The success story behind Pure Hazelwood
Pure Hazelwood is a Quebec company which started from the desperate need of caring parents. Indeed, after the birth of our first child in 1997, we received a gift: an Aboriginal baby necklace made of 4 small wooden pieces on a string, said to help ease teething.
Skeptical, my husband Patrick said: “Come on Genevieve! As if little pieces of wood will stop her from crying!” I said: “We have nothingto lose, we'll try; Sarah-Maude wakes up every two hours during the night because her teething hurts her so much.”
The results were amazing; the difference was like night and day. Sarah-Maude was not crying anymore, her little cheeks were no longer red, and she slept through the night. Around three months later, she started crying again, and I immediately understood that her necklace was no longer working. So we decided to get another one, but it was very difficult to find. Since Patrick had studied in forestry, he could identify hazel wood. I decided to make my own necklaces for my family and friends.
Over time, we changed how we made the necklace to make it more attractive, safer, and more effective up to the point of creating a company that prides itself for providing the highest quality and dependability in the market. From the many comments and observations we received from people that wore the necklace, we realized the potential of hazel wood for the whole family. We were the first on the market to produce and popularize hazel wood necklaces for adults and for babies.
Geneviève Lagacé & Patrick Lafond / co-founders of Pure Hazelwood Inc.
In 1998, the demand for our hazel wood necklaces was growing. A pharmacy owner approached us and asked us to produce more to meet his customer’s demands. After much reflection, I decided to go into business as a craftswoman.
My perseverance and my tenacity pushed me to meet several pharmacists to explain the virtues of Pure Hazelwood products. I was confident when I told them their clients would come back for more. Convinced of the superior quality of our product, distributors now required a steady supply.
Patrick and I both worked part time on the development of this growing business. In 2002, we decided that one of us would take a year off work to dedicate full time efforts to the development of our business. Since I only had a year of university to go to become a special education teacher, Patrick left his job. We gave ourselves one year to evaluate the potential of our project. In 2003, we were convinced that it would be profitable to invest in our business long-term, so we officially founded "Pure Hazelwood Inc."
Patrick was working full time for the company and I had to make the difficult decision to quit my job as a teacher to do the same. I attended more than ten exhibitions throughout Quebec to make Pure Hazelwood products known (Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke, Gatineau, etc.).
In 2009, driven by the desire to optimize the quality of our products, we initiated an extensive program of scientific research in collaboration with various independant research centers. To this day, we are the sole bearers of these important research results.
Today, we have a team of representatives, our products are distributed in more than 1,500 outlets, and we employ a dozen people.
In a year and a half, Pure Hazelwood became the first supplier of hazel wood products. Now, our market is expanding internationally, introducing our products to both European and American customers.
* Results may vary