honours in my degree. And most of all, bringing my product, Wylde One, to life. At the beginning I had literally no idea how to do what I wanted, I’m a medical herbalist by training, but had no experience or knowledge of the other skills needed to bring something like this into the world. But I knew I had to take this forward, so I learned everything I needed to know to make it happen. I even had to learn about the basics of social media because back then I didn’t even have a Facebook account, that’s how rookie I was! At one point I thought I would have to train as a Cosmetic Chemist, which would have taken two years, but I thought, if I have to do it, I will! I was determined to make this work. Luckily I’ve found lots of amazing people to work with on the way that have helped me to bring my vision to life. And now I have a real life product to bring to market! It’s been one hell of a journey so far and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
My nan. She lived through many hardships (living through the war, losing her husband just a few short years after he returned from war, dealing with multiple miscarriages, raising three children, one of which had physical disability in a time when people like this were marginalised - she didn’t let him become marginalised!) but she never gave up or stopped thinking of others. She was always helping out at church events, raising money for charities close to her heart and worked at an ‘old people’s home’ way past her own retirement age. She was a cheerful and strong woman, despite everything she’d been through, and her spirit and strength of character has always inspired me. She was strong headed, and I like to think I get some of that from her.
What was your biggest failure?
That my first business fizzled out. You learn a lot from your mistakes though. You evolve. I evolved by learning to be bold again. To really own and inhabit my space, my specialisms and my ideas, and go forward with the confidence of those. They come from me.
What do you like most about yourself?
My determination, my passion and my wild creativity.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Through dialogue. Humans are endlessly complex, and there are as many viewpoints as there are people. I believe that everyone’s lived experience has validity and in this increasingly overcrowded planet that’s a lot of voices to take into account. The more we experience others different to us, the more our minds open, meaning the more accepting of others’ points of view we can be, which in turn makes our lives richer.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
My tenacity and my ability to be flexible and pick up new skills quickly. Oh and my communication skills - I absolutely love chatting with people and making new connections. I really believe in treating everyone with equity and listening to their story.