Owner: Christine Campbell
West Milford, New Jersey
What made you decide to turn your hobby/craft into a business?
I started out learning about aromatherapy in the early 1990’s. I was very interested in learning about herbal and holistic treatments. In 1996, I took a correspondence course thought the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy and became a certified aromatherapist. I started using that knowledge on my new baby, my husband, and in my home. The more I used aromatherapy, the more I grew to realize how well it worked. Soon after that, my friends and family started asking me to make up blends and oils for them, which I did because I loved to work with essential oils and to see how much it helped. When my two children were in school full time, I decided to use that extra time to start a small business and made some extra money selling at craft fairs. Now I sell mainly through my online shop, Faery-Wings.com
What are some of the biggest challenges/obstacles you face?
Right now, the economy is very bad and most of the people I know do not have the extra money for personal luxuries. Often, they can purchase a bottle of body lotion at the local dollar store. It is hard to compete with low cost products and many people don’t understand how much true essential oils cost.
What is the best advice you would give to a fellow artisan?
It is always good to dream big, but be realistic. The majority of artisans are not going to become rich and famous. But if you work hard and make a good product, you will see results. If you are creating your products from the heart, you are rewarded in more ways than just money. Also, it is good to understand the variability of a “selling season.” For example, my busiest time of year is from November through December, like many other businesses. During the summer, my business slows down. I try to kick off each season with a new scent and some type of season-specific product to keep interest in my products as high as possible.
What inspires you to be creative?
More than anything, I love making custom orders and gift baskets. Trying to create the perfect scent blend and product for a particular request is always a fun challenge for me. Putting together gift baskets and personalized party favors are also interesting creative outlets.
How do you manage work life with home life?
Since I work out of my kitchen it gets difficult when I get my work space ready, and then my family decides that is when they want to eat! I have to tell them in advance what hours I am going to be in the kitchen, and to stay out during them. Sometimes, I get stressed out trying to finish baskets and gift orders before the holidays so during those times it is very important to plan ahead and stick to my schedule.
Do you offer your products for fund raising events?
Because my family all suffers from Late Stage Lyme disease, I have created what I call my “Lyme Line.” I make body lotion, shower gel and bath whips using fragrance oil of coconut and lime. For every bottle or jar I sell, I donate one dollar to Turn The Corner Foundation (TurnTheCorner.org). Turn the Corner promotes awareness and research about Lyme Disease. I am very proud that I have donated over $60 to this admirable organization that does so much to help the Lyme Community.
How did you derive a name for your business?
I like the combination of the old-time feel and the cutting edge uses of essential oils. I knew I wanted a name that used the word Apothecary. It is such a great word and brings to my mind the image of the healers of the past. At the same time I wanted something with a contemporary, whimsical feel. I love the artwork of Amy Brown and just had faery wings tattooed on my upper back. The name just came together and it suits me, my business and my products perfectly.
Name three things you do in your free time
I enjoy digital scrap booking. I love to garden and get my hands in the dirt. I take care of my family and my pets. In addition to my husband and both children having Lyme Disease, I am a “mom” to 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 frogs, and a handful of fish.
If you won the super lotto, what would you do with your winnings?
First, I would pay off my house and my bills. Then I would take my family away for a relaxing vacation. After that I would travel around the world to visit so many of the online friends I have made over the years. After I got back, I would donate as much as possible to Turn the Corner for Lyme Disease research. I would love to be able to set up a “scholarship” type fund for people who are in need of Lyme health care and cannot afford it. Most Lyme doctors do not take insurance and doctors visits and medications are very expensive. I have been fortunate that I am able to afford to have good Lyme doctors for my husband and kids, but I know that there are many out there that cannot. If there is any money left over after that, I’m going to hire a maid!
List any social media where people can find your products.
My blog: http://www.facebook.com/faerywings
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/faerywings#!/pages/West-Milford-NJ/Faery-Wings-Apothecary/62282477642?ref=ts&__a=19&ajaxpipe=1