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Bigfork company begins selling products on global level

by SUMMER ZALESKY - Hagadone News Network
| December 20, 2023 11:45 AM


After 10 years of providing organic and sustainable skincare products, The Good Stuff Botanicals will begin sharing its creations with a global audience. 

Though the Bigfork company has shipped to individuals internationally before, this will be the first time that they distribute wholesale.

Owners Maranda and Michael Johnson said their business has been working with a distributor based out of Hong Kong, who has walked them through the process of getting their products into the Vietnamese market. 

“We are registering our products and making sure everything meets the standards of the Vietnamese government. We have to do labels and get them approved, figure out export codes, verify the companies we’re working with, and make sure we can import everything,” said Michael. 

Their original product, gypsy cream, came from a family recipe which cured Michael’s psoriasis. After a few years of selling at local farmers markets, the family decided to put everything into their business. Now, Good Stuff Botanicals offers 50 products. From hair oil to face cream, the company only uses organic or raw ingredients. 

“We wildcraft a lot of our ingredients and try to do it in a really sustainable way. We have different patches of nettle in the Missions and the Swans and it’s just like a little garden in the middle of the woods that we go to,” said Maranda.

The couple explained wildcrafting to be similar to foraging, but with the intention of leaving some behind. They follow the 80/20 rule which means they only take 20 percent of an ingredient that they find in nature.

After the Hong Kong based distributor reached out to them, the Johnsons, who said that exportation seemed nearly unattainable at the time, explored resources with the Montana Small Business Development Center that helped walk them through the process. 

“That opened up a whole can of worms,” Maranda said with a laugh. “There’s so much support in Montana for small businesses as well as the whole export game in general. The Small Business Development Center directed us to the Montana World Trade Center, ExportMontana, and the International Trade Commission which is at the federal level.”

The Johnsons explained that Montana has been put on the global map for business due to its 2022 President’s “E” Award for Export Service, as well as the popular TV show, “Yellowstone.”

“Montana is kind of a big deal right now. We’ve heard stories like people in India right now are buying cowboy boots and hats and having ‘Yellowstone’ parties,” Michael said. “And Vietnam’s middle class is really healthy right now and they are done buying Chinese products because the trust has really gone down.”

With this adjustment, the Johnsons will use another space to load boxes, as well as hire more people to help in the warehouse, with product development, and potentially marketing. 

Maranda explained that the opportunity to export will likely double business, and though they are excited to share Good Stuff Botanicals on a global level, she said they don’t want to grow too fast, as it has the potential to risk the quality of their products. 

“We are really cautious about how we’ve grown. I think we could lose some of our standards, if we grow too fast,” said Maranda. “We want our policies and procedures to remain while making sure we can provide really good customer service.”

“Some of our products come from just connecting with people in the community and seeing their needs,” Michael added. “This is our home, and without the community support and feedback, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

The Good Stuff Botanicals products can be found in stores all across Montana. Find a full list of retailers and their online store at thegoodstuffbotanicals.com or call 406-755-4663.