Fiona Nelson is a honey convert.
As a child, she didn’t like the sticky stuff, but then she tasted more refined incarnations as an adult and changed her tune. Especially after fighting breast cancer, she was impressed by the health benefits of Manuka, specifically.
So, when family friend, Catherine Wedderspoon Martin, traveled to the US and realized the dearth of Manuka, she asked Nelson to come on board and helm the US branch of her raw and gourmet, non-GMO verified eponymous honey company, Wedderspoon. Since Nelson came on board, the company has expanded to include 35 products, from Manuka varieties to body care to lozenges.
Here, Nelson explains why transparency in business and sustainability are essential for a wellness business:
Live The Process: Did you grow up with an understanding of wellness, sustainability and the benefits of honey?
Fiona Nelson: Growing up in the UK, my parents were health-conscious: we ate well, exercised regularly, loved the outdoors and hiked on the weekends. Funnily enough, I didn’t like honey because I had only ever had the conventional, processed kind! Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I changed my life and adopted new healthy lifestyle choices. I began choosing mostly organic and locally-sourced products and adding raw Manuka honey to my daily routine.
LTP: How did you become involved in working with Wedderspoon? What compelled you about their Manuka honey?
FN: Founders Catherine Wedderspoon Martin and Sebastien Martin, friends from England, started the company in Canada in 2005 after realizing there was a gaping hole in the North American market for Manuka honey. A year later, they asked me if I was interested in starting Wedderspoon USA.
Previously, I was an English nanny, but I was amazed by the health benefits of this New Zealand-sourced superfood. Raw, unprocessed Manuka honey has incredible health and wellness properties and can be used both topically and internally, in home remedies, DIY beauty regimes and even just taken by the spoonful daily.
"Raw, unprocessed Manuka honey has incredible health and wellness properties"
Wedderspoon prides itself on sourcing only the highest quality, raw, unprocessed, non-GMO verified Manuka honey from New Zealand. We believe in transparency and aim to provide our customers with excellent customer service, product education and support.
LTP: Why is preservation so important with regard to bees and how can we all help the cause?
FN: Everyone at Wedderspoon is very grateful for all that the bees provide us. There are many small acts people can do at their own homes, including choosing bee-friendly herbs and flowers, along with not using harmful pesticides in their gardens. We also partner with the Rodale Institute and have a hive at the Honey Bee Conservancy, which provides education and research on how to help the bees. We offer more information on bees and the environment here.
Personally, I always try to buy non-GMO and organic products whenever possible to promote others who are doing their part for the bees and other pollinators.
LTP: Do you have any additional wellness obsessions at the moment?
FN: Apart from using Manuka daily, yoga has been my biggest wellness obsession for years. I’ve recently been incorporating fermented foods, like kimchi, into my diet too.
I am vigilant about what I put on my skin, so I use Manuka as a superfood for my face too! I love our body scrub recipe. It leaves my skin so soft and healthy feeling.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
FN: I’m incredibly lucky to be able to name so many things and people in my life that contribute to my happiness: My health, family, friends and my dog Tilly are the big ones. My yoga practice, a nice glass of red wine and music are other things that help me maintain my sanity and keep me balanced amidst the stress of the everyday.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
FN: For me, it’s about trying to integrate healthy eating and exercise into my daily routine. At Wedderspoon, we “Live The Process” by making sure our honey products are of the highest quality and natural, products that will aid in the wellness journey of others. We are constantly trying to come up with innovative ways to use Manuka honey for both beauty and wellness.