Shop Around the Corner is a monthly series where I share a variety of fan-tas-tic small business owners that I think you’d really dig. It’s very important to me to share the love with fellow small business folks – the welcoming community of entrepreneurs I’ve met is quite strong, and there is so much incredible talent out there! I look forward to introducing you to great photographers, designers, shop owners…the list goes on and on!The lovely Melissa Vines and her shop, Village Apothecary, are today’s celebrated business! This shop, located in downtown Leiper’s Fork, is one of those great examples of a business that I’ve fallen in love with, but can’t remember how I first learned of it! If you are interested in wholesome, all-natural products for you and your family, this is definitely a place you want to check out. I personally bought the natural, lavender-scented deodorant a few months ago, and holy moly, does it work! I am all about supporting local businesses whose passion is to provide the best products for our best health, and this shop does a wonderful job of that. I am so glad to be sharing this post with you today. Please be sure to visit the Village Apothecary website and Facebook page and leave Melissa some love!
What made you decide to open Village Apothecary?
Village Apothecary is actually my second skin care line. I owned an organic skin care company for babies that I sold after my daughter was born. I took a year off but then got the itch to start another skin care company but one for the whole family including facial and body care. I began playing with recipes at home, using some of the products on myself and sharing with family and friends. Then one weekend while I was in Leiper’s Fork I stumbled across my space that was for rent. I had one month to completely develop and launch the business and looking back, I still don’t know how I pulled it off! It was pretty impulsive but thankfully I had a lot of experience and knowledge from my previous business along with wonderful support from my family.
Where do you find inspiration?
Music…it can put me in a creative zone like nothing else and if I can get outside for a nice long hike with my headphones in then by the end I am absolutely overflowing with ideas! My go to Pandora station is The Wailin’ Jennys. I always feel inspired listening to it.
Favorite item that you sell? My Organic Oil Cleanser because I’m on a mission to get people off of foaming detergant based face washes! It is great for all skin types, even oily skin, and is the first recommendation I give to someone that is not happy with their skin care routine. A good cleanser sets the foundation for beautiful skin, plus the ritual of massaging oil onto your skin is so relaxing. My deodorant cream is a must-have too. It works amazingly well without the use of aluminum. (Molly again – highly recommend this deodorant!)
Any advice for those just starting out?
One of my favorite quotes is “Follow your heart but take your brain with you.” by Alfred Adler. I always encourage people to follow their passion and dreams but please research nonstop. Being passionate is unfortunately not enough in such a competitive business world. There are plenty of passionate people who go out of business daily. You want it to make sense on paper too. You really have to get passionate about learning how to make your dream work and succeed too!
I also attribute a lot of my success to social media. You have to get involved and be seen in such a socially driven marketplace or you can quickly get lost and forgotten. And if you don’t know how to do that, then bring in help. There is no shame in that and there are lots of great companies who specialize in getting you noticed, like my friends at CSocially. Hiring someone to help with SEO and social media will be your best investment by far.
Three words to describe you/your life:
Story or moment in business that was memorable/impactful:
The moment I gave myself permission to evolve. When I first opened I had a plan and I had no plan on changing that plan or even the thought that it may not work. I was pretty confident to say the least but a lot of things in my original plan flopped. A lot of the inventory I stocked heavily wasn’t moving, the summer heat and bugs were a bad combo for outdoor yoga and I had packaging issues for my products, etc. The little setbacks like that were discouraging but they also taught me a valuable lesson…you have to evolve in business. You try something, really put it out there and if it doesn’t work, that’s ok, just keep moving. You can’t be stuck on your original vision. My business is consistenly changing. This Fall, I invited Southern Firefly Candle Co. to share the store with me and it has turned out to be a beautiful thing. I had never envisioned bringing in a partner for the store, but we have a lot fun together and it has allowed me to focus on other projects like a new business that I’m launching this Spring called “Herbal Projects”. It is a DIY concept where I send you everything needed to create your own skin care and herbal remedies. We’ll launch the first box which, will be an herbal infused healing salve, with others to follow. I saw the interest in people to make their own products for themselves, so I’m evolving to reach another demographic of people.
Favorite tv show:
Downton Abbey currently. I’m a sucker for period pieces and British accents. And if I’m being total honest, The Real Housewives too. Sometimes you just need some mindless fluff.
Favorite ice cream flavor:
I love to go to Sweet CeCe’s and get vanilla frozen yogurt with berries on top.
Favorite vacation spot:
30A- Seaside is my favorite beach spot for the kids during the day and Rosemary Beach is absolutely magical for dates at night! It’s a place that I want to make memories with my family and have them continue that with theirs one day. I love the idea of creating a tradition of returning to the same place year after year.
Favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon:
When it’s soccer season, there is nothing I love more then being out on the field, watching my son score some goals! I’m one of those loud obnoxious moms screaming his name from the bleachers. I worked the shop
alone all Summer and then hired a great girl named Ashley to work weekends when his games started in the Fall. Being a soccer mom is by far my favorite job.
Favorite part of running your business: All the wonderful people that it brings into my life. I’ve formed so many friendships with other business owners and customers. It helps me fulfill that social aspect of my personality. It’s also my way of keeping my identity and not just getting consumed with my role at home. I feel blessed to have that balance in my life.