Hippie Herbal Turtle Co: the startup fitting wellness into the modern day
The UK-based company Hippie Turtle Herbal Co. offers a scientifically backed product range spanning from CBD rubs to ‘sleep’ and ‘mood’ gummies, as well as their recently launched ‘juicy roots’ turmeric and ginger gummies, bringing about “wellness from within” in the face of the many stressors of the modern day.
The 'juicy roots' launch follows a growing customer demand for a vegan alternative to their ‘bone and joints’ line, to achieve the associated anti-inflammatory benefits whilst supporting gut and immune health.
The 'bone and joints' gummies contain marine collagen, calcium, turmeric and both vitamin D and E.
Heeley explains: “If you look at the customer base who are buying stress or pain relief products, this can be anyone from teenagers, skateboarders, those with high pressure jobs, right up to the elderly. The demographic is huge.
“We don’t just appeal to one audience, we are very much about providing wellness products that fit into the modern lifestyle and are accessible to everybody, no matter your gender or age, or what you do. Our tagline is restoring balance to the mind, body and the soul, it’s all encompassing… you can’t just focus on one area.”
Previously living a very physical life working in engineering as well as being a fitness instructor and BMX rider, Heeley suffered a life-altering form of rheumatoid arthritis in the spine and hips called 'ankylosing spondylitis', forcing him to leave his day job and highly active lifestyle.
Subsequently, the company grew from his own experimentation with natural alternatives: “After the diagnosis, the only thing you get through the mainstream means is quite heavy medication. I didn’t want to take those kind of pharmaceuticals… against the advice of my doctors.
“I began to look at alternative things, like seaweed, oils, Ashwagandha, turmeric and ginger. I started using them in my everyday life to improve my health, reduce inflammation and ultimately reduce pain.”
He says this led him to identify what he felt was a market gap for an environmentally friendly company producing natural alternatives, especially for medicines like NSAIDs, which he says are "extremely damaging to gut health" and this has further repercussions to the immune system.
He highlights the current levels of stress and anxiety of the modern day, and the resultant prevalence of mental health issues which are not suitably supported through the health care system.
“If you go to talk to someone about this, the first thing they will do is give you selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but there’s a huge growing market of people who don’t want to take anti-depressants. But they need a solution to this problem that works – and the mood gummies do. And sleep goes hand in hand with stress and anxiety.”
Following their initial rubs and powder lines, Heeley explains they decided to move into gummies as this format has been showing huge growth in Europe.
Ingredients in the sleep gummies include: zinc, vitamin b6, lemon balm, chamomile and 5-htp; an amino acid found to regulate serotonin.
He explains how this is targeted to prevent the negative cycle of stress and subsequent sleep issues, highlighting the brand’s mission to provide long-term, preventative solutions to improve wellness.
Additional gummies, such as 'mood' line contain the adaptogens Ashwagandha and rhodiola crenulata extract, L-Theanine, and a range of B-vitamins.
Speaking about expansion plans for the company, Heeley says they are exploring Amazon as well as large retailers including Selfridges, with talks currently underway.