Meet the Absa Small Business Friday featured Small Business of the week – Feelgood Health.
Feelgood Health is an online natural health shop established in 1997 by Michele Carelse, a clinical psychologist and avid supporter of natural wellness. During her practice, Michele was uncomfortable recommending prescription drugs for ADHD, depression and anxiety for her patients, realising that they often came with unwanted side effects or resulted in dependency. Not able to find quality natural alternatives on the market, she began working with natural health experts to formulate a selection of herbal and homeopathic remedies – initially for use in her private practice only. This small range soon became so popular that Michele began to distribute these remedies to selected stores and opened her own website – one of the very first e-commerce websites in South Africa! Thus, Feelgood Health was born.
Passionate about natural health and the environment, Michele insists that all products on the website should contain no preservatives or added artificial chemicals and should be environmentally friendly. A vegetarian herself, she also insists that all the products should be cruelty-free.
Since the start, Feelgood Health has been revolutionising the way people not only live but also shop. You can shop safely and securely online and have your order conveniently and quickly delivered to your door (with free shipping options available). The warehouse is almost 100% powered by solar power, and they keep their packaging eco-friendly too.
Michele Carelse is the founder of Feelgood Health. She is a trailblazer as she started working with natural and organic health products 20 years ago when health products were still quite a niche market.
She believes that to be a successful entrepreneur; you need to have an appetite for risk, along with a passion for building your dream business. You need to be able to see failure as a learning opportunity and to always challenge yourself to grow. Hard work and the ability to build and lead a team are also important qualities.
One of the challenges she has faced in her business is building a team with people who can help her business to grow. This can be an ongoing problem but to overcome it you need to be careful in your recruitment, give ongoing training, and nurture excellence. Furthermore, share your company’s vision and goals so everyone knows what to work towards.
Feelgood Health was one of the very first e-commerce websites in South Africa and Michele had the chance to work alongside entrepreneurs in the USA during the ‘dot com revolution’, when the internet was really taking off and, consequently, learnt many valuable lessons there.
Feelgood Health has proudly partnered with the Gift of The Givers foundation in 2022. Customers can help this well-known foundation by choosing to select a donation amount when checking out online. 100% of the proceeds go to Gift of The Givers.
Feelgood Health has set their sights on becoming the biggest online retailer of natural, planet-friendly health products in South Africa and the world.
Feelgood Health was chosen to receive a Top 20 Award. They were also crowned the National E-commerce Award for 2022 at the South African Small Business Awards.