Ancient Wisdom 21st Anniversary
please note, this message was written by David (the AW founder) in November 2016 whilst celebrating the 21st birthday of AW...
It was a wet cold Thursday morning a long time before Google and Facebook, and as I laid out my market stall on a Sheffield street I was more than apprehensive about what people would think. But I was ready by eight, my humble offering laid out on that simple stall.. and stomping from foot to foot I awaited my first customer.
A few months earlier, I'd been reading a book called "Ancient Wisdom" - now out of print. The book highlighted many things that seem out of place in history - the pyramids, Stonehenge etc. At the same time I'd been researching aromatherapy. It struck me that essential oils had been used for thousands of years and ancient people must have known more about them - (healing and enchanting) than perhaps we did. So I put the two together and devised the brand of "Ancient Wisdom" slowly (very slowly, no Internet remember) I found supplies of oils. I found a potter down in Stoke who made me my own design of oil burner, and invested in a pallet load of candles.
The truth was I was stone broke, every penny and more I put into my unusual retail business. In those days no-one had any idea what aromatherapy was, oil burners were a new fangled thing and this was Yorkshire!
The first person to approach was a well built lady of colour with a broad Yorkshire accent. Picking up a bottle of Lavender oil she asked me bruskly "what's it good for lad?" Oh I said recalling my Julia Lawless quotes.. "it's good for relaxing, will help you sleep and if you burn yourself it's an amazing healing oil".
Well I can remember it clear as day.. she looked at me, took me in with big brown eyes, and in a low voice said; "You are completely bloody bonkers". And wandered off to the fruit and veg.
You can imagine how I felt. The first day I sold one lavender oil and gave some tea tree away to a spotty teenage girl. I went home and almost packed it in.
The next day, I decided I need to get my act together, and made an offer, Lavender Oil, Oil Burner and a nightlight...I piled the oil burners up in bread baskets with a sprinkling of potpourri for good measure. for £4.50. I sold my first oil burner set in five minutes... and Ancient Wisdom was born. Soon I would sell fifty sets a day and gradually found customers for my range of essential oils.
I devised a range of Fragrance Oils - I put my heart into that range working nights to get it right, I listened to customer feedback and I'm pretty sure that nice lady who rejected my lavender became a regular customer for fragrance oils.
That was, amazingly.. 21 years ago today.
On 16-11-16 is Ancient Wisdom's Twenty First Birthday.
We are celebrating big style!
Since then.. the company has grown, with a few ups and downs, to be an international Giftware company, we still sell Lavender Oil, Fragrance oils and Oil Burners.
And also 10,000 other products to more than 60,000 customers all over the world. With warehouses in Indonesia, China and UK.. we really couldn't have got here with out you.
Our amazing customers have always supported this company with feedback, ideas and criticism (when we need it), our customers - YOU - have shaped AW and helped us to our Birthday.
We want to say thank you.. to YOU.