Meet the Maker: McKenna Howard of The Wild Sprout

When many would-be entrepreneurs are brainstorming ideas and developing their business, they’re told to solve a problem or create something new. In the third installment of our Earth Month series, we’d like to introduce you to McKenna Howard of The Wild Sprout, one maker who embodies this mentality.

Shortly after graduating college, McKenna landed her dream job doing jewelry design and metalsmithing. Early on, however, she developed allergic reactions to the materials she was working with. Accepting it wasn’t realistic to continue on with worsening reactions, she had to find another path.

Upset at her sudden exit from metalsmithing, McKenna’s husband, Austin, attempted to smooth things over with a gift of bath salts—and it was just the spark she needed to find a new project.

Months before McKenna officially founded The Wild Sprout, she spent hours researching herbology, apothecary, and aromatherapy. She was surprised by how many natural alternatives existed that could replace the chemical-heavy products she was accustomed to using. But as she researched these products further, she found few products she could afford.

Following that advice to provide a solution to a real problem, McKenna set out to create affordable, all-natural, botanical based products for bath, body, and home.

Every product from The Wild Sprout is 100% vegan and fills a gap where McKenna could not find a suitable or affordable natural alternative. Her mending salve alleviated a skin irritation that kept occurring during one of her favorite activities—exploring the outdoors with her husband.

McKenna mentions that positive impact on her customer’s lives as one of the brightest parts of her job. One prospective customer in particular was recovering from surgery and struggling with comfort around her wound. To help her out, McKenna gave her a sample of that same mending salve to try out. Hours later, that same customer returned and proclaimed she could already feel the difference and bought several bottles!

McKenna encourages fellow entrepreneurs to admit when they’re not on the path they should be or when their work may not be successful. “It’s terrifying for me because when you’re a maker, you want what you make to be successful,” she says. “Sometimes products don’t do as well and you have to know when to adjust. It’s not all perfect all the time, but persevering through those challenging times is what makes a brand thrive.”

Sometimes that means putting in more hours being self-employed than in any other job you may have had, McKenna explains. Fortunately, the investment has paid off and the future is bright for The Wild Sprout. With a journal of notes, ideas, and inspiration always in hand, she has plans to expand the product line to include body butters and is currently testing a full line of facial products. So keep an eye out for new releases to come.

Check out the products McKenna creates at The Wild Sprout and see what she is up to on Instagram.

Come back next week for the final installment of our Earth Month celebration – we have exciting news to share!

Images supplied by Jagger Photography and The Wild Sprout.