We had the good fortune of connecting with Priscilla Woolworth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priscilla, how do you think about risk?
I’ve taken so many risks in my life that I have lost count! The risks I have taken have happened when an unexpected opportunity presented itself, one that seemed promising and of course with no guarantee what the outcome would be. Some risks have been worth it and others, perhaps not as successful but still worth it for the life lessons learned which have in turn helped me in other situations down the road. Taking a risk, as long as your life or someone else’s isn’t in harm’s way, is so important to living your life to the fullest by not being afraid to try something new and different. Risks do have to be weighed for their worthiness but they shouldn’t be avoided because they may disrupt your life. Disrupt your life! Live it as fully as you can, and when an amazing opportunity presents itself to start a new career, travel or meet someone for the first time, do it. Most risks will definitely take you out of your comfort zone, and this is a good thing. One of the biggest risks I took was starting an eco friendly e-commerce store without having experience in running a store. Sounds crazy right?! I was absolutely determined to make it happen so I spent a year+ learning everything I could, probably asking a lot of dumb questions along the way while putting together the best team I could to help me run it. Another big risk was writing and self-publishing my first book. I wasn’t sure how it would do, and the risk was well worth it because I’m still selling copies five years after it was published…and I just launched my second e-commerce store!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I run an online home goods general store where I offer products that are practical, made to last and don’t harm the planet. I previously ran a larger store and this second iteration is smaller, and more personal. The first store was a lot of work because I was also learning on the job, which I don’t recommend. It’s a better idea to start a business with some experience already in running one. However, in my case, when I launched my first store in 2009, there weren’t any eco friendly stores online, so I had to take a risk and do the best possible job launching it. It’s best to start small and slowly build it. I was inspired to launch my e-commerce store and brand because I wanted to make healthy alternatives to conventional products available to the public. My goal was also to educate consumers that healthier choices that were available to them. The motto of my store was “you can change the world by what you buy.” I encouraged shoppers to use their money as a way to influence the corporations- for example, by buying toxin free products instead of conventional ones – and help make those the norm rather than the exception. I carried products from emerging eco brands, which were eventually carried in mainstream stores, which is what I wished for them. I’m proud of my brand, that it’s one that you can trust. I’ve always looked out for the health of consumers and also of the planet’s.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Now that I call the Hudson Valley in upstate New York home, I’m still learning my way around. A long weekend visit would be perfect, starting with a visit on a Friday morning to the medicinal herb garden at Churchtown Dairy, followed by lunch outdoors at The Lantern Inn in Wassaic. On our way home, a canoe around Lake Taghkanic to work off lunch, with dinner at The Corner in Tivoli. Saturday morning is all about the Farmer’s Market in Hudson, and then swing by Holmquest farm to pick your own flowers. Lunch at home in the garden, by the river is heaven. In the afternoon, a hike in Overmountain in Ancram, with tea at The Maker in Hudson, and an early movie at TSL in Hudson, followed by dinner at Gaskin’s in Germantown. Sunday brunch at Bartlett House in Ghent, followed by a walk around Art Omi in Ghent as well, then a visit to the Pollinator Pavilion at Mud Creek Farm in Livingston and Hortus Arboretum near Kingston. Sunday afternoon is time to catch the train from Hudson back to the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am fortunate to have loved ones who have been very supportive of my endeavors from my partner Anthony Slayter-Ralph, to me dear friend Agnes Baddoo, my former mother-in-law Tessa Kennedy, my former husband Cassian Elwes, my daughters Arielle and Lucie Elwes, my dear friends Amanda Pays, Maude Demme, Annette Bening, Stanley Fields, and Charles and Caroline Gladstone. I’m so grateful to all of them for believing in my dreams and supporting them.
Instagram: Priscilla Woolworth; River’s Edge Farm, NY ; The Fifth Season Book; LOLA Lots of Love Always
Facebook: Priscilla Woolworth; Priscilla Woolworth.com
Youtube: Priscilla Woolworth
Other: Pinterest: Priscilla Woolworth