When Sandra Vohtz suffered badly from eczema and allergies as a young child, her mother’s entrepreneurial spirit lead her down a road which would transpire to be very successful indeed; she founded Green People. 15 years on, and Charlotte is more convinced than ever that what we put on out bodies is of as much importance as what we put in them. Oh, and Green People aren’t doing too badly, either.
Here’s my chat with Charlotte:
MF: Your motivation to start Green People was your daughter’s bad health. How did you go from worried mother to business woman? What are the crucial steps for success in your opinion?
CV: The main ingredients for success is a combination of determination, knowledge and ‘luck’ (read – help from others). I was determined to help Sandra – her problems ignited my mission, and many supported along the way. This, combined with invaluable knowledge gained from many years in pharmaceuticals, blended with a keen interest in natural therapies,and 4 years of Business Studies made the success possible.
MF: It must have been hard to have been a working mother to a young child, especially in a start-up company. What are your tips for others in a similar position?
CV: Persevere – never, ever give up. Also, be organised and carefully plan you week ahead.
MF: The line now encompasses pretty much all body products – how important do you think this organic approach is for long-term health and for day to day wellbeing?
CV: Long-term commitment is of key importance, and not only for our planet. Up to 60% of what you apply to your skin is absorbed and goes straight to the bloodstream and circulating toxins will end up in the body’s tissues.
MF: I’ve sometimes met with the sense that ethically sourced, organic products are for a certain sort of person. What is your response to that attitude?
CV: In the face of ignorance even wise men can’t win.
MF: What direction will Green People take next?
CV: We are producing lots of interesting highly functional products – especially for people with skin problems and mature skin.
MF: It is sometimes difficult for skincare/lifestyle brands to branch into make up – how did you make the leap, and do you preside over the decisions in this department yourself?
CV: Our customers have asked for make-up for years and it was therefore a relatively easy step although it proved a challenge to find a company to supply us with certified organic make up to meet our high requirements. I must admit that I keep an eye on everything!
MF: Which 5 Green People products could you now not live without?
CV: Only 5… Well that is difficult…
MF: Which other brands do you personally use?
CV: I don’t use other personal care brands, but must admit that I can’t live without the occasional bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of Rosemary and Lavender essential oil. Another must have is Chanel No.5…