Candice O’Reilly is the exclusive USA representative for Nature’s Gold, an Australian Manuka Honey company. Candice is passionate about helping people take simple steps to improve their health using natural ingredients and resources.
After many years of working in the travel industry, Candice decided to leave it all behind to focus on her own health and wellness when her first child was born. Soon after, she was fortunate to connect with the founder of Nature’s Gold on a trip home to Brisbane, Australia in 2015. After learning so much about the Australian Manuka Honey industry, Candice knew that she wanted to help others by educating them about Manuka Honey and the amazing natural resource that it is. Candice became the exclusive representative for Nature’s Gold in the USA and has successfully grown the brand in the highly competitive USA market.
Hey Candice, can you introduce yourself to us?
I originally hail from Australia and have lived in the USA for many years. I am honoured to be featured with so many other women breaking boundaries in business, and I am fortunate to work for an Australian company owned by a woman breaking boundaries in my hometown. I love spending time with my family and getting the chance to be creative in my work. I am passionate about health, and I am passionate about educating people on how to make small incremental changes to improve their health.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I began my career in the travel industry. I studied travel management in college, worked as a tour guide across Europe for years, and even started my own travel business in 2010.
I sold my travel business after my first child was born in 2014, however, it only took about 6 months before I knew I wanted to try something new. I was considering starting my own business again, but fate brought me to meet Jill Richards, the founder of Nature’s Gold in 2015. Jill had created some incredible products with an amazing cause, and I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Jill. I’ve been representing Nature’s Gold in the USA for three and a half years now.
As Natures Gold is an Australian owned company, can you tell us about how you are leading your role within the US division?
Being the exclusive representative for Nature’s Gold the USA, I have been able to take the approach of being an ambassador for the brand. I have learned over time that our audience responds best when I share my personal experiences with our products.
How would you say the market differs from that of the Australian one?
US shoppers are more comfortable shopping online vs Australian shoppers. As a small business, we wanted to test a few international markets before we significantly expanded globally. The USA was a great market to do that as an unknown brand because it has been easy to reach our audience online and gain credibility organically.
How is Natures Gold funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?
Nature’s Gold was founded by Jill Richards as a home business in 2005 and was completely self-funded by Jill and her husband for many years. We now have investors in the company which has given us the flexibility to expand overseas and grow significantly over the last few years.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of Natures Gold?
Nature’s Gold is known for being the Manuka Honey People. Manuka Honey has been scientifically proven to rapidly heal the skin, so our main goal is to naturally help heal inflammation, dry skin and small topical wounds by combining Manuka Honey with other natural Australian ingredients known to be effective for a variety of skin irritations.
To us, manuka honey IS Nature’s Gold. Manuka Honey is commonly thought to come from New Zealand, and while its use as a topical treatment originated in New Zealand, Australia actually has a much larger variety of Leptospermum species (this is the flower bees must pollinate in order to create manuka honey). Australia also consistently produces large quantities of Manuka Honey with high levels of Methylglyoxal, which is the naturally occurring antibacterial activity needed to fight infection and calm inflammation. We pride ourselves on being a supplier of Australian Manuka Honey, and also being an ambassador for educating people on the quality of Manuka Honey originating from Australia.
Can you tell us about the health benefits of Natures Gold and how Manuka Honey plays a huge contributing factor to your products?
Our skincare products are highly effective at speeding up the healing process for any skin irritation. Our best-selling product, Manuka Power Concentrated Ointment contains 30% Manuka Honey and it is incredibly effective for assisting to heal small topical wounds, bites, scratches, eczema, dermatitis, chaffing, chapped lips, and it can even be used on the face. It is a wonderful natural alternative to a synthetic antiseptic or steroid ointment.
Manuka Honey is the main ingredient in our products because it is an amazing natural healer due to its high levels of Methylglyoxal. The higher the Methylglyoxal found in honey, the quicker the healing process. For Methylglyoxal levels to be deemed credible, the honey needs to be tested by an independent source. Our honey is tested by the Sunshine Coast University in Queensland, and our certification is backed by the Australian Manuka Honey Association.
We only use manuka honey rated MGO 514 or higher in our skincare products, to ensure our customers are seeing results fast. While skin care is our main focus, Manuka Honey alone also has a number of health benefits which is why our jars of raw honey are also incredibly popular. Manuka Honey can be taken internally for improving gut health, dental health, sinus issues, sore throats, and immunity.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I see myself doing what I am doing now, only on a larger scale. Nature’s Gold is growing quickly, and I am excited to be a part of that growth.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
The support I receive from our team in Australia is my key tool for making sure exporting our products to the USA runs smoothly. We manufacture and package all of our products in Australia, so exports play a big role. When it comes to promoting Nature’s Gold, I rely on support groups for businesses and people in similar industries. These connections help me keep on top of the latest trends in my field, and help me to be one step ahead.
What outlets do you use to promote Natures Gold in the US?
We are predominantly sold online in the USA, so most of our promotional outlets are also online. I focus heavily on social media, because it is such a great way to tell my story as an ambassador for the brand, and it is an amazing tool for reaching an engaging audience. We also like to promote on Amazon quite a lot, because our Amazon reviews help to tell the story of our products through the eyes of real verified customers, and people respond positively to that.
What or who inspires and motives you?
My husband is my biggest inspiration. He has always encouraged me to dream big. When I take a risk he always reminds me that if it doesn’t work out the way I planned, it is just another experience to learn and grow from.
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
I’ve learned to always work in a field that I am passionate about. If you believe that your work can help the quality of someone else’s life, then success will eventually follow. Staying focused on why you are working hard to achieve a goal helps to reach that goal authentically and successfully.
A highlight in your career so far?
Being given the opportunity to bring Natures Gold to the USA! The creative freedom I have been granted by Jill has been an amazing experience for me. It has also allowed me to stay connected to my Australian roots every day at work.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
When a customer reaches out to share their story of how our products helped them. It reminds me why I am so committed to Nature’s Gold. Dry skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis still do not have a cure, and there are so many people out there seeking help without the use of synthetic ingredients or steroids. Their gratitude is why I love what I do.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I owe this mention to Jasmine Star. She is an expert on how to navigate social media as a business and be successful, and she shares so many amazing tips in her Social Curator group (which I am a member of). Implementing her advice has immensely helped grow Nature’s Gold’s profile in the USA.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘The Seven Spiritual Laws’ of Success by Deepak Chopra.
I have had this book for a while, but I often refer back to it. The seven steps are simple and resonate with me. It is a book I recommend to anyone I meet who needs a mental wellness boost.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘School of Greatness.’ Lewis Howes is such a great example of courage, and his gratitude for life is an inspiration.
- ‘Optimal Health Daily.’ This is a great podcast for keeping up with the latest health and wellness trends.
- ‘Hurdle.’Emily Abbate interviews people who have found peace by incorporating wellness into their lives. When I feel a little foggy in my head, this podcast is my go-to.
How do you define your own success?
For me, success means having a great life/work balance. I love that I am able to work from anywhere, anytime. I get to spend a lot of time with my children and husband, and I can put work aside to focus on being present with the important people in my life. I also believe that success is about feeling fulfilled and challenged in your work. Being able to grow and be creative is what excites me about what I do. I never feel like I’m working because I HAVE to, and that is a success to me.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, it means finding your success with authenticity. Simply be you, let your walls down, and believe in the message you trying to send.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
I’m really enjoying the little wins we are achieving on social media even with a very small advertising budget, and so I plan to focus on increasing engagement on social media a lot this year. I am also moving towards getting Nature’s Gold products into brick and mortar retail in the USA.