Interview with Mandi Lerma, WishGarden Sales Controller
Hi Mandi, can you tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in the natural products industry? I started in the Natural Products Industry with MyChelle Dermaceuticals, a leading natural skincare brand. While at MyChelle, I gained a love and passion for natural products. The importance of understanding the impact of the products we use day in and day out and how they not only affect our personal lives and well-being but that of our mother earth as well has become a cornerstone of my belief system. I truly love the passion and joy that working in the natural products industry has brought to my life. Knowing that I am working with like-minded individuals who hold such a passion and love for what they do is truly an amazing gift.
You're the Sales Controller at WishGarden Herbs. What are your duties? My role at WishGarden Herbs is to guide and drive the field sales team toward our goals of increased distribution. I like to say I am the leading the way for spreading the WishGarden love throughout the country. I work closely with our sales team to understand their challenges and wins in their territories, and to give them the tools they need to be successful. We are seeding many new territories and are doing the work to have a successful harvest creating fans and lovers of WishGarden with every interaction we have.
What does your typical day look like at WishGarden? I am a little bit of a numbers and data nerd to be honest. My days are spent looking at our results and brainstorming ways that we can make the biggest impact on the market. I also explore new distribution points and work with the team to determine new strategies to grow their territories — all of this while continuing to grow and nourish relationships internally, thereby creating an awesome team atmosphere.
Have you established any goals for the company (ones that you can share)? There are a lot of goals we are working towards this year. One of them I can share is to gain distribution east of our home here in beautiful Colorado. The WishGarden team has done an amazing job expanding and I am here to help push that to the next level. That means bridging that gap between the traditional herbal tincture user and the novice who has never tried liquid herbs — and introducing the idea of fast-relief remedies that are convenient and you can feel good about putting into your body.
We are witnessing a real growth in the natural products sector. What do you attribute that to? I think that awareness of the importance of sustainability and the benefits of using natural products is more abundant than it has ever been, directly affecting the growth of the natural products industry. It's trendy to shop at a natural grocer or a farmers market nowadays. The focus on the quality and impact of our foods and goods has really shifted from the idea of "more for less" to "better for me is better." We are still a busy and on-the-go society so the introduction of readily available natural products has helped our conventional shopper make the transition to becoming a natural products shopper. We are seeing complete sections of conventional grocery stores transitioning to more natural products and this is really exciting for the industry.
Where do you see WishGarden at in five years? Five years seems so far away but in reality it is right around the corner. I can see WishGarden being a staple in herbal remedies throughout the country. Natural and herbal remedies are experiencing an explosion of sorts in the marketplace. The consumer is looking for something that works quickly and naturally. This is where WishGarden steps in with our unique formulas that incorporate different herbs that work together synergistically to be effective, taste good, and are convenient. I think that once the word gets around about how amazing these formulas are, we are going to see the brand grow to new heights.
What advice would you give to people who want to work in the natural products industry? I would say, get ready to work hard. The natural industry is not for the faint of heart. It is a place where you can live out your passions and realize new ones and w here you can learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would in a "job." You will meet people that will change your life and your way of thinking, all for the better. And I will say, once you are here, you will never want to leave.
Do you have a favorite herb? There are so many to choose from so how does one select a favorite? But, if I have to pick one, it would be basil. This amazing herb not only tastes fresh and delicious it has so many amazing benefits. Basil helps restore your body's natural PH and feeds healthy bacteria in your gut's microflora, it has strong antimicrobial properties that make it great for those with oily skin, and it's anti-inflammatory. I love to throw it into my water with a lemon and add it to many of the dishes I make for my family.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.