Employees: 2,000 (1,500 in Utah)
Long before the American public embraced organic and all-natural products, Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils, believed in the hidden possibilities of the herbs he was raising in Idaho. Over time he discovered that herbs could be harvested for their oils, and the benefits of those harvested oils were essentially untapped, particularly in the United States.
“Gary traveled to France to learn how to extract the oil,” explains Travis Ogden, Chief Operating Officer of Young Living. “And he returned home and started building his own distillery.”
In 1993, the Young family began to distill lavender. “It really grew from there,” Ogden explains. “Then they relocated to Utah, and they started another herb farm here in Mona, Utah.”
Quality is important and is embodied in their proprietary Seed to Seal® process, from the time the seed is planted until the oil is bottled and ready to ship. Through each step of their production process on both their own and partner farms all over the world, exacting standards are met every step of the way.
Visitors are also welcome to the Utah farm where the Young family continues to grow lavender, peppermint, goldenrod, clary sage and other plants. “We offer activities for families at the farm,” Ogden explains. “It is a way to experience what we are about and to personally witness how we harvest the plants and distill the oil. It is really unique.”
Keeping everything in-house and maintaining a vertical integration manufacturing process comes at a financial cost, but it has not inhibited growth, something Ogden has witnessed first-hand. Ogden began working for Young Living four years ago. “And four years later, we are five times as large. We continue to grow at a rapid rate, and just last month we set another sales record,” Ogden says. “Our momentum going forward is amazing.”
Currently, Young Living offers essential oils as well as a growing line of oil-infused products.
“We offer the broadest, most comprehensive product line of essential oils and have an expanding line of personal care products,” Ogden says. “We believe that we have the highest quality product, and it sets us apart.”
Challenges: Keeping up with their growth has been Young Living’s main challenge. “But it’s a good challenge to have,” Ogden admits. “We continue to hire new talent and put in place new procedures to plan proactively for the growth we know is coming. It is a challenge, but we are up for the challenge.”
Opportunities: Domestic and international growth: Today, Young Living distributes their products in the United States and nine other countries around the world. “We are growing in every market,” Ogden says. “Essential oils are just starting to come out of obscurity. Society is starting to understand the benefits, but so many more people have yet to experience it personally.”
New products are also being introduced, including laundry detergent. “It’s different from everything else out there,” Ogden says. “It’s free of harmful chemicals. The active ingredients are essential oils. There are some companies that say they are ‘natural’ but they are not effective. Ours is both natural and effective. The products are flying off of the shelf.”
Needs: Ogden believes the company's greatest need is to improve and increase capacity. “We are looking down the supply chain and making sure we are improving or enhancing our infrastructure across the board. And we’re investing everything back in the company. That is the benefit of being privately owned. The Young’s did not start their company to make money. It’s not their motivation. They wanted to provide the highest quality, purest essential oils in the world. And to make that happen, our profits are invested right back in.”