What do you do? 

We handcraft organic Elderberry Syrup that is primarily used to support and strengthen the immune system.

What inspired you to start your business? 

My son was extremely ill when he was 3 years old. We spent an entire year in and out of hospitals trying to find ways to improve his respiratory conditions. I wanted to make a fresher, cleaner version of Elderberry Syrup.

What's special about your business? 

Unlike store bought brands of Elderberry, ours contains no preservatives and must be stored in the fridge. It is fresh, contains double the Elderberry Mg as other brands and is DELCIOUS!

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

One of the highest points was 9 months into my business. I was selected out of thousands of companies to be a vendor at Chip & Joanna Gaines Spring Market in Waco, Texas. Our company was given a coveted spot in the market that attracts close to 30K attendees. This was also the lowest point for us because the market was scheduled to happen during the national lockdown. When we drove to Texas with 900 bottles in a UHaul, we arrived and set up, only to be told the event was cancelled. All 900 bottles were lost in transit due to heat/spoilage and we lost close to $30K.... Joanna Gaines personally shared my company's brand on her Instagram and we had exposure to over 7 million people. It was a roller coaster that I learned a lot from!

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

Oh wow! Everything. I didn't think it would be this hard, if I am speaking honestly. One minute you're on a high and the next, you're finding out you made a mistake or lost an account... It is humbling to own a business but the most valuable lesson I have learned? You're going to fail at something, at some point. The faster you get used to it, the faster you can get back up and learn from it.

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE client
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

After our Texas event was canceled, I knew I had a business on my hands that was worth saving. Orders poured in, and suddenly, my Elderberry-making went from 20 bottles to hundreds. I had no idea how to scale or prepare for this sudden growth and I knew I needed help.

How SCORE helped. 

Mila's expertise has helped us get more organized, and make sure we are operating a business efficiently and the correct way. She has helped me get my "ducks in a row" and provided guidance in areas that I didn't know much about. I have hired a CPA, pulled the correct food permits, and secured a licensed commercial kitchen to make sure my product is on the right track. She has also provided counsel as to how to network and connect with other business owners. I joined the Women's Chamber of Commerce after she encouraged me to do so, and I have also learned how to get my business plan in order.

What's great about my mentor? 

Mila has been a profound encouragement to me. She has one of the most uplifting and inspiring personalities. There has not been one zoom meeting that I leave, without feeling motivated do better and achieve more. Her own personal story is very moving and learning about another woman who was able to overcome and achieve so much, pushes me to keep going. During the lows of running my small business, I have felt like I have someone who believes in me. She provides practical and solid advice with big dose of humor and heart!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

Find a mentor. You need at least one person you can bounce ideas off of. One person who can provide solid business advice and most importantly, someone who has walked the same path before.

Inspiration & Motivation