Follow Your Heart To Financial Success
“The best piece of advice I’ve had from another entrepreneur was, ‘if you run your business from your heart, success will follow,’” says April MacKinnon, owner of Anointment Natural Skin Care. That advice is from Jeremy Long, owner of Padraig Cottage Ltd., whose slipper business started in North Vancouver and whose products are now sold in boutiques across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. “I believe authenticity is important, and so is standing behind your principles,” says MacKinnon, “no matter what your financial statements may say.”
It’s her deeply rooted principles about the importance of natural skin care and providing products that don’t comprise her customers’ health or the environment that drives MacKinnon – and it’s paying off. From her base in rural Sackville, NB, MacKinnon, AGE, has expanded her wholesale business across Canada, reaching as far as Edmonton, AB. “We’ve gone from selling in four stores in Nova Scotia to fulfilling orders for 30 stores nationally,” says MacKinnon.
A civil engineer by trade, MacKinnon left the profession in 2006 to pursue the natural health products market full time. She bought Anointment in the spring of 2009. She and her husband, Jeff, moved their growing family from Dartmouth, NS back to her home town of Sackville, NB in YEAR. They are now parents to Anna, 6, Cameron, 5, and Andrew, 1. MacKinnon is a stay-at-home mom who runs Anointment from their 150-year-old farm house.
To grow her business, MacKinnon focuses on the baby and children market. “I find boutiques and online websites that cater to moms like me – women who care about what we’re putting on our family’s skin.” MacKinnon gets weekly requests from stores wanting to carry Anointment products.
“I think the most important thing when supplying to retailers across the county is to commit to supporting them,” says MacKinnon. “You have to treat your retailers well – get your orders out on time, help with merchandizing, be accessible. Basically, empower them to sell your product as well as you would if you were in their stores. And never underestimate the power of professional branding. It gives retailers more confidence in your product.”
Her future plans include opening an Anointment retail store in Sackville, NB, and joining the Atlantic economusee network. “Soap making is physically demanding, but really rewarding. I want to contribute to the local economic development here and job creation – I want to employ women like me who have a strong business sense and young children.” – Heather MacLean