April Danann runs Nature Rebel Herbal Dispensary and Clinic near Caheragh. She tells West Cork People about how she developed her business and the pleasure she takes in it.
When and why did you set up your business?
I have been working with herbs and from a clinic for over 25 years; I spent 13 years in farmer’s markets and various clinics seeking the best fit for me. I have only ever wanted to work with herbs and love everything about them. I grow them and use them exclusively for my own well being. And I love to share all aspects of these years of learning with anyone who will listen. I have also been working as a Medical Intuitive since I was a teenager – this ability has guided me to select my studies (MSc Nutrition & Exercise, PhD Naturopathic Medicine, several diplomas, herbalist CH etc) and now I am able to combine this knowledge in my practice.
Did you have any support when setting up? Not really! I am quite a doer on my own and subscribe to the follow your intuition method of business – listen to your heart, take things one step at a time and you can make progress through these smaller steps. It is also less stressful. It probably helps that I have been studying independently all these years and have a BSc (Hons) in the business of food marketing and management which has long given framework to my ideas.
Tell us about your products? My most popular products are probably my apple cider vinegar and my herbal teas. I started out creating my own acvinegar mothers, then producing micro batches of apple cider vinegar most of which I infuse with various herbs added to it. My herbal tea blends are quite unique to me – they are intuitively selected herbs that work with each other and then with us to promote well being.
Who is involved in the
At this time, it is only myself and several student apprentices and of course my daughter loves to help out. Over the years, I have had many helping hands and we have had a lot of fun following dreams and passions. Some of my best memories are of Body and Soul Festival with friends.
What impact has the pandemic had on your business?
It is interesting times! Thankfully, I have always done clinic sessions remotely and had a small online shop. However over 3/4 of my business income was gone with markets stopped and not able to do any workshops. I have used this time to re-focus my energy into building a larger online store and sales and now to begin my greatest adventure into individually tailored teaching modules for students, business leaders and others who are seeking more from their lives.
What are you main highlights to date?
Last year I was awarded Business All Stars accreditation as a Thought Leader in Health Potential. The involvement with this organisation has meant a lot to me and helped me align with a purpose in my business.
And the main challenges?
It would probably be adjusting to these new times at the moment – otherwise I have always worked from home, I have homeschooled my children while working remotely. My challenge is to inspire others to come back to nature and trust that she has our back.
What are your distribution channels? I have sold many of my products in some local health food stores – however, as a clinician I usually prefer to speak with each customer individually to ensure they have the best product for their needs. And most people want to speak to me as well – my online sales, remote consultations and now my herbal dispensary are the best ways to find me.
Is West Cork a good place to be a small producer?
This is the best place to be! People are open to new ideas, the climate is supportive to innovation and just being here is inspiring for the creative soul.
Have you any advice for others interested in setting up a producer business?
Find something you love -– create your version of it and take things one tiny step at a time. Farmer’s markets are a great place to gain valuable feedback on your ideas.
Have you any words of wisdom for our readers?
When we make our health a priority, all else in our lives falls into place. One of the easiest ways to do this is to include small routines and habits that provide a framework to your day. Take apple cider vinegar daily in water, drink four cups of herbal tea and look to nature to support your health.