After studying biochemistry, pharmacology, ecology and a master’s degree in teaching, Bridget Molloy wanted to save the world.
“I love the rainforest, I love the ocean, and it’s just so deep in my heart, the Earth,” said Molloy, a 35-year-old west Centennial resident.
Wondering how she could help people experience what she feels, Molloy found inspiration to start Bridget’s Botanicals, a local business that offers herbal and plant products and classes focused on health and well-being.
She had a calling for “bringing joy to them through ecosystems in a tea tin or a bottle or through an experience or a class,” said Molloy, who also wants to raise awareness about climate change.
With training in teaching high school biology, she worked at a since-closed school called La Academia in Denver, where she found her talents for tea and aromatherapy had an impact on students in a low-income area.
“I started making tea and my students were like, ‘Oh, what’s that?’” Molloy said. They told her it made them “feel so calm.”
At one point, she was teaching classes and rented out a space at what was called the Nourished Health Center, educating people about herbalism every Wednesday night.
“I kept getting a lot of questions about, ‘Where do I buy that?’” Molloy said. Feeling that many products on the market were not high quality, she thought: “Well, I could offer that,” she said.
In 2014, she founded Bridget’s Botanicals, a business that has formulated and manufactured more than 40 products and developed 30 “community classes,” according to its website.
The health products are formulated based on “current scientific research combined with traditional global healing practices” and are manufactured in small batches in Colorado, the website says.
Molloy taught classes until COVID-19 arrived, and then she shifted to holding virtual classes.
Her business developed amid talk in the business world about a shift in American consumerism toward people preferring experiences rather than products or things, a change that seemed to show in her business around late 2019. That’s when she started getting a lot more requests and filling classes, Molloy said.
“And now, especially, being out again in front of people, in the last year, I’d say it’s really picked up quite a bit,” Molloy said.
Molloy was among the businesspeople who have participated in a City of Centennial program to help local businesses adapt to changing consumer tastes. The Spark Centennial Experience Accelerator program, which started in 2021, provides mentorship and funding to assist business owners in offering experiences.
For Molloy, the Spark program helped her design an “interactive experience for customers and just the general public," she said.
Molloy used her Spark Centennial funding to develop a mobile cart that allowed her to bring products and educational classes to public events to reach new audiences.
It encouraged “connecting with plants through health and eventually using our products,” Molloy said. “So that’s kind of the newer philosophy that blossomed out of Spark.”
Her business already offered classes before her time in Spark Centennial, but another change that came with the Spark program was deciding to start shipping out “botanical boxes” that offer interactive materials, Molloy said.
It’s about “how do you interact with this plant, instead of just reading or learning about it,” Molloy said.
Some of that interaction is based on smell; with some of the materials, people can make a tea.
“One of them is a syrup, so how you can make an elixir,” Molloy laughed. “Honey, water and whatever kind of plant you want to do. It’s an easy thing to do with kids or adults.”
Asked what advice she would give other businesses on how to stay afloat with people who prefer experiences rather than just products themselves, Molloy said: “I would say 'community' is our winner of a word.
“If someone has a brick and mortar (store), how can you bring people into it (through) an event there?” Molloy said. She continued: “How can we collaborate with our community and other fellow business owners to create an experience in our spaces? And how can we expand into schools and other businesses? I just think there’s so much opportunity to do that and exchange ideas.”
Bridget’s Botanicals doesn’t have a set physical location for customers to visit, but Molloy is considering potentially opening a storefront for the business, she said.
“Centennial is just such a fantastic place for small businesses, I think, and engaging different people,” Molloy said. “I just feel like there’s such a driving space and there’s so much room to grow.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.