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The story of Woodsy

Woodsy Botanics Story


I have been asked a lot lately about how Woodsy came to be so thought I'd take this time to sit down and write a post about the story of this little business. Woodsy has been running for nearly two years now and in that time I have not associated myself with the business - instead opting for an anonymous approach. However lately I have been feeling that this direction isn't what I want for what I consider to be my little baby. Woodsy has become a huge part of my life and in a sense we have become intertwined, with that in mind it has become pretty hard to avoid the self-connection with the business and I have reached a point where I want to share more about myself and how this little project came to be. I'm proud of what I do and I wanted to share this with you.

My journey into the world of botanical wonder began about four years ago. While studying a herbal medicine paper i found myself becoming quite obsessed with plants and their medicinal properties. What began as simple tinctures and teas soon turned into an array of potions. I remember turning up to friends dinner parties with little tubes of the latest batch of products for them to try. I spent two years researching and developing my recipes. Along the way there were A LOT of errors and a lot of times when i wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. What kept me going was the reminder that this was merely a passion project and I removed the pressure of expecting this little thing to go in any set direction simply letting the process run organically and saying yes to opportunities that came my way. I always thought this would be a hobby of mine that I would sell at the occasional market and make for gifts for friends and family and nothing more. 

Part of why Woodsy came to be was my dissatisfaction with the skincare products that I was using. I have always had problems with acne, and searched for anything that would help. I wanted to swap to more natural products but couldn't find anything that would help or wouldn't irritate my sensitive skin. The other problem was that everything was so darn expensive. So I started tinkering about with a few ingredients making a few basic recipes and quickly became addicted with developing more products to sort out the skin issues I was facing. It was so exciting to see everything come together and to try out the products on myself, fixing little things I was unhappy with along the way. Over time I developed the full Woodsy range.

It was so exciting to release the products. The first batch went out to a group of friends to get feedback and to see how the products worked on their different skin types. It was really scary making the move to start selling to the general public. I was incredibly proud of what I had come up with but felt daunted by the aspect of people I didn't know using my products. I asked for brutally honest feedback from my friends and family and solved any little issues before my first market. In December 2016 I attended my first market, the Twice as Nice market on K Road in Auckland. I was super nervous and asked one of my talented friends to come along and help me style the table and also keep me calm and collected. The market was insanely busy and people were so incredibly kind. I felt a surge of pride and got that little boost of confidence I was looking for. A couple of weeks later, with the help of another amazingly talented friend (I am so lucky for the people in my life) I launched my website and online store. From here on out Woodsy started to tick along. It still makes my day every time an order pops up in my inbox. I open the email, scroll down to the name of the person, look at where they found my website from and look at where in the country they live. I feel this personal connection making every product knowing where it is off to and thinking of the people who are including Woodsy products into their daily skin routine. Every product in my range is crafted by hand and developed with a whole lot of love. I like knowing that I can control the quality of every product and blast the label of 'small- batch' with extreme pride. 

 About a year ago I was approached by a store to wholesale my range. This was not something I had even comprehended at that point but the thought of Woodsy sitting on the shelves of a shop alongside other brands that I admired was so exciting. Since then I have picked up several wholesale accounts and am stocked in different spots across New Zealand. I have a strict policy of only stocking with stores that share the same philosophies and values that I do and like to build up personal relationships with all of my stockists. 

I still laugh when I get emails saying 'Hello Team' - I don't think anyone knows that it's just little old me running this thing. I make all of the products, label the bottles, run the social media, answer the emails and pop up at markets from time to time. It can be a lot of work at times, and quite overwhelming, but I still love a busy Woodsy day starting with a good cup of coffee and listening to a podcast (This American Life, Radio Lab, The Tim Ferris Show, and Stuff You Should Know are some of my favs). I still get a buzz out of smelling new essential oils, keeping up to date on the latest skincare trends and finding new ways to make Woodsy the best it can be. I'm learning everyday and that's what I love most about running Woodsy, I can't believe sometimes that this business is mine, and have to step back to appreciate the whole picture. 

So hello everyone! And thank you for supporting me and allowing me to carry on doing something that I love, I'm so very grateful. 

Gabrielle x 



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  • Talaina

    So wonderful watching this beautiful thing evolve! Many hours of blood sweat and tears to share such quality products with the public. You are awesome!

  • Lydia

    What a lovely read! x

  • Kirsty

    Loved reading this – so cool to hear about your journey and also the feelings behind the business. Such a great line “I still laugh when I get emails saying ‘Hello Team’ – I don’t think anyone knows that it’s just little old me running this thing.” – you’re doing such a good job! x

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