Meet the Face Behind The Lemongrass Trading Company.
Say hello to …
Stacy Marking from The Lemongrass Trading Company Ltd.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
It all began when I was in the hills in South India, and came across a rickety bamboo cart selling harvest produce for a Farmer’s Cooperative. There were mangoes and corn and some intriguing little bottles of locally distilled Essential Oils. For the first time I came across Lemongrass Oil and fell in love with its flavour, its scent and its amazing powers – it’s anti-bacterial, deodorant & naturally insect-repellent.
I brought some back and began at the kitchen table, mixing various oils to make fresh, delicious sprays – and so the Lemongrass Trading Company was born. I still mix everything myself – 100% Natural, plant extracts, with NO added chemicals.
The Lemongrass Trading Company makes a range of ‘green’ products for house, car and hotels– natural sprays and sachets that smell divine, purify the air, freshen the car (even absorbing cigarette smoke) . and deterring insects – especially clothes moths – without any chemicals.
Describe your typical working day …
The lovely part is when we are Mixing. Bottling, Labelling: the lemongrass smells so wonderful. I make all our Sprays myself, here in a 15th century Hall in West Dorset, using only pure Essential Oils and 100% Natural plant-based ingredients – with NO added chemicals. I know this because I’m the one doing it. We can mix, label and fill about 150 bottles a day, more of the MiniSprays.
What is the best thing about your job?
Spreading the word – and seeing how customers love the product.
And thinking up new products – we’ve just launched a really cute ‘Trainer Mate’, an Anti-Fungal Lemongrass Spray that takes the smell out of trainers, sports shoes (even teenagers).
Do you use any specialist techniques?
I have an amazing mixer – it’s called a High Shear Mixer, and looks like something out of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, as though it might attack you or bite your fingers off. But in fact it is so reliable and safe and effective – I have come to love it.
What would you like to do next with the business?
I recently got a (modest) European Union Grant to extend the Lemongrass formulae into Agricultural and Horticultural products, to make more eco-friendly Biocides. I find the science fascinating (the very opposite of my Arts education) and really believe all us Green-workers can turn the huge agro-chemical industry around.
What tip would you give to someone starting a business?
Just Do It! This was my motto long before Nike took it over. There are always so many reasons for caution – in the end you just have to start. And that doesn’t mean huge investment or a smart office. Inspired by Anita Roddick’s autobiography, I began at the kitchen table.
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
My cute little foursome Anti-Bug Brigade! The blue is Anti-Midge, pale green Anti-Moth, yellow Anti-Wasp, and red Anti-Mozzie.
What are the most popular products in your range?
Our Natural Anti-Moth collection, in particular the Closet Spray, made with Lemongrass & Cedarwood sells brilliantly. People love the smell – and the fact that it is natural – and that it actually works!
Are you working on any new products at the moment?
Yes, an Anti-Fungal Lemongrass Gym Kit: Lemongrass soap, foot powder and gel, to go with our newest cutest pocket-sized Spray, the anti-fungal ‘Trainer Mate’.
What products do you want to introduce in the next year?
The Lemongrass Gym kit. Also Candles and Diffusers (but this is a tough category), Lemongrass Laundry and Cleaning products, and even a Garden Spray too, against Aphids.
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
Jo Malone and The White Company for their packaging.
Banksy for the designs & murals he’s given away to charity.
What business figures inspire your business?
Well, long after she has gone, Anita Roddick still inspires.
Emma Jones made a dynamic leader of StartUp Britain.
Not exactly business, but what an achiever – the wonderful Malala Yousafzai.
Thank you Stacy!