Interview: The husband and wife team of Wild Hill Botanicals
Wild Hill Botanicals is a natural skincare line made from handcrafted hydrosols and oils derived from organic herbs grown on husband and wife duo Teague Griffin and Sarah Richer’s East Sooke Farm.
Who are you and what do you design?
We are Teague Griffin and Sarah Richer, a husband and wife team living on Vancouver Island with a natural and wildcrafted skincare line called Wild Hill Botanicals.
Tell us about your journey as a brand.
We love caring for and enriching the soil on our property, as well as applying biodynamic principles to our gardening efforts, in order to produce quality ingredients for our products. We live and cherish a simple life with a focus on handmade and artisanal products and items whenever possible. There is a wonderful, burgeoning artist scene in Victoria and it feels like the backbone of community is supporting relationships and the people making and producing things in your area. On a personal level, as makers, we live for the process of producing our own ingredients such as our hydrosols, as well as the tinctures of wild rose, fireweed and geranium, making hydrosols that go into our small batch, slow skincare.
If you could choose one word to describe your collection what would it be?
One word to describe our skincare collection? Not sure I can do one word. How about: Canadian Clean Beauty, Wildcrafted & Organic.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Both Teague and I are deeply inspired by our beautiful home, the breathtaking landscape of coastal British Columbia. There is a tremendous variety of medicinal plants growing here, both on land and in our seas, and finding ways to incorporate them into our products has been a cornerstone of the line. Sarah also studied with a French Ethnobotanist in the Bay Area of San Fransisco who very much instilled in her a classic french approach to beauty. Namely, quality ingredients with a focus on waters (hydrolates) and oils, tailored to the individual.
Have you taken any risks to land where you are now?
Of course risks are part of the territory of starting your own business. The tradeoff for the freedom of managing your own business is the risk. But we wouldn't have it any other way! The most important thing is to make products that are completely natural AND effective. We have done much learning on the go, and are very grateful to our customers and amazing stockists who are wonderfully supportive and give great feedback. We try to listen carefully.
Is there a designer or brand with whom you’d love to collaborate?
We are interested in all kinds of collaborations and have worked with local designer Korinne Vader, who designed and created kit bags for us out of hand-dyed Shibori by another local artisan, Melissa McFarland.
Looking ahead, what do you hope to accomplish?
We see ourselves as an affordable green beauty brand that is organic whenever possible. We love offering a Canadian product and although the Canadian market is not enormous, the tradeoff for us is getting to remain in control of production. As the company has grown, we have realized that educating the public on achieving healthy, beautiful skin not just through skincare but also lifestyle, diet and the key importance of simplifying one's beauty routine is a passion of ours. A simple life is a good life, and it plays itself out in so many ways.