Director of Mystery might seem like an arbitrary choice for a job title, but when you run your own company you’re free to appoint yourself whatever you like. John Gallagher does the title proud; the once broke entrepreneur thrives on intrigue — shrouding every next move in mystery and whimsy.
LearningHerbs is herbs made simple. The family-run business offers an array of unique educational tools — board games, a storybook series, a starter kit and more — for people of all ages to get acquainted with herbs and home remedies.
“It's one thing to go to the doctor or seek modern health care for severe ailments or injuries, but for a lot of those common everyday bumps and bruises — cold and flu, that kind of stuff — we have the wisdom to take care of that ourselves. And we can do that with the plants that we grow all around us,” says John. “It's so easy to turn those helpful herbs into remedies that we can use to keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy.”
The Gallagher family is the glue that holds the business together: generating ideas, creating content and drawing inspiration from one another as they strive to bring a multisensory learning experience into the lives of eager amateur herbalists — all from the comfort of their home in Port Townsend, Washington. The lush historical seaport town renowned for its many preserved Victorian buildings makes for a fitting backdrop; countless herbs are native to the area.
Thanks to John’s entrepreneurial lifestyle, for as long as his children have been around, the husband and father of two has never left an empty seat at the dinner table or at the high school play. In fact he’s able to jump in on any household errands on-demand. And should he and LearningHerbs Co-Founder Kimberly (his wife) need a well-deserved break or spontaneous vacation, they take it — no hesitation.
In the grand scheme of things, LearningHerbs is about connection: connecting with family while connecting people to nature. For John, there is no greater purpose or satisfaction.
“When I look back I'll see that not only have I done great work in the world, I’ll know that I’ve integrated it into my family, and they loved it and contributed to the experience”.
John’s foray into herbs started with the birth of his son, Rowan, and a plan to integrate herbs into Rowan’s upbringing. “When he was a baby I knew that I wanted to take care of him with herbs and naturals as much as we possibly could, and I learned about herbs and empowered myself."
Being from the Seattle area, herbalists weren’t all that hard to track down. John went to work and eventually learned enough to start teaching on his own. That’s when he realized that the vast majority of people had zero access to herbalism and training. And just like that, his very first product was born.
“I started with making a herbal starter kit — the Herbal Remedy Kit — and I put lessons in there that were based on things that I learned and the herbs that I started to use with my family”.
The family inclusion aspect of the business stems from John’s father, who, before his passing, imparted some poignant wisdom to his son: Work hard, but always make time for your family. From that moment on, John swore off work/life imbalance for good, opting to run the LearningHerbs operation under one roof with all who dwelt beneath it.
“My son and daughter have never known an existence without us using herbs and home remedies as part of their healthcare,” shared John, “and at some point this turned into a family business.”
My son and daughter have never known an existence without us using herbs and home remedies as part of their healthcare, and at some point this turned into a family business.
Automated his payment processing entirely
Launched a membership site, HerbMentor, to complement his herbal education business
How Ontraport Got Him There
WordPress Membership Sites
The bar's been set high for membership sites over the years. Control and convenience are absolute musts — not just for John, but for his customers. Ontraport's seamless integration with WordPress grants John the ability to manage all content on both his main website as well as his membership site, HerbMentor. On his end, he's able to automate all membership access and recurring payments. On the customer end, all members are able to update their own payment and profile information as needed. Just a few clicks and it's done. The cherry on top? No more bulky plugins or compatibility issues. "I have this clean, neat plugin that speaks between all these WordPress sites and Ontraport, and it’s unlimited — as many sites as you want,” says John. “You can create and control anything."
Time is an entrepreneur's most precious resource: time with the family, time to expand your product line, and time to please your customers. Ontraport's Payment Processing has afforded John nothing but. Everything is automated — from recurring payments to declined charges. It's all the perks of having a customer service team without needing one.
Entrepreneurs like John put so much of themselves into their craft; the support offered by the tools he chooses to keep his business running plays a big role in his success — not to mention his sanity.
“The most important thing about Ontraport that I have not ever found in any other software in 10 years is the support and communication. Any time you need someone, they’re there — by phone or by chat. They help you, they get back to you without asking, and they address your concerns,” he said. “I even visited there once and met everybody and it felt like a family and I feel like I have a great support network behind me.
I’m excited to go in and be able to automate things even more and take away like five manual tasks that we have to do. And why did that happen? Because Ontraport listens to feedback.”