2-Day Virtual Conference for Emerging Herbal Brands

Learn how to create a legally compliant and flourishing herbal business that's equitable, sustainable, and bs-free.
Join us on February 23rd and 24th.

Conference Schedule

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Made for Growing Herbal Product Brands

This conference is for badass brands, made with purpose.

Functional Foods

Natural Cosmetics

Herbal Supplements

Get Ready to Flourish

Making an extraordinary product is no small feat. Bringing it to market can be even more challenging.

The inaugural Emblossom Herbal Business Conference will bring together experts in GMPs, legal compliance, mindful marketing, sustainable and equitable sourcing, values-based business, and more. Get ready for top-notch classes, breakout sessions, and network with like-minded entrepreneurs.

2 Packed Days

PLUS COMMUNITY YOGA + DANCE HOURS

12+ Intensives

FROM SOURCING AND GMP TO ETHICAL BIZ

16+ Industry
Experts

SEASONED TEACHERS + CONSULTANTS

3 Months Access

RECORDINGS FOR
POST-CONFERENCE

Confirmed
Sessions
more coming soon

Empathy and Design Thinking: Learn How to Create an Irresistible Brand

Radically upgrade your products and your life with design thinking. We'll explore how empathy and human-centered creativity will create well-loved products and brands that stick. Discover how to test and learn → refine and repeat.

Presented by Sara Weinreb, a writer, business strategist, and herbalist on a mission to support individuals and entrepreneurs in being kinder and more connected to each other, the planet, and themselves.

The Why Behind The Buy: Consumer Insights on a Budget

Every successful product has a strong consumer insight behind it. In this workshop, you'll learn how to use consumer insights to set strategy, innovate, and grow your business without breaking the bank. We will discuss how to determine what is an insight, how to create an authentic consumer profile, and scrappy ways to get started leveraging the power of consumer insights for sustainable business growth.

Presented by Daniella Allam, the Founder & Principal of PLANTAS. Daniella is an innovator, strategist, and consumer insights champion on a mission to propel plant-based foods to the mainstream for the planet, the animals, and our health.

Thinking Inside the Box: Creating Effective Herbal Product Formulas that Work at Scale

The dietary supplements industry involves both practitioners who formulate for patients and companies that formulate for the masses. While the formulas from practitioners often include subtleties personalized to the individual, the formulas for the masses have different requirements. We will discuss these different formulation strategies and how to cross the divide from patients to consumers, as well as issues such as claim substantiation, safety, ingredient supply and other issues.

Presented by Dr. Kevin Spelman, who has worked with medicinal plants in the field, clinic, and research settings. Kevin is the founder of Health, Education & Research, a consulting service for the natural product industry and produces the audio journal The Spelman Report: PhytoPharmacology Review pertinent to clinicians and R&D departments. 

Sourcing with Values: Creating a Sustainable and Equitable Supply Chain

You don't have to sacrifice your values with growing demands. Learn how to successfully work with farmers, processors, and brokers while building your herbal business. Find ways to create a supply chain that embodies transparency, sustainability, equity, and fairness.

Presented by Josef Brinckmann, a botanical supply chain specialist and an all around herbal expert who's been working in the herbal industry since 1979. He works with numerous organizations to produce high quality information on medicinal plants and to ensure medicinal plant sustainability.

Sowing Seeds of Justice: Cultural Appropriateness and Reparations for Herbal Businesses

Navigating business in a capitalist landscape can feel tricky and at times unethical. However, money is simply a tool that can be leveraged for a greater purpose.  This workshop will explore the foundations of ethical and justice-oriented business planning. Through this, we will identify tools to promote the future and sustainability of herbal medicine.

Presented by Shabina Lafleur-Gangji, an herbalist who is involved in healing justice work and movements for liberation.  Shabina works to support people in reclaiming their traditional knowledge through their connection with ancestral plants and has used herbal medicine as a way to fundraise for movements for freedom.

The Business of Botanicals: A Discussion on the Herbal Products Industry

We're excited to talk with Ann about the process of researching and writing The Business of Botanicals. This book asks whether the intention of herbal medicine can be maintained when sourcing and manufacturing herbs in a global market. Ann discovered that, like most things, it depends. In this conversation, we will talk about what it takes to maintain the connection with the plants at the heart of herbal medicine in global networks, what the risks are, what to keep in mind as a growing business.

Presented by Ann Armbrecht, the director of the Sustainable Herbs Program under the auspices of the American Botanical Council. She is the author of The Business of Botanicals: Exploring the Healing Promise of Plant Medicines in a Global Industry  (now available for pre-order) that documents her journey following herbs from seed to shelf. She is also the co-producer of the documentary Numen: The Nature of Plants and the author of the award-winning ethnographic memoir Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home, based on her research in Nepal. Ann was a 2017 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar documenting the supply chain of medicinal plants in India and she lives with her family in central Vermont.

The Ins and Outs of Contract Labs: Selecting, Qualifying, and Working with Analytical Labs

Lost on how to find a trustworthy and reputable lab? Discover the key elements of a great contract partner. Learn how to choose the right tests for your ingredients and products. Plus, get all the right questions to ask about lab practices, testing methods, and other services.

Presented by Holly Johnson, the Chief Science Officer at the American Herbal Products Association. In this role, Holly is the primary scientific resource for providing technical guidance to member organizations and helping the herbal industry use the latest science, technology, and research to ensure consumers continue to have informed access to innovative, safe, and effective herbal products.

Expanding Beyond the Kitchen: An intro to Good Manufacturing Practices for Herbal Products

GMP, excuse me?! You've probably heard this before, and may or may not know what it means. We will break down the seemingly daunting task of getting your good manufacturing practices together. Learn a quick history of GMPs, who regulates them, why they are important, and how to get started. We'll share the documentation basics for both herbal supplements and cosmetics, including lot numbering, formulas, master manufacturing records, batch records, and standard operating procedures.

Presented by Angie Kwong and Mary Goff, founders of CSG Consulting, a female-led firm specializing in the cosmetics, food, supplement, and related industries. They help small start-ups in meeting local and state regulations and getting their operations going.

What’s Up Docs: Writing Great Documents for GMP Compliance

Discover more about the specifications and standard operating procedures that are required, and documents that are often cited during FDA inspections. Learn why good documentation practices are important, what kind of documents you need to have, and how to write great documents including SOPs and ingredient specifications.

Presented by Angie Kwong and Mary Goff, founders of CSG Consulting, a female-led firm specializing in the cosmetics, food, supplement, and related industries. They help small start-ups in meeting local and state regulations and getting their operations going.

Navigating the Feds: Demystifying the Oversight of Herbal Product Regulations  

Discover the few basic categories of herbal products, and how to best navigate their challenging guidelines. Get a basic understanding of marketing regulations, and generally how to manage your risk as an emerging herbal company. We'll also cover FDA inspections and possible outcomes.

Presented by Tami Wahl, a lawyer with over twenty years of legal and legislative experience. Tami works with industry stakeholders, trade groups, federal agencies, and congressional members on both sides of the aisle to drive sound policy solutions and that create balanced pathways to market for innovative products and platforms.

Finding the Right Words: Compliant Herbal Claims and Substantiations

Confused about what exactly you can and can’t say about herbal products? We’ll go over claims that can be made for different kinds of products, how to word-smith your herbal supplement claims to be compliant, and what you need to have in a substantiation file to make sure that you’ve got your claims supported.

Presented by Zoë Gardner (she/her), a self-proclaimed herb nerd with over 20 years of experience working with medicinal plants. A specialist in the quality and safety of medicinal plants, Zoë enjoys helping herbal companies with regulatory compliance through HerbNerd Research.

Emergent Business Strategies: Run Your Business Like You Run Your Life

Join us for a lively discussion with inspirational founders who are living their values through their companies. From personal stories of navigating sourcing, scaling, and community engagement to going beyond surface-level activism, they will share perspectives on how to run a business that is aligned with your personal values and that makes the world a better place.

Facilitated and led by Amelia Ahl (she/her), an MBA/MPA candidate at Presidio Graduate School, pursuing a degree in sustainable solutions. A background in humanitarian work and international development fueled Amelia's interest in regenerative business models. Her experience includes social business strategy, community engagement, impact investing, and policy advocacy. Amelia’s work is guided by listening, resilience, justice, and anti-racism.

Erin Wilkins, Founder of Herb Folk.

Erin Wilkins is an Asian American herbalist and Japanese acupuncturist. Her clinical work is rooted in Eastern energetic theory -- tapping into her own ancestral healing traditions to empower others to restore health and prevent illness.

She is the owner of Herb Folk, an herb shop and clinic in Petaluma, CA. She founded Herb Folk in 2016 to spotlight Asian American herbalism and to serve the community by making holistic health care more accessible. Erin remains a dedicated activist at the intersection of herbalism, racial equity, and environmental justice. She is a parent to two young kids and a proud Yonsei.

Sajani Amarasiri, Founder of Kola Goodies.

Sajani took her experience from working at Amazon and Microsoft and embarked on her mission of connecting her roots to modern life.

Her venture, Kola Goodies, is a wellness brand rooted in heritage but created to easily incorporate superfoods from South Asia into our busy lives. Kola Goodies is one of the only brands that represents, sources from, and gives back to the communities and cultures these rituals stem from.

Rachel Budde, Founder of Fat & the Moon.

Rachel Budde is an herbalist and the creator of Fat and the Moon herbal bod care. Fat and the Moon is a primary branch of her herbal practice, as she sees external herbal medicine as a gateway for profound realizations of the efficacy of plant medicine. 

Fat and the Moon is where Rachel’s skills as an herbalist and an artist converge. She creates self-care products that are plant-based and radically non-toxic, in terms of both ingredients and message.

Herbal medicine is part of Rachel’s Slovenian heritage. Rachel has been conducting ethnobotanical research in Slovenia for the last six years on the traditional Slovene uses of plant medicines. Her aim is to reconnect to the ancient wisdom of her heritage and to inspire others to do the same.

get the full conference schedule

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Conference Founders

We want herbalism to be abundant.
We want herbal products to be normalized.
And, we want plant-loving founders to be leading the way.


After 30+ collective years in the herbal and wellness industry, we know just how challenging it can be for emerging entrepreneurs. Our goal is to create a community where information sharing can be commonplace. A place that connects us to other business owners and consultants who want to create something different. We want to help grow a new economy full of natural products made by a diverse group of herbalists and plant lovers
people who will transform the world beyond the store.

Zoë Gardner

Emblossom Founder
Herb Nerd & Potter
R&D Consultant

Summer Singletary

Emblossom Founder
Herbalist & Cook
Marketing Consultant

Jacqueline Smith

Emblossom Founder
Yoga Instructor
Community Manager

In Living Color:
Virtual BIPOC Space

We're excited to announce that In Living Color will be joining us at this conference.

Centering the needs & voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), this virtual space is designed by and for BIPOC participants, providing a refuge for people to gather, connect, rest, and share in the celebration of our lineages & lived experiences. The In Living Color Virtual BIPOC space is also a place for BIPOC participants to access emotional and energetic support throughout the duration of the conference by way of  
Amanda David and Mandana Boushee, BIPOC Herbalists and facilitators of the In Living Color Space.

BIPOC participants are invited to join the space anytime during the open hours, which will be sent to participants ahead of the conference. The In Living Color facilitators will also be on-call and available 24/7 during the conference via email.

To connect with the In Living Color BIPOC space facilitators, Amanda David and Mandana Boushee, please contact them at 
inlivingcolorspace@gmail.com.

If you have questions about the inclusion of this space in the conference, please see the FAQs below
.

Keeping the Vibes High

Networking

Meet like-minded humans.

DJ & Dance Sets

Get ready for a virtual shake.

Yoga & Meditation

Stretch breaks are included.

Pet Show & Tell

Bring your furry friends.

Happy Hour

Enjoy time with new friends.

Ready to blossom?

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FAQ

Is this conference right for me?

If you made it all the way here, probably so! This conference is made for emerging herbal brands, both small and mid-scale. Larger companies may also wish to also attend to encourage further employee training and to network.


How do I determine what pricing tier to pay?

We trust you to use your best judgment :)

We consider emerging brands to be a team size of 1-5 full-time people, in business for 0-4 years; and seasoned brands to be a team size of 5-30+ full-time people, in business for 5+ years. Our two options are meant to recognize the different financial abilities to emerge and seasoned brands.


Are there BIPOC and low-income scholarships?

Yes, and yes! These are limited so please reach out ASAP if you're interested.

Update: We have fulfilled all the available scholarships at this time. Thank you to all who applied.


Why are there a BIPOC only spaces and sessions?

Please take some time to read, watch, and sit with the resources below.

Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People, by Kelsey Blackwell, on the importance of these spaces when we gather.

Racial Microaggressions Are Real. Here’s How to Navigate Them, by Ruth Terry, on microaggression culture.

Woke Without The Work, an online workshop for Non-BIPOC Herbalists, who are seeking to move beyond optical support of our communities, towards active, tangible, and embodied practices of equity.


Will closed captioning be available?

We're actively looking for a way to do this at the live conference. Either way, the recordings will have closed captioning available for request.

If you've got ideas, please reach out to us
.


When is the conference?

The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23rd and Wednesday, February 24th, from approximately 11:00 am to 6:30 pm eastern (8:00 am to 3:30 pacific).  Morning yoga and evening hang out times will be scheduled before and after the conference each day. 

 Additionally, we’ll have some pre-conference sessions that we’ll post as they are confirmed.


How long do I have to watch the recordings?

The recordings will be available for 3 months to enjoy after the conference. This includes the four sessions from the webinar series recorded the two weeks prior to the event.

The idea is that this conference stays relevant year-to-year. Plus, we think it's a real treat gather in these times, and can't wait to build community. If able, we hope you will join us live! We can't wait to have your good energy there.


What's the refund policy?

In our debut year, we will not be offering refunds. Unlike many conferences, we will be paying all our teachers and facilitators. Our financial commitments also include online platform subscription fees and scholarships.

Your ticket is truly an investment into our bigger vision. We appreciate you trusting in us, and we don't take that lightly. We hope that you LOVE the conference, and we will do everything in our power to make it an incredible experience.

Equity, Inclusivity, and Reparations

Recognizing that the world of natural products and herbalism in the U.S. has been overwhelmingly capitalistic and white-centered, we're working toward creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all attendees, and to begin to address historical inequities.

As the first steps to address the historic and current inequities, the inaugural Emblossom conference has committed to the following:

The conference will be allocating 5% of income towards a reparations fund which will be given to BIPOC organizations and individuals with an herbal focus. The recipients will be decided by a BIPOC Leadership Council and announced after the conference. If you have feedback or thoughts on this, please reach out.

Both BIPOC and low-income scholarships will also be available, in hopes of making this information more widely available for early-stage entrepreneurs. Please email us for more info at hello@emblossom.co.

We're excited to announce that In Living Color (ILC) will be present through the event and providing a space during the conference for BIPOC attendees. This grassroots safe space designed to center the needs & voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) by creating a safe, meaningful space to find mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical support tailored to the unique needs of BIPOC conference-goers participating in spaces that have historically been exclusive of BIPOC.

We've also realized that all too often conferences do not pay their instructors fairly for their time and expertise. The Emblossom Conference pays all instructors and facilitators a fair wage and provides them with affiliate links to compensate for their marketing efforts and all the magic they bring to this space.

As the conference grows we are committed to also grow in our work towards equity.

Our Sponsors

Big thanks to these brands that are help making this thing happen!