Business development · 5 September 2018

Morning sickness “miracle” brand sees 700% Amazon sales boom

Co-founders Matty & Jules launched on Amazon in 2016
With more than 80% of women experiencing nausea during pregnancy, Myrtle & Maude, co-founders Julia dalbert-Pusey and Matty Johnson are on a mission to help women conquer morning sickness.

Myrtle & Maude offers a plant-based product range for queasy pregnancy tummies, including organic herbal tea, acupressure wristbands and vitamin B6 peppermint bonbons.

Julia was first inspired to develop an anti-morning sickness brand when working on a luxury mega-yacht, where she would regularly help sea-sick passengers with natural remedies.

The brand was also inspired by their families? passion for natural, organic ingredients, using values handed down by their grandmothers Myrtle & Maude, who gave the brand its name.

Julia and Matty have seen sales rocket by 700% in the past 12 months alone, with turnover expected to exceed 250, 000 by 2019-20.

Business Advice caught up with Julia to find out more about how it all started and what happens next.

What is your business

The business is named after our grandmothers, who both lived the good life? by growing their own produce in allotments and foraging for natural ingredients in the countryside.

Weve inherited their traditions and knowledge, so the product range employs the uplifting, soothing and settling powers of plants and herbs to combat the trials and tribulations of pregnancy.

By only using the highest quality natural and organic ingredients, were harnessing nature’s power to uplift, relax and nurture women during the journey of pregnancy.

Where did the concept come from?

Both Matty and I grew up intimately connected to the natural world around us. Fresh produce from the allotment always decked my family table, and my mother, a retired nurse, always found natural remedies to cure our ailments. On the other side of our partnership, Matty’s grandparents lived off their farmland in Ireland.

I first had the idea when working on luxury yachts as a stewardess in the South of France. With so many sea-sick guests to help, I was inspired to create acupressure wrist brands for nausea, which I sold through Amazon. As pregnant women started to buy the products and give us fantastic feedback, I saw a gap in the market so Myrtle & Maude was born!

How did you fund your business?

We initially used savings to get the business up and running, and then we took out a startup business loan to support our growth.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when launching?

Our first challenge was to find budget and hit the minimum manufacturing volumes (MOQs), then we had to find the right suppliers and make sure they could deliver high quality produce on time.

Getting in front of the right buyers was also tough, and then we found that the product proposition needed to be refined to suit retailers. We launched with one product and soon found that retailers werent sure where to place it on the shop floor, so we hatched a plan to review the business and expand the product range.

Were now ready to launch a mother and baby skin care range and will add to our tea range to give the brand an even stronger proposition.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

it’s so satisfying to see Myrtle & Maude as a stable business that is generating strong revenue and growing month by month. We can see that it has great potential for the future.

What marketing strategies have you used?

This is a tough question because, as a small start-up, our budgets have been dominated by product development so far.

Well continue to strengthen the brand proposition before we execute a full marketing strategy. Brand recognition and awareness will be absolutely key in the next twelve months.

Amazon has also been a fantastic platform to help us spread the word about the brand.

In five years’ time, I’ll be…

Selling in John Lewis, backed by an investor and offering a larger product range which caters for everybody who wants natural remedies, not just pregnant women.

Who are your business heroes and why?

No one in particular, but Ive always loved risk-takers and pioneers who refuse to settle for the status quo.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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