For Years, This Essential Oils Company Focused on Industry Research and Didn't Sell Products. Here's Why.
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After their sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, CJ Peterson and his brothers set out to find a natural remedy for the nasty side effects that accompanied treatment. Due to the lack of information and regulation in the naturopathic world, Peterson's sister ended up with long-term liver damage. Frustrated, the brothers founded Nature's Fusions Essential Oils and spent years learning about natural medicine, from soil patterns to peppermint oil, so they could educate their sister and the general public.
Peterson, the company's CEO, shares how the years he and his brothers spent learning about their industry, before launching a product, helped them eventually grow their company.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Nature’s Fusions didn’t start as an essential oils company. How did you make the transition from educating to selling?
For the first many years of our company, we actually had no products. We were just a research and development company talking to companies making products. We were talking to retail stores and retail brands that were distributing and selling. We spoke with doctor groups and chiropractic groups and asked them, “How do you interact with your customers? What makes a difference between that one part over the other?”
We started diving deeply into the chemistry behind what made one product different than another. We learned nuances and facts about soil texture, wind patterns and more. We got samples from farmers and learned how to tell the difference. I would smell, taste and touch, then look at lab testing results at a molecular level.
How did you know it was time to launch your own products?
One of the big retailers came to us and said, “Hey, why don't you guys start a brand? You already know the farmers, and you've got the education down.” When it came to retail, we bought individual ounces at a time from the farmers and bottled the products in our living room. We took pieces of paper and taped them to bottles. The stores essentially said, “This is terrible! It’s a great product, but they look terrible.”
How do you think your company's original mission informed what it's turned into today?
When we started this company, we wanted people to understand that we may not be the cheapest or coolest-looking product in the market, but in my eyes, we're the most honest product you'll get. If I tell you the product is going to do something, it'll do it. I'm not out there making anecdotal claims or marketing claims.