Kathie Bishop is the founder of the award winning intimate pleasure brand Into the Wylde which specialises creating vegan, organic, intimate care products for women. We had the opportunity to feature Kathie who talks to us about her entrepreneurial journey, her brand, building her business as a medical herbalist as well as dealing with UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. Having worked from home for over two years already, she recognises the real struggles many face as they have been working from home for the first time.
What led you to become an entrepreneur?
I knew from a young age that I’m motivated most by my own projects. Following my own journey with intimate health, whilst training as a medical herbalist I kept seeing young women getting intimate irritations after sex, and this was making them feel awkward with their partners and out of touch with their bodies. This story was repeated time and time again by the women that were coming to see me in my clinic once I’d qualified. I specialise in vaginal health and I just knew I could create a completely natural lubricant with top-notch ingredients that would make sex more enjoyable and less likely to cause irritation, whilst allowing them to feel that they were looking after themselves and their bodies’ needs. The concept of Into the Wylde was born!
How long did it take you to start your business?
It took me six years of R&D and learning how to create a brand before I was able to launch, which I did at the beginning of the pandemic back in April 2020. Wonderful timing! My north star has been to create something that made women feel good when they bought and used it, from the design of the packaging to the quality of the ingredients and the information we provided. A year in and many many happy customer testimonials later, I feel am on the way to truly making a difference.
Tell us more about your background and Into the Wylde brand.
I am a medical herbalist, clinically specialising in vaginal health, and I’m the founder of the award winning intimate pleasure brand Into the Wylde. Into the Wylde’s debut product is a herb and water based intimate lubricant, Wylde One is registered with the Vegan Society as vegan, and with The Soil Association as organic. Wylde One won in the Feminine Care category of the Janey Loves Platinum Awards September 2020.
I work one a day a week clinically, online and dispense for my clients from my dispensary at home. The rest of the working week is dedicated to Into the Wylde, where I enjoy interacting with our online community, liaise and build connections with retailers, nurture our practitioner group and run our post room, among many other things! I’ve also just finished writing my first book which will be published by Aeon Books mid 2022.
I graduated from The University of Westminster, London in 2009 with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Western Herbal Medicine. I am additionally trained in Bach Flower Remedies, Mizan Abdominal Massage, Ceremonial Cacao, and Gong. I am also a member of the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA) and of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), the oldest professional body for medical herbalists in the UK.
What does being a female entrepreneur mean to you?
To me, being a female entrepreneur means being an entrepreneur. I don’t know any other way to be or how it would differ to being a male entrepreneur! I know that I enjoy collaborating with lots of other truly amazing female business owners and I see that as a real strength! Collaboration over competition any day!
How do you manage to maintain work, business and personal life?
Having worked from home for the best part of two years exclusively I really recognise the struggle that many have been facing being thrown into working from home for the first time during the pandemic. The struggle is real and it is a challenge to keep boundaries between work time and home/family time. I use strictly timed parameters in my diary to mark the start and end of the day as well as taking a proper lunch break, and I often use different essential oils in my oil burner to help stay focussed for work-time, or relaxed for home-time!
What challenges or obstacles have you faced as a result of being an entrepreneur?
None that I’ve encountered yet. Being the founder of lube company it can be more of a challenge to be taken seriously because of the nature of our business, rather than because I’m a female, I feel. I’ve heard that being a solo female entrepreneur can pose a challenge when going for funding! Let’s find out!!
What has been your success story so far?
I think the highlights so far have been winning our Janey Loves Platinum Award last year and getting listed in Planet Organic – all in our first year, whilst the global pandemic was raging. I feel super chuffed and very honoured that that happened and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Which other business entrepreneur would you recommend?
I’d love to recommend my colleague and fellow herbalist Natasha Richardson’s business Forage Botanicals. She’s paving the way for natural menstrual health and I know we are going to see amazing things from Forage over the next few years!
What tips or advice would you give to any female considering becoming an entrepreneur?
My top tips would be do your research before you commit funds and tenacity, you’ve got to have the fire for your business to get you up on the morning and keep going even when you hit a brick wall or feel the fear. These things are common and the knowledge gained through research will fuel your fire when things get tough.
For further details on or to shop some of the products head over to their website at https://intothewylde.com/