Interview with Blooming Blends Founder, Fleur Sladen
Trouble sleeping at night? Or do you suffer from indigestion? These are just a couple of the day to day niggles and complaints we’re all susceptible to. For thousands of years, they’ve been eased using botanical blends.
People in growing numbers are returning to these kinds of remedies, so it seems like perfect timing to catch up with Blooming Blends. Created by a former cook, Fleur Sladen, their botanical boosting blends are designed for busy modern lives.
You were a cook originally ... what led you to explore botanicals and start Blooming Blends?
I used to have a food delivery business. We created and delivered balanced meals to new mums and dads, gifted by friends and family.
I’ve always grown my vegetables and used a lot of herbs in my cooking, and from there I naturally moved into making herbal teas. The focus of my food delivery business and my interest in herbs meant that I started looking at specific botanical ingredients and their properties. For example, galactagogues are said to increase breast milk production, and they can be found in herbs like fenugreek and nettles.
I was also interested in how men’s health is affected by the arrival of a baby. So, I started making teas for new dads. They used botanical ingredients to destress and re-energise.
In the beginning, I created botanical powders which can be added as a shot into drinks and food. But then I came across tinctures. They are easier to make and cheaper to produce which means I can make them more accessible to more people. With the help of a medical herbalist, I started creating the products that are now part of Blooming Blends.
How important is the quality of your ingredients to your brand?
Uber important! Botanical ingredients like nettles are so easy to come by, they’re found in any hedgerow you walk past! And they have so many beneficial properties. Nettles, for instance, can help with things like women’s hormonal balance and give you shiny hair.
I hand make everything too, to ensure the levels of quality are the highest they can be. That includes personally sourcing the botanical ingredients, which are all sourced in the UK, right through to bottling.
Because I’m a cook, it’s important that all my botanical blends taste good too. I use alcohol to steep the herbs in my tinctures with glycerine to balance out the sweet and sour flavours.
Botanical blends are an ancient form of medicine that’s been around for thousands of years. The healing properties of these herbs have never changed, but the way we interact with the world has.
That’s not to say that modern medicine isn’t important! Of course, it is, but herbs have fallen by the wayside. The history of botanical blends and knowledge of herbs and how they can be used has been forgotten by most of us.
Lemon balm is another example of something that can easily be steeped dried or fresh in hot water to make tea. And it’s a happy thoughts herb! But there are so many different botanical ingredients that can be used in different ways. The thing is to listen to our bodies. I believe that if we do that, we’ll know what we need.
What’s your process for making your blends?
It’s so simple! For the tinctures I buy the single herbal extracts, then I mix them and bottle them. I use my understanding of the botanical ingredients to do this, but the process itself is straightforward.
We also create facial mists, and the process is slightly different because we create our rose water. When you distil flower petals it results in a by-product called hydrosol, which we choose to bypass.
Our full handle on the production process means that there are no chemicals in any of our products, which is so important to our brand. And the creativity for making each blend comes from my experience of being a cook.
Which of your products seem to be the most popular, and why do you think that is?
Our botanical sleep blend as a tincture and our Be happy tincture is easily the most popular products. I think it’s down to the world we live in, especially at the moment.
People want natural alternatives to things like anti-depressants and sleeping pills. But if you don’t have a serious problem with issues like this, botanical blend ingredients can be a good alternative.
The most positive thing I’ve noticed is that we have loads of repeat customers. Our facial mists, tinctures and boosting powders are that little helping hand many of us need.
How do your blends benefit people’s health and wellbeing?
I’d say that just buying them in the first place is positive, and it’s a benefit in itself. Because it proves that people want to help themselves to feel better, and they’re actively looking for ways to do that.
I love my products and I believe in them! Our loyal customers feel the same and that speaks volumes to me. I talked about our botanical blends being that helping hand, and that’s the key. They are a bolster for many, including me. I sometimes get indigestion at night, and I feel reassured just knowing that I can turn to my Digestion Herbal Tincture.
My botanical blends can help us feel better physically and mentally. And along the way they give us peace of mind, just knowing it’s a ritual and an experience that we can turn to.