High Growth Company – wendygoesgreen Aiming High

A quick update before the end of the month!

Developments have taken place since my last post. I have been asked to join a European Funded opportunity for high growth companies in Gloucestershire and attended the first seminar today. I have been ecstatic since being invited last Wednesday to join the scheme and have set about clarifying what I want to achieve from this business and how I might do that. There’s so much to know about, some of which I’ve delved into already but it highlights that I need to know and act on more than I am presently. Intellectual property IP, trade marking etc. Can I? Can’t I? so much to decide upon. And comparing myself to the other 4 companies that are on this training was a test. One which I passed. Well I was marking myself!!!!

So what will I be doing from now on? Thinking big.  I want this to happen for a number of reasons.  Security for my family. Although I wont be drawing much of a wage over the next few years. Everything will go back into the business as it is now. An ability to do good in the local community by creating jobs, making a difference to the environment and educating people. All very admirable but true. It feels like this is meant to happen and I can reach a reason why everything that has happened to me caused me to get to this point. The greatest achievement of my life.

And there have been earlier achievements like when I decided to pay to go on a parachuting course after my A levels at age 18. What was I trying to prove!  I didn’t reach free fall status but jumped out at least 11 times on a static line. I eventually achieved free fall status when I was in the RAF at age 28 and in total have done 30 parachute jumps. I even wanted to establish an all girls freefall RAF team at one point! It was, however, to impress a love interest at the time…  That bit didn’t work. How did I do my first free fall jump?  I went to a party at Weston-on-the-Green the military training jump site and admitted that I’d parachuted at age 18 and got challenged to do a tandem freefall for £150 the next day at 1000 hrs.  I agreed and woke the next morning in a sweat as I’d remembered what was meant to happen that day. It did happen. By 1030, I had been trained and was strapped to an instructor and had done my first tandem freefall from 12000ft.  I still have the video!  I soon enrolled on a free parachuting course and was one of two to complete freefall on the course. I have the pictures. It was a Friday afternoon and the wind had got up too high so the jump was off. The parachutes were lined up ready. We had to pack our own, but if we didn’t complete the first freefall  then we would have to do more successful static jumps. On, off, all afternoon then it was the green light situation and the jump took place. More were to follow the next week. Then it was back to work as normal.

So, do I have the nerve to parachute this emerging business into success?  Yes! It will be scary but what a feeling when it happens!!!!

Please keep following me as there’s more to come!



Wendygoesgreen expands the business into ecological cleaning services


Sorry I have missed a month but sooooo much has happened and this is the first time I have had to reflect and look back at what has changed to the business since end of Feb 11. Lots……

Firstly, I have tried two different markets to sell my products. Great success the day before Mothering Sunday.. Must have sold the right things and we had a free wrapping service which quite a few of the young male customers took advantage of. I hope their Mums were happy. Well, I know one was as she visited our stall herself the next Saturday. She said how pleased she was with the gift her son bought her…..That market was in Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Unfortunately, we kept getting moved to different parts of the Mall each week and I felt that we weren’t getting the best placing for potential customers to see our adverts to work out what we were selling. Over the next 4 occasions, we didn’t sell as much as on that first day. My eldest daughter has helped me and we had a good time together, she was really good and kept a record of the sales in our note-book and even got confident enough to talk about the products to customers! However, the positive points were that more people got to find out what wendygoesgreen is about. I also started doing demonstrations on how to make your own eco cleaning fluid from bicarb and vinegar and made some sales of the home brand, back2bascis that I am developing. A neighbour and school mum friend are regular users now and I have had success selling some amounts of my other home cleaning product which is a glass & mirror cleaner. Even selling one to my business specialist poc at my business bank HSBC. I have popped in there a few times and asked their opinions of the products I’m working on. It’s great for market research as they can’t go anywhere from behind the desk….. but to succeed in making a sale as well makes me feel great. His feedback is that he would definitely recommend the product!

So, apart from doing market stall selling, I have worked on getting my products into other shops and at the start of Apr started selling my back2basics home cleaning products in the Valleys Project eco shop in the centre of Stroud, and had made at least 5 sales within the first week. Then two weeks later, I visited a local craft shop which had newly opened in Stonehouse and mentioned that I made my own beauty products and later that day most of my range were on sale in the ‘Craft Emporium’ 10 Queen’s Street.

I have spent a morning recently looking around a local tourist town, Tewkesbury, and have approached the Abbey shop to see of they can sell my products… I’m so excited that I have tried out new products in the bath bomb range and now bath melts. I particularly wish to use frankincense essential oil for the Abbey products!

For bath bombs I have adapted the basic product to include a caterpillar bath bomb, mini hearts, sticks & stones, rocks and camouflage for the boys and I’ve got a few more ideas up my sleeve but can’t make too many products and have too much stock just yet until I have the shops to sell them in.  Oh, I also have a gym within a local football club – Forest Green Rovers Football club selling them soon. I am working with a local beautician who will be setting up beauty treatments within the gym. So the business is expanding in this area as well as the ecological cleaning service that I offer.

Over Easter, my daughters helped me deliver leaflets about my cleaning services within a housing area we know and within a few days I got a call asking about the products I use for the ecological cleaning. She is now a regular client and I hope to get some more within the area over the next few months. At a network meeting a few weeks back, I had a local cleaning company interested in the cleaning products I make and hope to get together with them soon.  I am taking part in another business2business networking event on 9th Jun in Tewkesbury at Basepoint and hope this will lead to a few more prospects, leads and sales or contracts.  Sometimes I get up so early in the mornings to work on the business and after fitting in all the family events and needs can still be working late in the evening but I love it.

I need some extra money to inject into the business so that I can have an online shop and website and have someone taking over some of the development and production of products in the Summer. I also need to get the double garage built that I have planning permission for so that I can move some of the business stock and materials out of the main house. All the time I am keeping a steady eye on my cashflow and keep very good records on what’s going in and out… it’s easy to keep buying materials etc to make new products but I am trying to be strict and get some of the basic range being sold first and them adding to the range to keep customer’s interest. I am selling on a sale or return basis with a commission going to the shops. 

I have also been investigating what I need to do to get my cleaning fluids tested for anti bacterial properties etc. I have conducted a home test growing bacteria with the help of my daughter with quite good results. I feel that I am developing the business in the right ways but it all takes time. As long as each month my returns are increasing I will be happy but it is a balance selling directly at markets or through shops and trialling and testing my products. I still haven’t had any business cards produced but I feel like I’m at the right point now that I know what my business is about and so plan to get some card made up this week.  Oh… and I have also attended 3 x one hour long early evening seminars held at a local solicitors about business issues. These have been useful again for networking and market research about my products. Wednesdays are about my own free evening, but once I put my interests before my sons so he missed his football practice. Got to be done sometimes! On a Tuesday, I have started training to throw the javelin and discus, so I do things outside the business! I belong to Stroud & District Athletics club and they have coaches willing to teach you so I’ve had 2 sessions so far and might even have a go at the hammer! I’m not a massive build but have a bit of muscle! Running is my thing.. which I did a charity event for on 20th May running more than 20 miles over the day along the Thames Path as part of the Wycliffe Whippets running team. We also had cyclists and walkers so we covered the whole path. I certainly needed my health products that night and had a great soak in Epsom salts and Himalayan bath salts followed by rubbing rosemary essential oil into my legs.  Was strong enough to do a long walk and even a bike ride the next day and not stiff 48hrs later.

Anyway, enough for now. I just want to finish by listing the products I make and sell:

Luxury Epsom Salt Bath soaks in a range of scents 425g in a jute gift bottle bag for £7.99

Epsom Salt 300g tub & wooden scoop unscented for general purpose use £3.50

Epsom Salt single bath soak 100g £1.70

Epsom Salt 6x sachet Hand & foot soak £1.70 -great for tired feet and for getting out splinters or tired and dirty gardening hands!

Bath bomb single use 100g £1.90 different scents

Camouflage Bath bombs x 5 £1.70

Sticks & Stones Bath bomb £1.70

Caterpillar Bath bomb £1.90

Bath bomb rocks x 5 £1.70

Mini Hearts x 10 £1.70

Bath bomb shells x 6 different scents £1.70

Citric Acid 300g tub with scoop £3.50 – great as a natural descaler,

Citric Acid x 4 sachet descaler £1.70

Bicarb of soda 200g and 400g packets £2 and £3.50.

White vinegar 500ml £1.70

Back2Basics General purpose cleaner – peppermint & lemon, lavender, lemongrass, rose all with tea tree essential oil for added disinfectant properties. £1.70

Finally, the B2B glass and mirror cleaner £1.70. It makes cleaning glass effortless with no smears.

Please look out for these products and more when my website is up and running this summer! Thank you for your time and hope to hear your comments on what I’m doing or how I can improve!



Networking – What are the benefits to a start-up business?

Hello again! (Or hello for first time!)

So I have become a market trader but business and exposure to customers is slow on a Friday at Shambles Market, Stroud. Could just be the time of year…. so to keep the ball rolling I sought out opportunities to expose my new business through networking. Luckily there were two events soon after each other. The first was a monthly meeting of the Stroud Businesswomens Network, SBN, so I phoned the chairperson to express my interest and was given some useful information but also told to practice a 10 sec introduction. 10 seconds……  crikey…  you can’t say much but I did it on the day! (some of the other Ladies weren’t so concise and were prompted to end.) So what did I get from attending?

Firstly, while there hadn’t been that much opportunity to tell as many people as I would have liked about my new business during the actual networking time, the best opportunity came before the start of the event when people were arriving and we were introducing ourselves then. So my advice is get to any meetings like this early. Most of your successful networking can be achieved then. It is very good advice to practise selling your business (not in just 10 secs) but in about 2 minutes and I knew I got better at this for the 2nd networking event I attended a few days later with a very different audience.   I am now a fully paid member of SBN and look forward to making more contacts next time. What it did expose me to was the sorts of questions people would ask about the business. Quite specific ones and all of them have been seeking free advise which I was happy to supply.  It’s quite easy as they have been about how they can get their ovens clean…..  bicarb and white vinegar works wonders…… (That’s the eco-friendly cleaning side of my business).

Secondly, I did get one member contacting me afterwards with useful info and I followed up on finding out how to get an editorial in my local paper.

I found out about the 2nd networking event from my local paper. Free lunch and being held just a few minutes walk away from  my home.  I booked my place as the advert said to do and on the day found myself mixing with 5 Valleys Chamber of Commerce members. I went with an aim to get views from people, (mostly men) about what I was setting out to achieve for my business and the ways I intended doing this and got very positive encouragement and best wishes. The downside was that there was little time to network afterwards and so I was restricted to only talking to those people I met before the start of the event and those sat at my table. (pot luck really). I did recognise a few people in the room as they were also parents of children at the same school as my son, but generally the room was filled with grey suited middle-aged men; accountants, architects, bankers etc. I was wearing the brightest red dress! (In my past career I got used to being the only women at meetings…)

I came away from that event rather chuffed with myself and was even stopped outside and asked for my business contact details so they could advertise my cleaning services. I’ve got a few follow-up actions to do as the guest speaker made a few suggestions when I spoke to her before the start, about contacting someone in her organisation, Business Link,  to let them know about the Health and Well-being scheme I have devised for businesses. This scheme gives access to staff to the eco-friendly products I distribute through the co-operative company Wikaniko and would cost a company less than £600 annually.  Each month a lucky member of staff would be given £40 to spend on the eco-products (either more practical items like total degradable plastic bags and then the health beneficial ones like luxury shower gels and shampoos and skin creams.) It would also mean that other members of staff could purchase products through the scheme at any time at wholesale prices.

On the downside, the info provided by the guest speaker about business development opportunities was rather bleak. The government is concentrating on helping those companies able to expand more than 20% year on year. I do have my sights set on employing 5 people by the Summer and expanding to 20 next year…  so maybe I might fit the criteria then. There is not a lot of funding for start-up businesses and resources are stopping with support transferring to private companies. With just an initial small amount of money I could ge this business off the ground much quicker as I have to rely on my own efforts to do everything. I need a website, I want to create T&Cs, put editorials together etc and do more marketing activities. It’s frustrating that this would cost no more than a few thousand pounds. I am reluctant to go into debt so I am relying on my own judgements that my plan of attack will eventually make a break through!

So far so good, I have definitely progressed the business as I am clearer about what I want to do, but I still don’t have any clients……..  That’s what I’ll be aiming to achieve over the next month, so until I write again have a good March. (Wish me luck as I have also taken up playing rugby this year , with my eldest daughter, and we have our first friendly match tomorrow… will spend today watching the experts, England. I’m fullback, small but a runner and she’s number 4 as she’s tall and strong and beautiful!)

Back to business…If you are interested in eco-products at excellent prices have a look at www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk or you want to become a distributor, contact me on 07766712506 or maybe you want to set up your own eco-friendly cleaning services, then get in touch. You can learn from my experiences.

Wendy – wendygoesgreen

I SURVIVED my first market trading experience and ended up having lots of fun!

Since my first blog on 27th Dec, letting you know how I went about setting up in the business of selling eco-friendly home products and health & beauty products, I have become a market trader in my local town , STROUD- trading under wendygoesgreen. I have had some previous experience selling on a market stall as I used to help my parents out with their antique stall in Camden Market in London on Saturdays. (We used to get some quite famous people visiting the market so my Mum started up an autograph book! I wonder if she’s still got it?) That was over 20 years ago! I’m pleased to say that I don’t have so far to travel to get to my market – Shambles Market in Gloucestershire Town of Stroud. However it was a slightly earlier start for me, and my son, who I had to drop off at school on the way. Also, there was the one way road system to manage having dropped my goods off and then parking the car up for the day, then doing the reverse trip at the end of the day.

There had been a lot to do ready for the first day of trading which I did all in a matter of days. I’d visited the market the Friday before, got all the admin and paperwork completed, made up some advertising, sent info and photos to go on the market website – www.shamblesmarketstroud.co.uk – checked I had all the products ready for selling etc. I’d made a number of samples up which went down very well. More on that later!

so…. how did the day go? It was reasonable cold, but I had opted for a stall in the indoor section inside a church hall. I had a target to make which was to at least cover my costs for the day as I was expecting only a steady trickle of customers on this first occasion – being new!  Obviously I got checked out by some of the other traders but that’s to be expected. I had the watch repair man to my front and left side, the sock man next to me and behind, the book man and market organiser in front and the CD man to my right. There was a lovely stall in the corner selling home-made unique clothing and jewellery and another lady selling homemade and designer cards.

I only have the stall every other week presently but as I’m also busy building other aspects of this business – evening party events, coffee morning parties and setting up an eco-friendly cleaning service, that suits me.

An important part of the experience is that as well as meeting customers and getting a better feel for what they were looking for in eco-products, I had lots of fun working alongside the other traders. Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you that to my right was the sweetie stall, but the trader couldn’t make it in until the afternoon so it was partially covered up. That didn’t stop the morning regulars who wanted their 100g of sweets, so the rest of us traders took turns in serving the customers. At one point there were 3 of us all ‘sussing’ out how to use the electronic weighing machine!

What did I sell? There was lots of interest in my sample bags of soap nuts as they all sold out. An alternative to washing powder, they really work! I did a test and took a photo of my children’s mucky rugby kit before and after. No marks left!  I’ve done a few more test washes on other items with equally good results with the soap nuts and testing good old borax and bicarb of soda to get rid of cuff and collar stains. I have totally switched to using soap nuts now! They are so much cheaper at only 10p per wash. Also sold a kitchen Kaddy set to scrape waste food into, lavender essential oil, cotton balls, total degradable plastic bags, a mucky-pup cleaning cloth, and an ice scraper. Not massive of items but a start and visitors took away information on my website: www.wendygoesgreen.co.uk.

Enough for 4 washes

I think as the new girl I fitted in okay and I’m looking forward to trading again this Friday.

So if you are in the area, come into town and visit us down at the Shambles!

wendygoesgreen is now live, very active and determined to make a positive impact (and a living) from going green!

How to start up a home business selling eco-friendly products


Starting up a home business is not difficult if you have personal drive and support from those around you.  I have just started on this opportunity and I’m very hopeful of being successful so that I can retire completely in my early to mid 50s – which is looming quite soon. I am semi-retired already having given up my career working for the government for 16 years and have a small pension.  This opportunity may well suit you as well, so please read on ……..

How did I start?

I was made redundant just weeks before Christmas 2010 from a part-time job that was helping to make ends meet. As a single mum of 3 children, 2 of them teenagers, this panicked me to start off with.  While searching for Christmas work or working from home opportunities, I came across an advert to become a distributor for eco-friendly products. This appealed to me as I have always tried to recycle as much as I could etc. but I was nearly put off by the person who answered when I made that first call.   She said she didn’t know anything about the business but that her husband would phone me when he got home.  I wasn’t sure if I would get that phone call but I did and having been sent some information to view on the web about the organisation I was quite impressed and thought it was worth looking in to some more. I am not a person who is easily impressed with the promise of getting rich quick schemes but reckon I can see a genuine opportunity when I happen across it! (There were other opportunities promising me immediate work and an income but they came with a monthly subscription which I wasn’t prepared to commitment myself too. Plus there wasn’t any face to face contact with someone with experience from the business.)

So I met Brian, in a local pub, and armed with my list of questions, quizzed him about how and why he’d got into the business etc. Half a pint later and a quick dash to watch my son play rugby, all that remained was for me to make my mind up. Was this for me and would it provide me with the income I was looking for?

All this happened within a week – by the weekend I’d begun to think it wasn’t for me but over a few gin and tonics by Sunday afternoon I was in. I had a goal – to sign up, make my first order and have a stall at my son’s Christmas fair by the following Saturday. I went through the catalogue identifying items I thought parents would be interested in, got permission from the school to have the stall, and waited for the first order to arrive. It hadn’t come by the Thursday but I kept my nerve and it got to me at 3pm on the Friday. I had already made labels for the products and posters ready for the stall and found out as much as I could about the products. With the joining fee of only £48 and my first order, I needed to invest just under £200 for immediate start-up.

The stall was only for 2 hours and I sold £48 worth of goods and gave out a number of my website details and generally used the time researching what people were interested in and what they wanted to know about the products. I didn’t need to use hard selling in any way as I had a good number of people coming up to see what was on offer and being very positive about the items. I was encouraged from this first experience and Brian phoned me to see how I’d got on. 

Earlier in that first week, I had approached 3 Beauty Salons in my town to see if they were interested in taking up an’ Own Brand’ opportunity to have their name on a select number of well-being and beauty products including essential oils, bath soaks, luxury shampoos and hand-washes for a very low start-up cost of £39. I got an interview for the following week with one salon and the offer to come back with samples for another and a definite no from the third one! Still, again an encouraging outcome. I continued doing research on the web about the salons so I could make the best pitch possible to them, and also looked for more establishments to contact and did the daily 20 minute on-line training provided by the company. Now I was immersed.

How had I got started?

  • Found out about the opportunity
  • Researched it – going through the information on the website, talking face to face with someone in the business
  • Set myself an immediate goal – setting up a stall
  • Made an investment in myself of under £200 – which gave me my distributor ID, a website with all the product details on and much, much, more and a whole lot of eco-friendly products to trail myself, sell, and use as samples for ‘Own Brand’ prospect meetings.
  • Involved my family with my children helping to prepare the stall, and talked it over with my mum.

So where has it led to now, just 3 weeks on? 

A lot has happened, please come back and read more about it in my next blog as I have to go now and do some family activities. Take care and go ‘green’ like me!


27 December 2010