Port aux Basques en­tre­pre­neur mak­ing sales thanks to so­cial me­dia

Jus­tine Anderson’s Wild­flower Com­pany reach­ing clients in New York and Texas

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - News - BY ROS­ALYN ROY Ros­alyn.roy@gulfnews.ca Twit­ter: @tygerylly

“I do put a lot of ef­fort into my mar­ket­ing,” says Jus­tine Anderson, owner of Wild­flower Com­pany.

Small won­der then that the 29-year-old en­tre­pre­neur was re­cently hon­oured with the Ex­cel­lence in Mar­ket­ing award at this year’s an­nual Youth Ven­ture Cer­e­mony.

This is Anderson’s last year of el­i­gi­bil­ity to be con­sid­ered for a Youth Ven­tures award.

For the third sum­mer in a row, Anderson has main­tained a kiosk at Scott’s Cove Park to sell her Wild­flower Com­pany prod­ucts to passersby.

She spe­cial­izes in all nat­u­ral holis­tic and home­made skin­care prod­ucts con­tain­ing in­gre­di­ents that are lo­cally sourced. She also sells dream­catch­ers and fra­grant can­dles.

“I take ad­van­tage of free mar­ket­ing as much as pos­si­ble,” says Anderson, who does in­vest in printed busi­ness cars and brochures as well. “So­cial me­dia is big. I started a blog and that’s all free mar­ket­ing. So that at­tracts peo­ple that are in­ter­ested in read­ing about stuff that I write about, and then they find out about the busi­ness, and then In­sta­gram and Face­book – I’m big in put­ting my­self out there and put­ting the busi­ness out there with that.”

Grow­ing the Wild­flower brand that way has al­lowed Anderson to reach clients well be­yond the tourists and the lo­cals who wan­der the Port aux Basques wa­ter­front.

“I’ve got cus­tomers from Texas and New York,” she says.

“I’ve got a store in New York that has or­dered from me twice to sell my prod­ucts in her store,” adds Anderson. “And that’s all through so­cial me­dia.”

Some­times Anderson will ini­ti­ate con­tact but there have been times cus­tomers have sought out her New­found­land themed of­fer­ings as well.

“Some of our prod­ucts are orig­i­nal and unique to me, but they are prod­ucts that other peo­ple do too,” ad­mits Anderson. “I use wild­flow­ers that grow here in New­found­land . . . plus I use only New­found­land beeswax.”

That last part is im­por­tant, notes Anderson, be­cause colony col­lapses that have af­fected so other re­gions have not oc­curred in New­found­land and the province’s bee pop­u­la­tion re­mains very healthy.

“I have a cal­en­dula gar­den just for the bees,” says Anderson, who also grows an­other gar­den just for her prod­uct line. “That doesn’t grow here. I grow it my­self, but I use the wild roses that grow here.”

Anderson con­tin­ues to de­velop new prod­ucts, and in­tends to buy a dis­tiller to make an exclusive rose wa­ter. Dis­tilled rose wa­ter, which can be ex­pen­sive, usu­ally comes from France.

“It’s crazy ex­pen­sive and I want to make a New­found­land ver­sion of that,” she says.

Ini­tially Anderson was hop­ing to launch that prod­uct this sum­mer but doesn’t be­lieve she will get to it be­fore next year.

“It’s a short win­dow while we’ve got the roses so it’s no sense to get the equip­ment un­til rose sea­son again; next sea­son I’ll be ready.”

Luck­ily her house came with its own wild rose bush, so she won’t have to go far to source those flow­ers. Even­tu­ally she hopes to build a lit­tle green house. She’s still very much at the ex­pan­sion phase of grow­ing and de­vel­op­ing her line.

“My main fo­cus this sum­mer is just get­ting my lo­cal stuff. Now I’m branch­ing out more across the is­land be­cause I didn’t re­ally have any stores in New­found­land car­ry­ing my prod­ucts.”

That has be­gun to change too, as a store in St. John’s re­cently placed an or­der. Next on her to do list is get­ting Wild­flower prod­ucts into stores in Cor­ner Brook and Gan­der. She will also con­tinue to reach out to stores in the United States.

When it comes to brand mar­ket­ing tips, Anderson of­fers this bit of ad­vice to her fel­low en­trepreneurs.

“Take ad­van­tage of the free so­cial me­dia as much as pos­si­ble be­cause it def­i­nitely does help,” says Anderson. “You never know who is out there, who you’re go­ing to reach. Do­ing things like give­aways – you can reach so many peo­ple.”

Anderson says give­aways don’t have to be ex­pen­sive. An el­e­gant se­lec­tion that might cost her $25 can re­sult in a lot of ex­po­sure on Face­book just for a quick share.

“Be­fore you know it, you’re reach­ing thou­sands of peo­ple that you wouldn’t reach other­wise.”

Then there’s al­ways the tried and true strat­egy of vis­it­ing a store and get­ting to know the owner, or at least just call­ing or email­ing.

“The worst that they can say is no or they’re not in­ter­ested, so it never hurts to try.”

J. R. ROY / SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

Jus­tine Anderson of Wild­flower Com­pany won an award for Ex­cel­lence in Mar­ket­ing at the 21st an­nual Youth Ven­ture Cer­e­mony.

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