Dr. Sally Gouldstone
Created by botanist Dr Sally Gouldstone, Seilich was born from a love of nature and a passion to create products that weren’t just natural, but those that were actually good for nature.
I’ve always been passionate about nature. Growing up in a very remote wild place gave me a unique perspective on the world, and when I eventually left to go and study Ecology in the big city I was shocked to learn that the landscape I had thought of as wild in my childhood was actually a horribly degraded version of what once was.
After graduating I spent 20 years working in the nature conservation sector to try and put things right (if even by the tiniest bit). As well as giving me a deep understanding of the natural world, this work gave me some amazing experiences; I worked in some fascinating places (from the tropical swamp forests of Borneo to the spiny forests of Madagascar); I had some incredible wildlife encounters (from Blue Whales and Lemurs to Orangutans and Otters), I met some fascinating people (such as David Attenborough whilst collecting data in a rainforest!) and landed some brilliant jobs (e.g. presenting a prime time natural history programme on television!) before I finally settled in Scotland working for the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.
Despite loving my work, I always felt this deep seated frustration whilst working in the sector; even the most brilliant projects struggled to find funding for their work.
Becoming a mum
In 2018, the birth of my daughter Willow changed everything. The scale of my entire world was brought down to that of this tiny little bundle. Although the global biodiversity crisis still loomed large in my head, so did the need to give this little person the best start I could, so I decided to take a career break. Being out of the conservation bubble gave me a new perspective on my work; I noticed through talking to other mums that huge swathes of society valued nature and the environment just as much as I did… and that as consumers, people have huge power to change things from the bottom up.
How it all changed
One day whilst walking down the health and beauty aisle of a supermarket (with lines of products plastered with images of nature) I had a sudden epiphany; whereas in the conservation sector we were constantly scratching around for hand-outs and grants, in the commercial world people were actually making money out of nature. Surely this money could be used to feed back into conservation projects? With nature actually managing to pay for itself we could finally close the loop and provide a long term sustainable funding stream for conservation work.
The birth of Seilich
And so Seilich was born, naming the company after my little one (Seilich meaning Willow in Gaelic). At first we created a very small wildflower meadow and harvested a few flowers to make our first ever products. With profits from those first sales we created a larger meadow and took a course in making natural skincare products. I quickly found that our business model was not only good for nature, but also really really good for peoples skin!
The story continues…
We’re now 4 years in and the Seilich meadow is already a whopping 8 acres, supporting thousands of pollinating insects as well as a myriad of other species. We have big plans to continue this growth, using profits from sales to create and manage more and more land for nature. We hope to show that you can build a sustainable business that not only makes beautiful products from nature, but actually leaves nature in a better place than when it started.
Although we still have far to go, I really feel that Seilich is making a small contribution to the future of all things wild and wonderful!