Happy Valentine’s Day!
There’s no ignoring the chocolate candy at the grocery store, the red hearts on your neighbor’s front door, and jewelry store commercials laying it on thick. Valentine’s Day is officially here! In the spirit of St. Valentine, Ilderton Bookkeeping LLC will talk about love. But not just any love … job love!
Recently, I spoke to someone who has thrown her heart into her business. Her name is Holly Thorpe, and she is the owner of Wildcraft Charleston, LLC, the cutest shop in South Windermere that she opened this month. It carries small batch, artisanal beauty products. I had to interview her to find out more!
You can find out more at her website http://www.wildcraftcharleston.com/.
What ignited the spark to start Wildcraft? How did the idea for the business come about?
In the fall, Sean and I took a trip to California to visit friends and explore the Bay area, down to Big Sur. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I was most excited about sharing all the self-care goodies that I gathered there with my friends and family.
In San Francisco, I was making special trips to visit shops that carried particular lines that I wasn’t able to smell and try here in Charleston and had only seen online, like MCMC fragrance, Sister Spinster Flower & Gem Essences, and Captain Blankenship skin and haircare. I was also introduced to skincare lines that I immediately fell in love with that changed my relationship with my own skin – Dr. Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skin Food and Laurel Whole Plant Organics.
Then it clicked lying in bed soon after we got home, “Why not open a shop that offers these organic, artisanal, farm-to-skin, clean skincare, bodycare and fragrance to my own community?” The name came for the shop came in right then – Wildcraft. You see, I have been a skincare product junkie for as long as I can remember. I love researching and learning about ingredients and finding products that actually do what they say, so this is not a stretch for me. My friends and family have been using me for this type of information for years, so it literally feels organic.
The push I needed to make the leap of opening Wildcraft was happening at this same exact time as the idea came in – I was offered the job, a big promotion that I thought I always wanted. The position was what I had professionally worked for my entire career only to learn that I didn’t want it. I could do it. But did I really want to? No. That was a difficult moment. But it helped clarify what makes me happy, what I like to share with people and enables me to flourish. There is a lot of leaning on and trusting God going on here, too.
What advice would you give to those who want to become entrepreneurs?
Believe and trust that you can do this and that you are totally capable.
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear she shares a quote from the Gospel of Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.” So when the idea comes in, it is the opposite of crazy or foolish or too wild. You should take it seriously.
Stay away from fear-mongers and negative people. Literally leave a conversation or a blog post that stirs up any fear. People will project their own fears onto you, so it becomes crucial to see it as their stuff, not yours.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Starting a business takes A LOT of work so just keep chunking down and taking one step at a time.
You don’t have to know everything at once (big one for me!). Get out of your own way. Put the intention of your new business out there and people and things will show up for you. The universe has your back. I have hard evidence of this. And you don’t need anyone’s approval. This is for you.
What does Wildcraft offer its customers that is unique to Charleston?
I am passionate about curating small-batch artisanal products from all over the world and sharing those with my customers. I build relationships with the makers and love learning about what they do, why they do it, and share that with my customers, too. Fair trade and sustainably made jewelry, bags and clothing matters to me. Like the Slow Food movement, we are in a Slow Beauty movement.
Wildcraft is based on the self care rituals that honor the gracefulness of aging and reconnect us to our true selves – no matter how much time we give ourselves. Taking that moment for yourself is important in our busy, scheduled lives. Clear your mind and slow down, light a candle, write in a journal, soak in a bath, rub body oil after a shower, even choose a particular comfy wrap or scarf to layer with because it feels so good – all are part of our daily self care rituals. We offer those things for you here. And if you haven’t stopped at all that day, you can pause and make yourself a cup of tea at our tea station.
Offering skincare and bodycare products that are not only beautifully made but really work is important to me. To provide an example, Dr. Akaitis and Laurel are both ideal for aging, dull or congested skin or anyone with rosacea or eczema. And every product at Wildcraft has a story like that.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
After opening the shop I am even more inspired by my close friends Kris and Bob Galmarini who have a clothing line called Neve / Hawk in the Bay area. To launch a business as beautifully as they have while moving cross-country and raising two young children is amazing to me.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Holly and her business are such an inspiring example of job love! In another life, I would love to be creative but for now I feel so lucky to work with business owners who are creative, interesting, and dynamic. This Valentine’s Day, my job love is being able to use my talents to help business owners do what they do best. I hope you are cherishing your job love this Valentine’s Day!
All photos by Leslie McKellar