Hi Anna, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with WishGarden Herbs?
It would have been hard not to be involved with WishGarden Herbs, seeing as it was started in my basement and I was the subject for which many of the formulas were created. Yes, I was the kid with the weird-smelling house and an herbal wizard for a mother. My mother, Catherine Hunziker, bought WishGarden Herbs back in 1987 when it was just a closet full of midwifery formulas. She has since brought WishGarden to the retail world and expanded its formula line exponentially.
Other than the occasional after-school and summer work, I didn’t officially start working at WishGarden till about five years ago. After chasing the sun around the globe for ten years in places like Florida, San Diego, Santiago, Chile and Barcelona, I decided to return home to my roots in Boulder, Colorado and start working for WishGarden. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I feel so blessed to work with all the amazing people here at WishGarden Herbs on a daily basis.
WishGarden just started an Ambassador Program which you are managing. What are the goals for the program?
WishGarden has really gained a lot of its success due to word of mouth over the years. As a small, independent company we have never really had the budget to do any advertising, so this has been key for us. Knowing there were people out there who were passionate about WishGarden and who were talking to their community about us, we thought it would be a good idea to help support these WishGarden fans with a Brand Ambassador Program.
The Brand Ambassador Program is based on the idea that super fans are identified and rewarded. Brand ambassadors are given free WishGarden product for their personal use and also samples, coupons, literature, seed packets and more to share with their community. The hope is that more and more people will be exposed to how amazing our products are through WishGarden Brand Ambassadors and that the word-of-mouth advertising that we have depended on for so long will become even bigger and stronger.
In addition to the Ambassador Program, you are also the Field Support Coordinator at WishGarden. What does this position entail?
This is kind of a catch-all title. Working in a small family-run company, I do just about whatever my mother, brother, and other co-workers need me to do, but there a few consistent duties. I manage our demo program, events, donations, sample requests ,and help support our sales team in and out of house. I also do our product photography☺
Natural products seem to be all the rage these days. Is WishGarden benefitting from this renewed interest in natural and organic products?
WishGarden has definitely benefited from this renewed interest. Having been around since 1979, it has been awesome to see interest in natural products evolve from just the crunchy, hippy granola scene and move more into the mainstream. I’m pleasantly surprised all the time by the variety of people interested in WishGarden Herbs these days. For example, we had great success at a recent event in Belton, Texas where many other booths were showcasing livestock and feed. I am sure this would not be the case even 10 years ago. It’s really inspiring to see that people from all over the country, regardless of background, are starting to see the health benefits that natural and organic products can have on their life.
WishGarden is known for its great product names and for its blends. Can you comment on that?
WishGarden was the first tincture company to sell blends of herbs as formulas with fun names. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s the other liquid herb companies were selling mostly single herb tinctures. Having these pre-blended formulas with fun names that people could prescribe themselves without having an herbal background really gave us an advantage going into the ‘2000s and into the natural product renaissance. With names like Kick-Ass Allergy, a “mainstreamer” who has decided to start shopping at a natural grocer might choose to try the product based on the fun name. Upon experiencing the surprisingly fast-and-effective results, they may become more interested in natural medicines and thus increasingly more committed to a natural lifestyle. And just like that, another modern “crunchy” could be born!
What is your favorite herb and why?
My favorite herb might be Passion Flower. If you have never seen one, you must look it up. It looks like a beautiful alien flower from another land. Medicinally, you can use the leaves and stems as a sleep aid, to help with nervous stress, anxiety, and nerve pain. We use it in our Sleepy Nights, Emotional Ally, and Serious Relaxer formulas, all of which you can undoubtedly find on my desk and my night stand at all times. Also of note, the passion fruit that comes from this plant has a very tart but sweet taste. Called Maracuya in Spanish, it is used in one of my favorite drinks in Chile, the Maracuya Sour.