Welcome back to our Founder Stories series, where we sit with inspiring and influential women to dive into their entrepreneurial journey and discuss all things business (and wellness). Today, we speak with Henrietta Norton, the founder of supplements brand Wild Nutrition.
For the last fifteen years Henrietta Norton has used her knowledge of nutrition to help
women manage issues relating to female health – ranging from fertility and stress to
symptoms connected to the menopause. First as a nutritional practitioner in two Harley
Street clinics, then as a nutrition supplement formulator for some of the biggest brands in
Europe. By using high grade ingredients, Food-Grown® technology and an approach to
formulation that considers the cause as well as the symptoms, she has created a range of
supplements that challenged and changed the vitamin industry for the better.
FLAURA: You’ve created a beautiful line of supplements. What inspired you to start Wild Nutrition?
Henrietta: That is very generous of you, thank you. The inspiration came in many forms really starting with an innate curiosity in the body and its sophisticated mechanisms, even as a child. This was then built upon by my training in nutrition and functional medicine, seven years working within the supplement industry and over 15 years working predominantly with women in a clinical setting. All of this deeply motivated me to do it differently, to do it better, from the quality of the ingredients used to the formulations created.
F: What makes Wild Nutrition different to other supplement brands?
The most striking learning from my working experience was the poor quality of ingredients in many products and how the formulations available did not meet the real needs of the people I was seeing in clinic. So right from the beginning, I sourced a different way of producing vitamins and minerals that would be as close to nature as food itself and with the efficacy and benefits that go beyond synthetic counterparts. This is what we call our Food-Grown process. Additionally, all formulations are researched and developed in-house by me and my team that go beyond the science by also reflecting the wealth of experience we have had working with real people and their health needs.
F: What has surprised you most about the entrepreneurial journey so far?
It is a continual journey of discovery and surprises, and a heady mixture of inspiration, boundless energy, exhaustion, deep courage, nail biting moments, and many, many more but perhaps the most surprising thing is how many times Charlie, my husband and business partner, and I have been shown that trusting your gut instinct really is the best guide.
F: COVID has forced many of us to adapt to new ways of working. How do you keep your team motivated amidst the changes?
We are fortunate in that as the first wave of lockdowns began, we started with a new CEO who has been instrumental in keeping the team cohesive and supported. We also have an internal wellness committee who do an inspiring job of keeping a close eye on everyone and offering regular wellness activities such as mindfulness, yoga, wellness tips – all on top of their day job. Charlie and I are very grateful for an incredible and committed team who genuinely care about our product and our customers as much as we do.
F: How do you define “success”?
Such a great question. I think in the world of business, being successful must be about staying true to you. Whether that’s keeping your business true to its founding principles or staying true to who you are as a leader.
F: What’s the most rewarding part of your day now?
Ah that’s a tough one because each day is different but I’m going to have to be sentimental and say seeing my kids at the end of the school day.
F: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When we first started out, we had the generous support of a business mentor and right from the start he said “think big”, not necessarily from the point of view of world domination but more in building in principles and infrastructure within the business that were scalable. It was invaluable because when the business takes off, the foundations are strong to handle it.
F: What advice would you give to other women looking to start their own business?
Build a network of like-minded women who can speak honestly and supportively about what it is like to build and lead a business, especially in a very male dominated arena. I would also say guard you and your family’s wellbeing with your life, it is far too easy to sacrifice it for short term gain but long-term pain.
F: Are you working on any new/exciting projects you can tell us about?
We are constantly looking at new ideas, it’s one of the best parts of my job. Currently we are working on the launch of a very exciting product called Natural Glow. All product launches are exciting but this one is especially so because it’s been over two years in the making. It is an innovate approach to holistic sun protection that supports a healthy glow and colour from sun exposure, whilst protecting the skin and building up healthy collagen and hydration. The results are outstanding. We’ve also just certified as B Corp which was a time consuming and very rewarding project to go through too.