A Chat With: Julie Ward

From their Cottage nestled in the Herefordshire countryside, Julie and her family create cold processed soaps, skin loving balms and all-natural skin care.

Whether you are new to all-natural products or an existing fan, read on to discover their benefits and the story behind Wild Sage + Co.

Have you always been into natural products?

I have always been aware of the toxic chemicals that are in our household cleaning products and our skin care, so I always bought the most eco products I could find and gradually substituted those for products I made for myself. It was really since my two daughters were born that I started making more and more of my own natural products. It wasn't just my skin I was looking after any more, and when I started to really read and understand the ingredients I decided it was time to make a change!

What made you start Wild Sage + Co?

I started soap making as a hobby, but as my passion for it grew I simply had more soap than I knew what to do with! It was then that family and friends encouraged me to go to our local market. From there my little business has just continued to grow!

What are the benefits from natural soaps bars compared to normal commercial soaps?

Commercial soap bars tend to strip the skin of its natural oils. This is because the gylcerine that occurs naturally in the soap making process is extracted to be used in commercial cosmetics. With our soaps we leave all the skin loving glycerine in, so your skin reaps all the benefits.

Commercial soaps also often contain artificial or synthetic ingredient such as Sls, other sulphates and often animal fats... sodium tallowate is actually an animal product. Our soaps contain only natural plant and nut oils, so you can be sure there are no harsh chemicals going onto your skin.

Focusing on your name, what's so special about sage?

We have always grown sage in the garden, and it's often called a 'miracle herb'. It has so many applications, from cooking to sage smoking to medicinal and homeopathic uses. So it's always been an integral herb in our house and the garden. We are a family of three women, and so somehow the idea of a Wild old Sage woman really appealed to us! And so Wild Sage was born.

Which is your favourite?

I'd have to say the Argan Balm. It was one of the first balms I formulated and I am still addicted to it to this day. Argan oil is a deeply moisturising oil, and the difference to my skin has been amazing. My daughters both use it daily too, so we know that at least for us, it works!

Has there ever been a blend that you thought would work but just didn’t?

As I only work with natural essential oils, which to me all smell wonderful, I have not had this problem. However my customers I am sure will have their favourites.

If there is one product everyone must try - which is it?

I think I'd have to say the soap! It's one of the easiest natural and plastic free swaps to make and if you have sensitive skin it can really make all the difference.

What does an average working day look like?

I get up at dawn, and start the day with a cup of coffee. My absolute favourite is roasted by my good friends over at Method Roastery - another great local business you should check out.

Then I crack on in the workshop packing any orders that have come in. After a trip to my local post office I come back and get on with making one or two products in the afternoon.

As someone who loves rural country living, do you have a special spot?

There is a really beautiful spot in the field across the road from my house. You can walk down the river Wye to a little suspension bridge, and where the river bends there is a little rocky beach. Sometimes I go there just to sit and listen to the birds. It is so peaceful.

What’s next for Wild Sage + Co?

Just more of the same really, I love it that our business is small and close to home. My dream would be that one of my grandchildren is inspired to take over from me at some point in the future.

Click here to go straight through to the Wild Sage + Co website