Selfmade Experts: Zoe on Wunder Workshop

Looking back, it was a strange moment when I first came up with the idea of selling turmeric online via Wunder Workshop, but at the same time, it occurred so naturally. As part of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions (which I never make), I set a deadline that if I was unhappy with my life and job in six months time I would hand in my notice and start my own thing.

This coincided with the amazing experience of visiting Sri Lanka with my mother and staying at an Ayurvedic retreat on the beautiful southern coast of the county. We were privileged to spend a lot of time with Ayurvedic doctors and learned so much about herbs and the power of the food that we ate. Turmeric, as it turns out, is one of the most powerful foods we can consume. Shortly after my visit to Sri Lanka, I followed through with my initial plan and started Wunder Workshop – piecing together what I had learned about Ayurveda and the knowledge I gained from my mother. When I look back, I am grateful for whatever courage resided in me at the time. Before my trip to Sri Lanka I had completed a Master’s in International Relations and Political Science, worked as a photographer and as an interior design assistant for several interior design studios. Sometimes it takes a while to see what is right in front of you, as it might seem too straightforward. In my case, it was my interest in health and ancient medicine.

Turmeric isn’t called “The Spice of Life” without reason: it is probably the only spice that has such a wide variety of health benefits and preventative capabilities, all backed by science. The active ingredient that makes turmeric such a wonder spice is curcumin. There are thousands of published research articles on the benefits of curcumin. The research foremost praises its anti-inflammatory capabilities, its role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, its action as a potent antioxidant, its liver cleansing function and its potential in treating depression.

Western media has certainly caught on to turmeric recently, but it’s been popular in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Only since Western medicine discovered its properties have we come to truly trust its benefits. My mother used to drink turmeric milk in the 70s when she lived in LA, and many people I meet say our Golden Mylk® reminds them of what their grandmothers would make for their childhood ailments.

I find it fascinating that even in the cancer clinic where they were treating my mother, turmeric was part of their daily supplements. I have met NHS doctors who prescribe turmeric over painkillers for joint pain and other inflammatory disorders. I have also met horse owners who have giving turmeric to their horses for years to prevent or treat arthritis.

Before I made the leap myself, I attended talks by start-up brands at Soho House, to learn from their experiences. This was extremely helpful and where I got most of my information from before I dared to take the leap myself. But apart from that, I don’t have a mentor. I’m stubborn by nature and always try and find out how to do things by myself. It’s silly, but can also be very rewarding. We are still a very small business and at the moment I do everything – whether it is marketing, branding, production, sales or folding cardboard boxes and cycling to the post office. My business partner Tom mainly helps with production and finding new clients. We are looking to grow our team slowly. I like this idea of organic growth, as its been so far. We have had some interest from retailers across the world and it would be wonderful if we could actually be stocked in more countries in the future to spread our turmeric message. I would also like to work closer with the farm in Sri Lanka. I don’t want to forget that Sri Lanka and its people are the source of inspiration for all this. It might be packaged and marketed in London, but it truly smells and tastes like its true origin.


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Author: Zoe Lind van’t Hof