Let's discuss 4 Myths About Starting A Home Apothecary Business. You might be hesitant to start a holistic home apothecary business for a number of reasons, but don't let these specific myths hold you back. Apothecary businesses are incredibly fascinating and they come in different forms. I’ve had my own successful home apothecary business for eleven years now and I’ve loved pretty much every second of it.
Every job (whether you work for yourself or not) has its ups and downs, but I’m so exceedingly grateful for my apothecary biz. Over the last year, in particular, I’ve realized that so many passionate creators have talent, but they don’t pursue their passion/dream of having a full-time apothecary business because of FEAR…
Fear that they don’t have the “required” specific skill set it takes to have a successful home apothecary business.
4 MYTHS About Starting A Home Apothecary Business
- You need to have studied formal herbalism courses at an institution.
- You need to have studied some kind of entrepreneurship/business courses at an institution.
- Being a master at all plant matter, essential oils, carrier oils, etc is essential. Being a master at creating detailed health programs to match whatever a client wants is essential.
- And then also this belief that you need heaps of capital for expensive equipment, branding, packaging, advertising etc.
"Could these BE any more false?!" FRIENDS fans anyone? Today I’m hoping to expose these myths once and for all. The reason why I want to expose these myths is because I keep coming across amazing, passionate, gifted herbalists who often lack confidence because they don’t fit the brief listed above. But, there really is another way. First, let's start by breaking down the 4 myths about starting a home apothecary business.
MYTH # 1: You need to study formal herbalism courses for your home apothecary products to be “GOOD enough” to sell
There’s this old mind-set still hanging around in society that makes life and growth quite difficult. It’s the belief you need to formally study and have some kind of qualification before you can work in a certain field. Over time, some new shortcuts have been created (like short courses) which aim to condense your learning experience into a shorter amount of time.
And while I love the idea that you don’t need to put aside years for these courses, some still have major flaws and you never know what you're going to really accomplish. Even with some shorter six-month classes, we are still talking about full-time class hours, and at least $5000 or more buck-a-roos. This means no work and no income plus mild expenses.
However, this is a different time. The online world has opened up doors for all of us to learn almost any skill and excel at it. Without little to no investment. You don’t need to study a formal, expensive course for your home apothecary business to succeed.
I’ve developed five weekly habits that keep me sharp and constantly evolving as an apothecary owner.
5 Weekly Habits To Evolve Your Home Apothecary
1. Watching an inspirational plant/mind-body/healing/herbal show.
Shows like Heal, Root Cause, Take Your Pills, Forks Over Knives, The C Word, What The Health, In Defense Of Food, The Power Of Herbs, Farm To Fork, etc. Watch shows that focus on health, mindset, healing, meditation, using food as medicine, and so on. I always keep a notebook handy to write down my biggest takeaways, which new techniques I’ve learned and how I could implement them. Use "free time" as a chance to always learn, grow, and evolve.
2. Conquer something technical that has epic benefits (typically spaced out over a month, with research on the specific creation every week).
SPF, Perfect Lip Balms, Edible Flowers, Chakra Teas, Herbal Infusions Culinary & Body, Syrups, Extracts... these are all very technical creations, yet I’ve managed to master them through extensive research and then practicing.
3. Eat, drink, or use something that inspires you.
Hard Work, right? Eating/drinking/using something inspirational is essential to keeping your edge sharp in your apothecary. Try something new every week that inspires you. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Get to that place that everyone in your town/city is talking about. Try a new tea, jam, honey, or a baked good filled with amazing herbs, smell the aroma, indulge in the different ways herbs, oils, dishes are prepared with the same types of ingredients you might use in your home apothecary. Test out a new natural product that might be all the rave, see what sparks your interests.
4. Follow talented herbalists online.
You will learn something new every time. I still do. If it overwhelms you to see what your competitors are doing, then try following students or a publication instead. Social media isn't always what it's cracked up to be, I get it. Just create a feed that is most inspiring to you.
5. Use seasonal ingredients for inspiration.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients can inspire you to create products you’ve never tried before. Search online to see what other herbs/spices/oils go with what you're making.
These habits have grown me into the herbalist I am today without ever needing to pay a cent for training. Another super effective strategy to grow as an herbalist (for free) is to volunteer or work at any garden/farm to table restaurant/eatery/bakery/suppliers that do anything related to herbalism and plants.
I’ve explained the basics without being cryptic, but if you want more check out my book How To Start, Grow, & Monetize A Successful Herbal Business on Amazon!
MYTH #2: You need to formally study business/entrepreneurship for your apothecary business to be successful
The online world has opened up doors for all of us to learn almost any skill and excel at it. You don’t need to study a formal, expensive course in business for your home apothecary business to succeed.
The web is bursting with online entrepreneur and business coaches who are giving away a wealth of info – for FREE. If you have a little bit of money to spend on this, it will definitely help though. I highly recommend entrepreneur podcasts as well. They are the best because they smash concepts of business and redefine business’s focus in 20 to 1-hour episodes. Free99. It’s paramount that you learn about business and entrepreneurship, but you don’t need to do a formal, expensive course at a university or institution.
Myth #3: You need to be a master at all plant matter, essential oils, carrier oils, etc. for your home apothecary business to succeed and before starting a home apothecary business
I’m part of a few herbalist Facebook groups. On these groups you typically see folks posting their latest teas, balms, salves, and branding detail, really awesome stuff but nothing too extravagant.
One day I posted a photo in the one group of the types of products I make. A top-selling facial tonic, egg serum, Hawaiian plant products, and a few others.
The tonic specifically, generated $1000+ in sales in the first 2 months of my business - back in the day ;). I asked in the group if anyone does facial type tonics like these because everyone’s work seems so "chap-sticky" or “just one-to-two-ingredient tea”. Everyone’s responses weren't what I expected. Here’s what they said in the group:
“I love facial tonics like yours for myself, my friends and family. But I'm not an expert in all the herbs yet so I stick to lip balms, salves, or candles."
“LOVE tonics, but I haven't tried making any yet because my customers seem to only want one item.”
I needed a sec. Is this is truly what most home apothecary business owners believe?
In general, any creative enjoys creating something that they actually want to buy themselves. As soon as you start just creating for “whatever anyone wants”, you quickly get frustrated, bored, and burned out. (Which is why I stopped taking clients for graphics design - talk about a headache)
Truth is that there’s a whole other market that is into whatever you can dream up. The biggest product dream you can come up with - someone is waiting for. Sometimes people don't know what they want until you show them why they need it. And no you don't need to be an expert in EVERYTHING, it's impossible. But what you can do is become an expert in a select few and run with it. this should be part of habit number two mentioned above.
Now, I am not saying there’s no need for balms, salves, simple tea (that would be foolish and ignorant). It’s an amazing art. I’m just saying that the one-trick herbalist pony “hype” has gone completely out of control and created this stigma that apothecary equals only chapstick or tea. What I'm trying to tell you is that, you don't have to stick with what you already know just because that one thing sells.
Myth #4: You need loads of money to start a home apothecary business
This one is extra false.
When I started my home apothecary business I had almost nothing. I had a $1 ceramic bowls from the dollar store, 1 cheap pot (make-shift double broiler), 1 stainless steel bowl, a hand full of mason jars, masking tape, 4oz sample sizes of 3 different herbs, one carrier oil (and a $5500 student loan to pay off, lol!). That’s it! I didn’t even have tin containers or bottles to store things in, so I reused some old cosmetic containers... after sterilizing them of course. You can make it work!
We are quick to play the comparison game through IG or Pinterest, we want a whole set up asap. I totally get it. been there. But it's not essential to your home apothecary success. Focus on the quality of your products, not the aesthetics of your supplies.
Beautiful branding and packaging can also be a very tempting expense. If a wrapper is beautiful, but the candy tastes bad, will you ever buy it again? No. Just go for simple packaging to start off with. You can seriously get away with 50 cents per tin or jar. To add a personal touch, get a logo stamp made for $10. It looks super rustic and rad!
A simple, affordable logo design solution is to do a trade exchange with a local graphic designer. Creatives really look out for each other and are keen to help where they can! Offer them a product in exchange for a logo. Or my favorite, Canva. You can find all kinds of logos there for FREE and personalize it with your brand colors on the paid version.
The last area where big spending can be super tempting is advertising for your home apothecary.
Take it from someone who has done this for 11 years…
When it comes to anything, one word of mouth referral from someone who has actually used your product or service is worth more than 1000 flyers or 2000 views on a Facebook ad. Focus on retaining your clients and build genuine relationships with them so that you become their GO-TO magic maker! Loyal clients are the backbone of any apothecary business.
I hope that I was able to bust the 4 MYTHS About Starting A Home Apothecary Business for you. You have your own unique talents and the world needs your creativity!
If you can relate to what I’ve shared, then Blu Radical Apothecary is exactly what you’ve been looking for. I’m so excited that you are finally here!
I’ve created a resource specifically for current and aspiring herbalists and beginner entrepreneurs alike because I want to see you succeed!
It's filled with my BEST tools, tips, guides, and my apothecary's TOP SECRETS to provide you with everything you need to build your own SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.
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Please comment below if you have any other struggles or doubts about building your own home apothecary business because I would LOVE to help!