Start a Home Business Growing Herbs and Selling Herbs

A Pennsylvania woman who had been growing herbs for her own use since 1960 discovered she could profit from selling herbs.

| March/April 1979

  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 2 phyllis in garden.jpg
    Phyllis spends her summer months happily cultivating, feeding, and expanding her gardens.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 1 garden beds.jpg
    The first step in selling herbs is growing herbs in well kept, prolific beds.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 3 drying herbs.jpg
    Come fall, the herbs move indoors, where they're dried and packaged for market.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 5 finished products.jpg
    Some of the finished products that have made Herbal Acres a success!
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 4 drying room.jpg
    A converted garage combines a drying room and an indoor winter garden.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 2 phyllis in garden.jpg
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 1 garden beds.jpg
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 3 drying herbs.jpg
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 5 finished products.jpg
  • 056 growing herbs selling herbs 4 drying room.jpg

Anyone who walks into Phyllis Shaudys's house in Bucks County, PA enters a wonderful garden of fragrance — and it only takes a moment to discover why. Jars containing rose petals, lavender, mint and scented geraniums line the mantel, while numerous potpourris fill the many shelves. Citrus peels dry on top of the television set, and the fat family cat purrs dreamily in his own big carton of catnip.

Phyllis's spare bedroom is "decorated," too, with the boxes of dried herbs, bolts of fabric, laces, ribbons and labels that she will soon transform into quick-selling, attractively packaged potpourris, sachets and herb pillows.

The Birth of a Business

Mrs. Shaudys began growing herbs and flowers at home in 1960. She put many of the plants to use around her home over the years and turned others into "personal" gifts for friends and relatives. Then, in 1976, a neighbor suggested that she make sachets and try selling herbs  to the flood of bicentennial tourists who were expected that year in the nearby, historic town of Washington Crossing, PA.

"I had always made potpourris and sachets to give as gifts," Phyllis explains, "but it had never occurred to me to go into business."



Nevertheless, no more than a week later — with some red-white-and-blue material, a little ingenuity, and the enthusiastic help of her whole family — Phyllis had her sachets packaged, labeled, and on the shelves of two local stores. And that's how her new company, Herbal Acres, was born.

The little herb pouches sold so rapidly, in fact, that Phyllis was encouraged to look for additional outlets for her sachets. She confesses that she was terrified of trying to sell her handmade products to strangers, but — in 13 attempts — the timid peddler sold to 11 stores. (And, only a few months later, one of the shops that had initially said "no" to her offer became a good customer.)

juliaporter1992
7/14/2017 5:10:31 PM

Phyllis Shaudy are you still growing, drying,selling these herbs. If so, is your business still successful and what are the prices as of 2017? I would love to know more about this and also start my own herb gardens.


kat_7
9/18/2009 10:15:43 AM

I'm a big fan of Phyllis Shaudys ! My husband gave me a copy of her book, The pleasure of Herbs,(1987). She has helped me tremendously in my adventure with herbs.


nancy_46
1/4/2008 8:21:42 PM

Is Phyllis still making potpourri? This looks like it was written a long time time ago. What are the prices now and is it still successful?







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