Stacy recently completed an interview for the Card and Gift Network all about the Lemongrass Trading Company, how it all began and plans for the future. Read it here….

Meet the Face Behind The Lemongrass Trading Company.

Say hello to …

Stacy Marking from The Lemongrass Trading Company Ltd.

Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
It all began when I was in the hills in South India, and came across a rickety bamboo cart selling harvest produce for a Farmer’s Cooperative. There were mangoes and corn and some intriguing little bottles of locally distilled Essential Oils. For the first time I came across Lemongrass Oil and fell in love with its flavour, its scent and its amazing powers – it’s anti-bacterial, deodorant & naturally insect-repellent.

I brought some back and began at the kitchen table, mixing various oils to make fresh, delicious sprays – and so the Lemongrass Trading Company was born. I still mix everything myself – 100% Natural, plant extracts, with NO added chemicals.

The Lemongrass Trading Company makes a range of ‘green’ products for house, car and hotels– natural sprays and sachets that smell divine, purify the air, freshen the car (even absorbing cigarette smoke) . and deterring insects – especially clothes moths – without any chemicals.

Describe your typical working day …
The lovely part is when we are Mixing. Bottling, Labelling: the lemongrass smells so wonderful. I make all our Sprays myself, here in a 15th century Hall in West Dorset, using only pure Essential Oils and 100% Natural plant-based ingredients – with NO added chemicals. I know this because I’m the one doing it. We can mix, label and fill about 150 bottles a day, more of the MiniSprays.

What is the best thing about your job?
Spreading the word – and seeing how customers love the product.

And thinking up new products – we’ve just launched a really cute ‘Trainer Mate’, an Anti-Fungal Lemongrass Spray that takes the smell out of trainers, sports shoes (even teenagers).

Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment to create your products?
I have an amazing mixer – it’s called a High Shear Mixer, and looks like something out of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, as though it might attack you or bite your fingers off. But in fact it is so reliable and safe and effective – I have come to love it.

What would you like to do next with the business?
I recently got a (modest) European Union Grant to extend the Lemongrass formulae into Agricultural and Horticultural products, to make more eco-friendly Biocides. I find the science fascinating (the very opposite of my Arts education) and really believe all us Green-workers can turn the huge agro-chemical industry around.

What ‘top tip’ would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Just Do It! This was my motto long before Nike took it over. There are always so many reasons for caution – in the end you just have to start. And that doesn’t mean huge investment or a smart office. Inspired by Anita Roddick’s autobiography, I began at the kitchen table.

Your Products.

What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
My cute little foursome Anti-Bug Brigade! The blue is Anti-Midge, pale green Anti-Moth, yellow Anti-Wasp, and red Anti-Mozzie.

What are the most popular products in your range?
Our Natural Anti-Moth collection, in particular the Closet Spray, made with Lemongrass & Cedarwood sells brilliantly. People love the smell – and the fact that it is natural – and that it actually works!

Are you working on any new products at the moment?
Yes, an Anti-Fungal Lemongrass Gym Kit: Lemongrass soap, foot powder and gel, to go with our newest cutest pocket-sized Spray, the anti-fungal ‘Trainer Mate’.

What products do you want to introduce in the next year?
The Lemongrass Gym kit. Also Candles and Diffusers (but this is a tough category), Lemongrass Laundry and Cleaning products, and even a Garden Spray too, against Aphids.

Your Inspiration.

What other card and gift designers / brands do you admire?
Jo Malone and The White Company for their packaging.
Banksy for the designs & murals he’s given away to charity.

What business figures / brands inspire your business?
Well, long after she has gone, Anita Roddick still inspires.
Emma Jones made a dynamic leader of StartUp Britain.
Not exactly business, but what an achiever – the wonderful Malala Yousafzai.

Quick Questions.

What is your favourite book?
Well, 2 authors, literary and light: The light weight: Elmore Leonard; the heavy hitter: Samuel Beckett.

What is your favourite film?
I adored The Commitments, all those years ago. Wonderful music, inspiring story, youthful energy and belief – come to think of it, a good film for StartUps!

What is your favourite album / band or song? All 3 if you want!
Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Marvin Gaye.

What is your favourite food?
Kerala Fish Curry.

What is your favourite card or gift brand?
My Emma Bridgewater Robin mug; and all those Pantone designs for mugs, deck chairs etc. (if only there was time to sit in one).

What is your favourite website or blog?
The Guardian is the only site I look at every day. Does news count?

What can’t you live without?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Reading in the middle of the night.


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