In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better. Today, we're catching up with Leslie Scott, the Maker behind Walton Wood Farm. Walton Wood Farm uses a “farm forward” approach with their natural bath and body products. Leslie is a Coast Guard veteran and wilderness hiker, and packs her outdoor experiences and unique perspective into their goods.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer and a pilot. My father told me I would never be either. I had major learning disabilities and there were no resources for me back then. That didn't stop me. I've won two International film festivals for my screenplays, and write all of the copy for my labels and website. At the age of 47, I got my pilot's license and fly a 1947 Piper Cub on floats. I was 49 when I started Walton Wood Farm with a dream of saving our historic barn–200 years from now, I won't be here, but it will. That's powerful. I have this incredible gratitude that I was able to fulfill all of my lifelong dreams. Never give up. It's never too late.
Where do you find inspiration when coming up with new scents?
I think about the person. What does their personality evoke? Are they hearty, but vulnerable, too? Gentle with a secret edginess? How does that translate to the natural world? Lily of the Valley, sandalwood, cardamom, black pepper and sweet orange? That's where it all starts. People and nature–there's a parallel (believe it or not).
What other things do you love to make?
Tea, with herbs from my garden. Or an original dinner concoction in a crock-pot. I love serving great food to the people I care about. Nothing says, "I love you" like a long-simmering stew made with a stout beer.
How do you get around creative blocks?
I walk the farm. Any weather is fine with me. Rain or sleet–I bundle up. Nature is one big show and there are no re-runs.
What has surprised you most about starting a business?
I thought I would run out of ideas, but they keep coming. I think when you open a faucet, stuff trickles out. Then the pump is primed and it just gushes through.
What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
It's a romantic idea, being an entrepreneur, and it's not for everyone. My daughters have no interest in being part of the business. I respect that. They know their limitations. If you not willing to give up all your spare time, and work seven days a week without a vacation (for a really long time), don't bother. It's not for you. If you can work tirelessly throughout any storm, dive in. The personal rewards are endless. In your mind, build a library for failure. Each time you have one, have a cup of coffee with it and explore it's origins. Then put it away on the shelf and shut the door. You don't need it anymore.
How has business changed since your launch on The Grommet? Has our Community helped your business?
The Grommet gave us instant credibility. We affiliate with the brand wherever we go. We're proud to say, "We're a Grommet!" The community has been excellent in supporting us. We get a check in the mail every week and I think, "Wow!' They just keep on coming. The Grommet staff makes us feel we are part of a team. I have loved this experience.
To learn more about Walton Wood Farm, watch our video here.