Finding a natural solution
If you love herbal products or are interested in starting your own herbal business, you need to check out Poppy Swap. Poppy Swap is a community forum for herb-lovers and a terrific resource for small businesses. Their motto, “We bring people herbs,” sounds like an awesome aim. You may have seen the press release on our website a few months ago, but if you didn’t (or even if you did) it’s worth looking into.
This online marketplace connects herb-lovers with herbalists and small busness owners.
The website is part online marketplace, part blog and part forum. It’s intended to help vendors expand and publicize their herbal products, and put them in contact with the interested public (and to put herb-lovers in contact with herbal product businesses too, of course). Most of these vendors are small companies specializing in handcrafted herbal teas, beauty products and medicinals. Customers and people interested in herbs and herbalism can contact the sellers directly with any questions about the products, how they’re made or even their views on herbs in general. As part of my job involves trying to find the buried contact information for a whole host of companies who have cool products we might like to feature (and then wading through the red tape to actually talk to someone), I think that interaction is incredibly valuable. The ability to actually talk to someone about herbs and the myriad things they’re used in is useful for everyone from veteran herbalists to people who don’t know anything about herbs beyond the fact that they’re some kind of plant.
The community forum part of the site grants even more communication—between consumers and producers, gardeners and crafters, herbalists and more herbalists, curious people and experts, and pretty much anyone else interested in herbs with other people interested in the same things. The rules are simple and there’s a place for any herb-related conversation you want to have. If it’s not listed, you can register and start one. There’s also an Events page with a nifty Google map so that you can search for events by region.
The blog portion of Poppy Swap features interviews with herbalists and herb-lovers about their ideas, their passions, their love for herbs and the products they make. There are also giveaways (the site participants and leaders are active on Twitter and participate in #gardenchat on Mondays). Recently lucky participants won sweet wild honey and rose elixir, herbal teas, and a copy of the Herbal Roots Zine.
Poppy Swap Giveaway
Speaking of which, we’re going to do our own giveaway with Poppy Swap! Here’s how it works.
HOW TO ENTER
• Head on over to the Poppy Swap Marketplace and pick out your favorite Poppy Swap product (under $20, please).
• Post a comment in the comments section below tellings us what you picked.
• One reader will be randomly chosen to receive their favorite product.
• End date: August 14, 2011. (12:00 AM, Central Time)
If you want to increase your number of entries, here’s what you can do: Like Poppy Swap on Facebook and leave a comment here to let us know that you are now a fan, or post a link to our giveaway on their Facebook page and leave a comment with us to let us know you’ve posted. You can also tweet about our blog giveaway on Twitter using the tag #poppyswapping and leave a comment here to let us know that you’ve tweeted.