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See Full article published in the Press & Journal on 8th May 2023.

How and why did you start in business?

I’ve always had a creative mindset and the desire to start my own business, I’ve just been waiting for something that feels right. I love the idea of creating something from nothing, and the excitement of trying something new.

It was a combination of circumstances that led to my interest in CBD. It started when a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and mentioned to me that they were reading about cannabis and its potential anti-cancer properties. Around the same time, I read about an MMA fighter using CBD to help combat inflammation and aid recovery after a fight. I had never heard of these effects before, and so started reading about CBD. It turns out that the World anti-doping agency removed CBD from its prohibited substances list in 2019, and that the use of CBD in sport was a growing market. Similarly, CBD can be added to cosmetics and skincare for its natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Being interested in health and fitness myself, and the prospect of a reputable, medically backed and health-focussed CBD business seemed like a gap in the market, and so I set up Phyte Club.

I have had a few business ideas in the past but have never taken the leap, but as a doctor it’s in my nature to want to help people and the prospect of combining this with a small business seemed like a great idea.

How did you get to where you are today?

Getting started was the biggest hurdle. Once I had made that commitment, I found that there is a lot of amazing local support available. Business Gateway has been fantastic, and I attended a lot of evening classes there before getting started.

I also think that perseverance is key – so many businesses fail because it’s easy to give up when things get difficult. Once I have my heart set on something, I give it my 100%.

Who helped you? 

Everyone who has liked & shared my @phytedoctor social media posts, and recommended Phyte Club has made a huge difference. Word of mouth is such a powerful way to grow, and a lot of my new custom comes through recommendation.

My 3 kids are always enthusiastic and keen to help, and they love helping me out when I do pop up retail days.

The Federation of Small Businesses has also been a great support and has a wealth of resources available that I’ve found helpful.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever had?

Everything you’ve ever wanted lies just outside your comfort zone. Get comfortable being uncomfortable – that’s where growth happens.

What is your biggest mistake?

Not starting sooner. I’m a bit of a perfectionist at heart, and I have learned that prioritising progress over perfection is the way to make things happen. You can always fine tune things once you’re up and running!

What is your greatest achievement? 

Juggling family life, working full-time in intensive care, and running a small business every day!

How are you managing rapidly rising costs, and how could the government help?

I do as much as I can myself in the day to day running of Phyte Club. This helps me learn and understand the intricacies of running a business and keeps costs down. Brexit was problematic for me as some of my products are imported from laboratories in Europe, and so streamlining this process would be helpful.

What do you still hope to achieve?

I’m hoping to see my products on the shelves in shops one day and would love for Phyte Club to be a brand that’s recognised across the country.

What do you do to relax? 

I can find it hard to switch off sometimes, but going to the gym really helps me wind down. I also love spending time outdoors and the sea air is always therapeutic (vitamin sea!).

What are you currently reading, listening to, or glued to on TV? 

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Rebel Talent – Why it pays to break the rules at work and in life’ by Francesca Gino. This book is written by a Professor of Business at Harvard University and the title really appealed to me. It gives a fascinating insight into why the most successful people among us break the rules.

What do you waste your money on?

I can’t stop buying Nike trainers - it’s an issue! Otherwise, I think I’m relatively sensible with my money, although my wife might disagree!

What's the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? 

Feed our dog Marley then grab a coffee.

What do you drive and dream of driving? 

I currently drive a VW Golf, and I also have a Triumph Street Triple motorbike. I’m a bit of a petrolhead so my dream car would probably be a McLaren 720S.

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Phyte Club Muscle and Joint Fitness Gel has really improved my quality of life - I now use it daily on my arthritic knees and the difference is huge.

Jan M.

I can honestly say that Phyte Club products are some of the best I have tried. The miracle balm smells amazing, and I now use this plus the oil every night to help me relax.

Margot S.

This recovery gel has absolutely revolutionised my recovery after a gym session. I used to always suffer from aching muscles the day after a workout, but since adding in the gel to my post workout routine I no longer suffer this problem! Amazing stuff!

Laurin A

The muscle and joint fitness gel gives a soothing cooling sensation on my sore back. I’d definitely recommend it.

C Stott

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