Stephanie Alward | Rustic Peppermint
RAW TALES GIVES READERS AN INSIGHT LOOK INTO VEGAN COMPANIES AND THE INDIVIDUALS BEHIND THE BRAND. WE ASKED OUR FEATURES TO BE RAW AND TRANSPARENT IN SHARING THEIR CHALLENGES, SUCCESS, AND THE PASSION THAT CONTINUES TO DRIVE THEIR BUSINESS.
When did you become a vegan?
My partner and I became vegan in March 2013 after being vegetarian for years.
What made you decide to become a vegan?
We talked about going vegan on and off for a while but selfishly and stupidly thought our bodies wouldn’t cope without cheese, eggs and dairy products. We watched a few documentaries and then started reading The Veganist.
The Veganist was a turning point for us. Reading other people’s horrific experiences and what made them decide to be vegan. We only got through the first three chapters. We were heartbroken and in tears, because we didn’t know the pain and suffering side of those industries, to the degree we know now! We decided together on that day that there was no way we could be a part of hurting any animals any longer. Ultimately, if they suffer, we suffer. We shouldn’t be ingesting fear and pain from a living being. Plants are the only way of the future.
What inspired you to start your company?
Going vegan was a huge inspiration for us. We became obsessed with reading contents and ingredients of everything, from food, to household cleaning products to skincare and beyond. We struggled to find Vegan and 100% natural products, so we started making them all. We fell in love with researching and formulating skin and body care, so we started gifting and sharing our creations with friends and family and before we knew it, people were asking us if they could buy our products!
What product/service do you offer?
We offer all natural 100% vegan highly organic skin, baby and body care.
How can our readers use your product/service when planning their next event?
Your readers can have our products in gift bags for their attendees (if it’s an event), they can also use them as great gifts and prize packs, not to mention our products are perfect for a pamper session!
What has been the biggest challenge with having a vegan company?
Making sure that all the raw materials/ packaging are vegan and as environmentally friendly as possible!
How did you overcome this challenge?
We dedicated so many hours researching different companies and their products and are always on the lookout for better/more sustainable options. We also like to chat with other business owners/entrepreneurs in like-minded industries to get advice and to brainstorm. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far but we know there is always room for improving and perfecting.
What does success look like for your company?
That’s a tough one! We want to share Rustic Peppermint with as many people as possible, and help them on their vegan journey by helping them find products that make their skin feel and look amazing, the way nature intended. We are building our wholesaler base and collaborating with other businesses/ subscription boxes to get our products out there and share the love.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere we look. Mostly Mother Nature, but we do turn to Instagram, Pinterest and social media as well for ideas, photo inspiration, accessories, and tips. People, their skin and how we can help and our customers also inspire us. Our customers are the ones who are always throwing new ideas at us, asking if we can formulate something new for them. We have family and friends and love helping them with their skin and showing people that you don’t need anything that has been tested or comes from an animal to feel good about yourself or have glowing, supple, radiant skin. When our niece was born, that was the inspiration for us to develop a baby and Mumma range!
In one sentence, what would you tell an aspiring vegan company owner/entrepreneur?
Just do it. It will be scary and overwhelming at times, but so worth it!
What was your most memorable customer experience?
It’s hard to choose just one memorable customer experience because every time we get to interact with our customers and get positive feedback, it’s memorable and it makes us feel like we are making a difference. From someone telling us that our deodorant is the only natural deodorant that has ever worked for them, to a mother of a two-year-old thanking us for helping her daughter with eczema, to a personal email from an online customer that took time out of her day thanking us, as she wasn’t expecting such a beautiful, high-quality product, they all give us butterflies and great opportunities to do our happy dance!
Do you have any additional information that you would like our readers to know?
We love doing this!! And we love the support. Us small businesses wouldn’t get anywhere without the backing of loyal customers, their repeat business, their social media reviews, their gift buying/giving. We appreciate all of it. We’re here because we want to
help people on their vegan journey and skincare is a great place to start! Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of self-pampering?