24/05/2005 - 22:00

Wild Child launches globally

24/05/2005 - 22:00


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Leanne Preston is fast becoming Australia’s version of UK businesswoman and The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, a comparison she is only too happy about.

Wild Child launches globally

Leanne Preston is fast becoming Australia’s version of UK businesswoman and The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, a comparison she is only too happy about.

Her company Wild Child and its focus on developing toxin and chemical-free healthcare products for children is becoming a household name around the world and it is only going to keep growing.

Since establishing in 1997, Wild Child’s sole product, head lice treatment Quit Nits, has taken off both nationally and internationally. It is sold in 5000 Australian pharmacies, and Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, and most recently signed an exclusive supply contract with Boots pharmacy in the UK (1300 stores) and stores in New Zealand and Malaysia.

It is an exciting time for Wild Child with new products about to be launched and export markets pursued.

“A range of baby products, sunscreens and medicines are next for Wild Child. They will be launched soon,” Ms Preston said.

“Some of the products will be a nappy rash cream, washes and cough mixture. We will seek expansion into other UK markets, Europe, the US, South Africa, Japan and Asia.”

Ms Preston said minimising Wild Child’s capital expenditure and allowing it to remain focused on product and new market development, meant the company has outsourced manufacturing, warehousing, transport and merchandising.

“The company will continue to leverage off its strong brand and grow its portfolio of innovative products,” she said. “Just as Wild Child pioneered natural head lice treatments, Wild Child will continue to exploit niche markets through the development of innovative products that are more effective, less toxic and more convenient.”

Following on from Wild Child’s mission to boost children’s health, Ms Preston revealed the company’s five-year sponsorship deal with the Asthma Foundations of Australia. A portion of all Quit Nits sales will go to the foundation.

“We finalised the sponsorship deal in November last year,” she said.

Ms Preston’s said her vision has always been to make Wild Child a global company and she knew this dream was achievable after developing and researching Quit Nits.

“Wild Child will be a leader in bridging the gap between complementary and orthodox therapeutic products through focusing on research, clinical trials and scientific processes to support its product efficacy claims,” she said.

“This focus on scientific evidence will provide both mainstream and complementary health care professionals with the confidence they need to recommend Wild Child products over contemporary alternatives.”

However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Wild Child. Ms Preston described each achievement as a “hard slog”.

“In 2000 Wild Child had to issue a product recall because the bottles the Quit Nits product was in were faulty and leaked,” she said.

“And then in September 2003, we had finished the sunscreens and they were ready to be sent but the manufacturer’s factory burnt down.

“There was no insurance settlement until March this year.”

Leanne Preston’s biography of Wild Child, detailing how her experience led her to research and produce an alternative product, will be launched in September.


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