One of the most unique things about The Elderberry Co. is our story and how we got started. It's a journey that I am eager to share because it is a journey where, at the core, I discover what I am good at and who I was created to be. There are TONS of details I'll skip in this blog post, but over time, I hope to share all the good, bad and ugly of building a successful small business from nothing.
We started with a Facebook post. For reals. In November 2017, I asked Facebook if anyone wanted to try a sample of my batch of elderberry syrup. I was not intending to sell it or make any type of business out of that post. I simply wanted to share something that helped keep our family healthy and out of the doctor's office. From that Facebook post, I started selling jars to friends and family. Here's a photo of my first jars...
In just a few weeks, it was clear that there was significant interest from my community for my elderberry syrup. So I picked a name and I made a slightly more professional label. We were called "Louisville Elderberry" and here's what our jars looks like :-)
For the first 10 months, I was a one-woman-show making syrup in my home kitchen with a 6 month old and a 2 year old. I remember starting batches after my kids went to bed and having to time batches right so that when my baby woke up to breastfeed, I wouldn't be in the middle of a batch. Looking back, it seems SO CRAZY that I did that in the season of life that I was in! Now my kids are 3 and 5 years old and the challenges of balancing motherhood and owning a small business are still here, still challenging, but the journey has been so rewarding. My kids are getting to watch their mom live out exactly who she was created to be. What a gift!
In September of 2018, I made the move to a commercial kitchen which allowed me to start shipping my product nationwide and selling in stores. That sounds WAY easier than it actually was. But by the end of the month I renamed and rebranded my business to "The Elderberry Co." and our labels looked like they still do to this day.
Since then, I've moved from a rented commercial kitchen to my own commercial kitchen and cute little storefront in downtown New Albany, IN. We quickly outgrew our current kitchen and are working on expanding into the suite next door, where we will move from 50 gallon kettles to 300 gallon kettles! It's gonna be CRAZY. And to be honest, I feel completely unqualified and unequipped to be doing what I'm doing. I have a team of 20 people working for me. I'm still primarily home with my kids. I'm running a small business in the midst of a global pandemic. It's madness guys (see how my 3 year old really feels about it below).
Photo Credit: Meagan White Photo
But I will continue to say over and over again, this is exactly what I was created to do. Through this journey, I am learning to offer up my day, my task list, my interaction with my customers, my team, as an offering to God. Through this journey, I am able to appreciate the way God made me and the struggles He helps me overcome daily. And most importantly, through this journey I am able to share the goodness and love of God with lots of people, in addition to experiencing it for myself more than I ever have before.
I hope to share more of my journey as we move forward with The Elderberry Co. I also hope my story can inspire you to live with purpose, no matter what you do. As always, thank you for taking the journey with me and supporting our wonderful small business.
To healthy and happy families,