Today’s post is written by Sidney Vincent of The Neem People – In this short essay, he provides a fascinating insight into his products and business ethic. Sidney and his wife Marjorie are kind and generous people, who once met, cannot be forgotten.
Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow
It was neither an acorn nor an oak, but it was a tree, and the ground was fertile. We heralded the birth of THE NEEM PEOPLE.
The ‘people’s pharmacy’ provided succor to India’s millions for millennia but was largely unknown in the west so, being at a loose end, we took it upon ourselves to spread the word and set up Perpetua – The Neem People.
The NEEM tree has, arguably, more benefits than any other tree; for humans, it is antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial. It is a fertilizer and used in granaries as an insecticide. Beekeepers use NEEM in their fight against varroa mites Scientists looked especially at how NEEM oil affects honey bees since bees do eat plant matter, the pollen. Locusts do not attack NEEM trees.
Benefits from the NEEM tree are in the bark, twigs, leaves and fruit which are harvested, without sacrificing the tree.
• The twigs are used as toothbrushes even in the modern age.
• Bark powder is an important adjunct to oral hygiene. A poultice of Bark powder provides a face cleansing mask.
• An infusion of Neem leaves is used to treat numerous health problems. A paste of Neem leaves treats many skin problems. Powdered dry Neem leaves are encapsulated to prevent the naturally bitter taste of Neem. Neem leaves, combined with other beneficial herbs are drunk as a ‘TEA.’
• Seeds within the fruit yield precious Neem oil, which forms the base of Creams, Lotions, Soaps, Toothpaste
Marjorie and I have 30+ years’ experience in the hospitality industry, where we learned to deal with people from all walks of life. We love meeting people, but we had to withdraw for health considerations. Our bodies may have been weak(er), but our minds were fertile, and a chance meeting with a chartered aromatherapist sowed a seed – NEEM.
I knew of NEEM in India, but it was relatively unknown in the UK. We accepted the challenge of creating an awareness of this wonder tree. This is far removed from the hospitality business, so we learned as we went along. We learned that advertising was like throwing seed into the air, hoping they would fall on fertile land; we needed a receptive audience and found the arena of Mind, Body, Soul and Natural Living exhibitions.
It was touch and go as to whether our first product, NEEM TEA, would arrive in time for our first exhibition in Cambridge; it did not, and we were left telling people of our wonderful Neem Tea off a bare table. Unbelievably 12 people paid us in advance. Did they feel sorry for us, or were we glib?
Undeterred, we realised that face- to- face was the way to go, and were soon regular exhibitors at venues nationwide and also in Ireland. As your sow, so will you reap. THE NEEM PEOPLE have cut back on exhibiting but have a flourishing mail-order business. We have earned a reputation for quality products at affordable prices, and honest advice. Click the link below for further information.