Energy boosters: how entrepreneur Fleur Sladen got her herbal tinctures into top shops.

Fleur Sladen is a cook by trade, and an entrepreneur by nature. In February this year, she officially launched her new business Blooming Blends selling herbal blended botanical tinctures to strengthen the mind, body and soul. Six months in and it is already stocked in Planet Organic, Daylesford, Soho Farmhouse and a few small independent health stores. Fleur does everything for the new brand; she hand-blends and packages all the tinctures, deals with online sales, liaises with existing and potential stockists, manages the social media and plans business growth.

Before this, Fleur ran a food delivery business called The Food Stork for ten years sending out freshly made ready meals to new parents. While running The Food Stork, she started to make herbal teas to help rejuvenate and replenish new mothers after childbirth. This was the beginning of Blooming Blends. She got fascinated by the fact everyday botanicals had such positive effects on the body and did a herbalism course. Here Fleur looks back at the last year and what she has achieved with her startup.

I came up with the idea when… I was trying to find something natural and easy to use that gives me the perfect boost as and when I need it. I looked at what was readily available on the market and could not find the right products for my needs. It was then that I was inspired to create my own herbal blended tinctures.

The biggest challenge is… making people aware of the benefits of herbal tinctures and how easy they are to take. Tinctures seem to have been left behind by today’s wellness industry.

The average day is spent… blending tinctures by hand, responding to enquiries and liaising with my lovely stockists.

The team consists of... me!

My favourite quote is… “all good things come in small packages”. My mother used to say this to me when I was a kid as I always thought bigger presents were better. As an adult I love this, and try to apply it to my ethos of Blooming Blends. It’s all about quality not quantity.

I am where I am today because… I live in an amazing environment in the North Cotswolds surrounded by incredible nature. I live in the house I grew up in and my great grandmother designed our beautiful gardens that are all focused on wild flowers and edible botanicals. This instilled my love of herbs and I’ve been very lucky to transfer this into my work life.

I am who I am because of... the amazingly strong women in my life who brought me up - my mother, her sister and my father’s mother. Sadly they are all now gone but they instilled in me a wonderful sense of independence, strength and femininity. I still have my two incredible sisters and together as a threesome we are quite a force.

The best advice I've been given... don’t walk before you can run. I really believe in allowing things to develop and grow organically so when they arrive you are fully prepared for them.

In five years I’d like to be… seeing Blooming Blends flourish and grown. Hopefully, the tinctures will be stocked in multiple countries with a wonderful range that people really love.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... it’s tough, exciting and deeply rewarding. The power of an online presence is an extraordinary one as I can reach the world while sitting in my little office in Gloucestershire.

The websites I most frequently use are... Shopify, Wikipedia and quickbooks which is my accounting software.

My biggest mistake and what it taught me… I’m very newly launched so I’m still waiting for that big mistake but mostly it’s been budget slip-ups. I’m trying to learn to be wiser with money and that has been quite a steep learning curve.

What apps do you use to be more productive...Instagram is an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

July 2019

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