How it all got started: Elderberries have been an important ingredient in folk medicine for centuries but they only became part of my family’s wellness treatment within the last 4 years. It began when my daughter was 1 and was in and out of the doctor’s office with colds and ear infections. Our doctor was warning me that if she had another ear infection that she would need tubes in her ears. I was skeptical of this being the only option besides more antibiotics and began researching alternative medicines.
Turns out, garlic oil is an extremely effective medicine for ear infections! Two drops at the first signs and that infection doesn’t stand a chance. Another remedy that kept popping up in my searches was elderberry syrup for sinus congestion. I decided to give elderberry syrup a try to see if it worked as well as the garlic oil did for ear infections. I was not disappointed!
My first batch: Since elderberry syrup typically costs about $3-4 an ounce at the store, and I’m a teacher, I immediately started making my own. My first batch smelled delicious and tasted great but I knew I still had some tweaking to do. Every recipe that I’ve found calls for ground spices and that is their downfall. Ground spices leave a very gritty texture in each dose!
Fast forward 3 years and my recipe was refined to a perfect combination, a recipe that I was very proud of. I continued to make my elderberry syrup every few weeks for my own family and a few other teachers at my school, where I work as a first grade teacher. One winter night in 2017 I was scrolling through a neighborhood mom’s group on Facebook and came across a post asking if anyone in the area knew where to buy elderberry syrup. I commented that I made my own and would be willing to sell a bottle to her. That one comment changed my life forever.
From hobby to whoa: I was soon asked by a dozen other moms if they could also buy some, then if they could share my info with others who were looking. I started to hear great feedback on my recipe and moms/dads were clambering to get some. Our flu season in Houston was getting off to an especially bad start and it seemed like everyone knew someone who was affected. Elderberry syrup was one of the highest recommended products for fighting the flu symptoms and my syrup was in very high demand.
Going legit: With all of the demand and the initial orders exceeding any thought I had, we made it a real company (final documents still being finished by the state). In addition, it just so happens that I am married to an amazing man who specializes in online marketing and branding. Prior to everything taking off, he wanted to help build something together and he supplied the heavy lifting and execution on the brand, website, logo, and inventory mainstreaming. For those who may have received emails from him, he often refers to himself as “The Husband.” Within one week of selling my first bottle I had an incredible brand that I love, and resonates with a lot of people. To be honest, I can’t believe how this whole business of mine has evolved. I never would have imagined that I would be making so much elderberry syrup to provide for my community.
This has been one of my biggest accomplishments and I can’t wait to see where we’re at in a year’s time. Thank you to everyone who’s purchased a bottle, and extra thanks for those who gave me praise and confidence in the first 100 bottles – it was that feedback that makes me proud.