Craft Focus - December 2021/January 2022 (Issue 88)

60 Northern delights David Hardy, Founder of Ancient Wisdom talks to Craft Focus about the array of products available and how the company has overcome challenges over the past few years Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? Sheffield is the hometown of Ancient Wisdom (AW). Officially, the company was born in 1995 on a street market. It was a wet cold Thursday morning a long time before Google and Facebook, and as I laid out my market stall with aromatherapy and home fragrance products on a Sheffield street, I was more than apprehensive about what people would think. A few months earlier, I’d been reading a book called Ancient Wisdom − now out of print. The book highlighted many things that seem out of place in history − the pyramids, Stonehenge etc. At the same time, I’d been researching aromatherapy. It struck me that essential oils had been used for thousands of years and ancient people must have known more about them − (healing and enchanting) than perhaps we did. I found supplies of oils, a potter down in Stoke who made me my own design of oil burner, and invested in a pallet load of candles. The first day I sold just one lavender oil and gave some tea tree away to a girl with acne. I went home and almost packed it in. The next day, I decided I needed to get my act together and made an offer: lavender oil, oil burner and a nightlight for £5 (if I remember correctly) ... I sold my first oil burner set in five minutes and so, Ancient Wisdom was born. Soon I would sell 50 sets a day and gradually found customers for my range of essential oils. That was amazingly over 26 years ago. Ancient Wisdom also distributes AW Aromatic and Agnes + Cat, tell us a bit about these two companies. Agnes & Cat Agnes + Cat was created in the beautiful Lake District in the north of England. That’s where we started designing our iconic range of candles and bath products, getting inspired by the surrounding nature and scents. To respond to the high demand from customers, Agnes + Cat creators partnered up with Ancient Wisdom Marketing to promote and produce their products and make them even better. In 2019, our team in Sheffield took over the reins of the brand while the Lake District based creators decided to move on to other things. All of our cosmetic, reed diffusers and soaps are handmade in small batches in our production unit in Sheffield. Our candles are hand-poured in our own factory in China, using British fragrances, Indonesian soy wax and cotton wicks. We’re committed to tread lightly and we take time to source the right materials and ingredients which go into our products; from certified sustainable palm oil soap which is overseen by WWF, to only using natural soy wax. Our products are vegan-friendly, not tested on animals and are artisan handmade. We work closely with our retail partners throughout the country and welcome new enquiries to join us. We’ve made the decision to only work with dedicated stores for now. AW Aromatic Home of Ancient Wisdom, AW Aromatics is the home of Ancient Wisdom handmade soaps, bath bombs and aromatherapy products. If you’re looking for bespoke aromatic products − white label or own label, we can help you. Ancient Wisdom has started a dropshipping service, AW Dropship, please tell us more... Ancient Wisdom Drop Shipping service